“No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly crown for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
Philippians 3:13-14. NLT
1st Sunday – “A New Way Forward!”
Reaching a ‘single” purpose in life often is illusive; it is not as easy and automatic as one might assume. It’s possible, like many people today, it took the last third of Paul’s life to fully grasp what was his single defining purpose. There are many theories of life development, but most suggest that wisdom comes at a crisis point in our lives. It was Paul who, for most of his life persecuted Christians and harbored hatred in his heart for “any” who was a follower of Jesus Christ. But then it happened. Saul, as he was known then, met Christ in a vision as he traveled to the capital city of Damascus. His life was forever changed. Some of the people he hated, were skeptical of his transformation. They relented after a while, and welcomed him into the Christian band of believers. Paul, later in life, while under house arrest, made his most eloquent appeal for the faith. He said, “I once though the things I had acquired in the past were valuable to me, but I now consider them worthless, because of what Christ had done for me (Phil. 3:7, NLT).” Paul spoke of “discarding” things that no longer held value for him. He had a single vision: to follow the new way forward; pressing toward the best God had for him! What a brave testimony for these times. We overwork the term “new normal”, which really is an oxymoron. It it’s new, it can’t be all of what it was. As Christians we need to take a page from the Apostle Paul’s life. We must be willing to press on…moving “forward.” God always has something infinitely better for us. It doesn’t mean we reject the good of our past, but Paul says that some of the past is of little value when compared to what God has before us. We need to seek that single purpose and way forward; that gives us the ultimate meaning of life! A new way awaits us.