Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 March 2023 Philippians 3:10.

Philippians 3:10. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings; being made conformable to his death.

And when Tuesday opens bright and sunshiny, though somewhat cold and windy, we just forget all the difficulties we experienced on Monday! Yes, we do. We move on to this new day filled with God’s new mercies and compassions, giving Him grateful thanks and praise for all the undeserved goodness and LOVING-kindness He’s wrought in our lives through His awesome Son, Jesus Christ and the amazing work, direction and guidance of His Holy Spirit! 

Wow! What a most wonderful God we serve my fellow believers! And I do hope we truly appreciate Him and do show our appreciation and gratitude by the way we live our lives; that’s in keeping with His Word and His Will. And that sentiment about moving forward reminds me of Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Philippi, where in talking to them about perfection in Christ, that’s maturing in the things of Christ, which is his stated goal, and should also be ours, he says: ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings; being made conformable to his death. If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.’ (Phil. 3:10-11) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul is desirous of attaining a literal as well as figurative resemblance to Christ. He wants to personally know Him, to share in His sufferings as well as His death. The scholars explain it thus: ‘Paul is eager to become more like Jesus in His death (vs. 10) so that he can (1) progressively experience more of the believer’s resurrection life to be enjoyed now (“newness of life,” Rom:6:4), and (2) some day undergo physical resurrection from the grave, thus experiencing God’s power in one of its greatest aspects.’ 

And that certainly is a most worthwhile objective for all believers. One though that is not very easy to attain. But Bruh Paul recognizes this when he says: ‘Not as though I had already attained (obtained it), either were already perfect: but I follow after (press on), if that I may apprehend (lay hold of) that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:12) Bruh Paul denies that he’s already obtained the goal of fully knowing Christ and all that’s included in that knowledge. 

The scholars tell us: ‘At this point in his life the apostle does know Christ, but not to the full extent possible. He has experienced His power, but not to the degree he desires. He has been made like Jesus in His death, but he can still die more to sin and self. He does walk “in newness of life,” but there is room for improvement. And he is in hot pursuit of his goal.’ 

Oh, how I wish that could be said of many more of us believers; that we’re in hot pursuit of Christ and the things which pertain to Him. Unfortunately though, His church is filled with too many lacklustre Christians. Too many of us lack the salt and light Jesus desires us to have so that we can pursue His agenda of spreading the good news of His gospel of salvation and eternal life.  

Anyway, Bruh Paul, as always, with his practical mind, offers us a practical avenue to help us accomplish our spiritual goal of knowing Christ. He continues in his letter to the Philippians.: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (laid hold of perfection): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth (forward) unto those things which are before (ahead). I press toward the mark (goal) for the prize of the high (upward) calling of God in Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Now, that’s how we should also be in the fight to know Christ. None of us are perfect, have attained maturity in the things of Christ, but we cannot move forward unless and until we let go of the baggage we’ve accumulated in our past life. According to the scholars, when Bruh Paul talks about ‘Those things which are behind,’ he’s referring to both his religious credentials (vs.5-6), now counted as “loss” (vs. 7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (vs. 10), he refuses to let past guilt put him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster.’ 

And the same goes for us to day friends. Hanging on to our past guilt, or resting on our laurels from past achievements will inhibit us from moving forward in our objective or the ‘mark’ of getting to know Christ more fully. So those are things we desperately need to work on, especially in these turbulent times when we need our faith to be strong, and to grow stronger as the days seem to get progressively more evil and lawless. 

And when we press on towards that ‘mark,’ with conscious purpose and perseverance, we will eventually win the ‘prize.’ The scholars tell us that’s ‘the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. And The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my fellow saints, that is a major purpose of our earthly life, to become like Christ. Remember God’s intention as written by Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:29) 

Yes friends, from the very beginning, the Father dreamed of, imagined a household of children that all resembled His first-born Son, Jesus Christ! But that doesn’t come automatically, we have to work at it, seriously and with perseverance, for the enemy is always there nipping at our heels, playing games and tricks with our minds, trying to divert us from that awesome goal of becoming like Christ. But we do have the tools to fight him off, we just have to learn how to use them, then put that knowledge into action. 

And for those of us who are sincerely moving along those lines, let’s go home now declaring, (wow!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock stock and barrel. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

Now, let’s go out and action those words, share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…there’s no better commendation…than to hear Christ say…well done my good and faithful servant… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 November 2022 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.       I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.

Up and at ‘em friends! It’s Monday, no time to waste lollygagging or pussyfooting, for our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ is already out on the battlefield ready to engage the enemy. That means our presence is absolutely necessary so the battle can be enjoined, for no wise General will go into combat without all His troops around Him. And if there’s one thing of which we are very certain it’s that our General, Jesus Christ is wise, exceptionally so!. Therefore, let’s get ourselves together this Monday morning and enthusiastically join the fray in the work world, and fight tooth and nail on Jesus’ behalf as good soldiers are expected to. 

Yes friends, it’s a new work week and Jesus desperately needs our help to make this world a better place, since He can’t do it all on His lonesome. He is depending on us to be good, reliable agents and ambassadors for His kingdom, thus necessitating raising the level of our involvement against the enemy. In other words, increasing our saltiness, our good and faithful actions and cleaning our lampshades so that our lights will shine brightly in a darkened world.

 It’s of the utmost importance that we fight a good fight. Like Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy in his last testament, prior to his death: ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-7) And that’s the kind of sincere statement we must be able to make at the end of our earthly journey, otherwise our sojourn here would have been a complete waste of time, of absolutely no use to Jesus’ kingdom. 

Now let’s consider a couple of other scriptures where Bruh Paul invokes the idea of life being a race and a fight for Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote thus: ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate in all things (has self-control). 

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air. But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’  (1 Cor. 9:24-27) 

You see my fellow believers this race we run for Christ and the fight we enjoin on His behalf is serious business. It calls for strenuous training and a high level of self-discipline, otherwise we are liable to be disqualified at the end, and not win that incorruptible crown. And it’s ever so important to achieve that crown. 

As Bruh Paul explains to Timothy. ‘Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:8) Now, if we want that crown of righteousness at the end, then we have to pull up our socks right now and sincerely work towards it. 

And these other verses of scripture show us how serious Bruh Paul was in his commitment to Christ. He wrote the church at Philippi: ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.’ (Phil. 3:10) Ah yes! Bruh Paul wants to personally know Christ, to experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings and thus conform to His death.’ Now that’s the kind of enthusiasm we too ought to show as believers in and followers of Christ. 

And later on, Bruh Paul emphasizes: ‘Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended (arrived): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Wow! We should be that enamoured of Christ! To forget our past achievements and success and keep reaching forward for the things of the future, in particular reaching the mark of knowing Christ, and the prize, the joyful satisfaction found in that attainment, as well as the ‘divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’  

So, having said all of that, how are we going to handle this new work week eh? I hope in a manner that will bring honour and glory to God through Christ Jesus. And there’s no better way to begin than with prayer. Altogether then, let’s confidently offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to the throne of grace, seeking mercy down here on earth. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now my fellow saints, let’s get out there and make big waves for Christ! Much LOVE!

…salvation is free…but heavenly rewards call for earthly sacrifices… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ