Embrace the Prize of the Gospel

[The truth of the matter is we live life on the run.  It is the state of our soul.  We are running for a prize, a goal, a job, family, money.  Whatever we are running to, we are running for the prize – the reward.  The prize is what we are pursuing in life.

Philippians 3:12-16English Standard Version (ESV)

Straining Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

What prize we are pursuing begs us to ask the simple question- Does it satisfy?    Will I be fine, will I be complete, will I be full – once I obtain this prize.  Does it have the power and substance to satisfy our soul.

To make it my own, the prize of the Gospel, I need to ask myself what is the goal my life is oriented around.     There is only one prize that satisfies.    Embrace the prize of the Gospel.    The prize is Jesus.  That I may know him.  Not know about him but know him.  Knowing about him does not satisfy but knowing him, I will find rest.

Love always cries more!  The heart never gets enough of the beloved!  Love refuses to remain stagnant and love always runs after the object of its affection.  Does this describe how I love.  I wish it did.   This is what I strive for.

What does pursuing Jesus look like?  The way to purse Jesus is by admitting how much I need him.  I will never need Him enough!  I am sinner, I am broken.

Where do I find the power to pursue Jesus?  The power is that Jesus has taken a hold of me!  The prize is pursuing me.  The prize is pursuing you!   It is him pursuing me and not me presenting myself to him.    That is where the power comes from.

The prize is love and it is expressed in wonder.  In AWE.  What Jesus has done for us.    Which is better- know the person of Jesus and pursue him or  know this line and modify this behavior.

Jesus is the chase that we were created for.  Are you reaching forward?  Grasping who he is?

In spite of myself, God pursues me.  This is love that he first loved me.  Do you feel his breath?  Embrace him and know that it is at the cross where all is proven!

There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven, but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else…It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our spouse or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows spouse or friend, or work…All of your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness.  The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was with your reach and you have lost it forever.  C.S. Lewis, The problem of Pain

 

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