You Can Be a Winner

Philippians 3: 12 – 14

Most conscientious Christians will admit: 

(1) Past failure, that is, they have not reached the goal God has set for them. 

(2) Dissatisfaction to remain at their present spiritual level.         

(3) Those who feel they have arrived – cease growing.

In this text Paul made an honest admission. (Verses 12, 13) Paul had achieved much, traveled extensively, had significant accomplishments, but he was on no ego trip.  He had not attained.  This was an explosive disclaimer. There is always room for growth and improvement. 

Paul was satisfied with Christ (vs. 10), but not himself.  He did not compare himself with others, but with Christ.

He made a hearty attempt. (Verse 12)

Though imperfect, Paul was enthusiastically in pursuit saying “I press on.”

The finish line is perfection.  This is not a sprint, a quick burst of brisk energy.  It is a marathon.  “Run with patience” (Hebrews 12:1).

The author of a book entitled “Finishing Strong” offers this studied conclusion. Of those who start out strong in the Christian experience only one out of ten finishes strong at the age of retirement.  Commit yourself to being that one.

“That I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended.” There was purpose in this pursuit.  He wanted to live out his purpose. We use the word apprehended to speak of law enforcement officials catching a person.  Christ literally arrests us in salvation. Jesus knows your I.D. and in love He wants to apprehend you for your good.

Christ wants to “lay hold on” you not just to forgive you, but to give you a new character, a new nature.

Paul wanted to “lay hold on” that for which he was “laid hold of.”  What was it?  He had just noted it in verse 10. “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”  (Philippians 3:10)

He had a holy aspiration. (Verses 13, 14) One thing possessed Paul.  He avoided all diversion.  Undivided and undiverted attention to the task at hand is essential for victory.

“One thing” is the inspiring unspoken theme running through every achieving life.

Do you have a sense of personal discontent? That is, are you satisfied with your state of spiritual maturity or are you ambitious to grow spiritually?