In case you missed it last week, I’ve decided – as more of a personal accountability factor than anything else – to share my thoughts from my personal Bible study once a week. This is just a means of holding myself accountable to my daily Bible study and possibly opening up some good discussion. It’s not meant as a teaching tool by any means, as I am far from an expert theologian.
photo credit demibrooke on flickr
Scripture: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14
Observation: Paul had made his share of mistakes in his life – big ones. He had persecuted and killed Christians in the name of his faith. Now, as a Christian himself, Paul has realized his mistakes.
While many people would wallow in their guilt and shame, Paul refuses to let his sin and past mistakes hinder his relationship with Christ or derail his ministry. He realizes that he can’t change the past; all he can do is live fully for Christ in the present.
Application: We all have a past. We all have sin in our lives that haunts and shames us. Too often, Satan tries to trap me in his lies and tell me that my sin has created an impossible chasm between Christ and I and that Christ surely can’t forgive my willful sins.
However, if I dwell on the sin and let it keep me from a deep and meaningful relationship with Christ or allow it to prevent me from serving Him and fully living for Him, sin has won.
Christ didn’t die on the cross for me just so I would turn around and let sin have victory over my life. He died to give me victory over sin. Whatever my past, God doesn’t see me through the veil of my sin or judge me on my own efforts or merits, which could never be enough.
He sees me through the veil of the blood of Christ. He sees me as a spotless, new creation and He loves me as a dearly loved child. So does Christ and that’s Who I should live for. That relationship is more important that my sins – past, present, or future. That relationship is more important that my shortcomings and self-doubt. That relationship is the prize for which I should strive.
Prayer: Lord, help me to let go of any past or present sin that keeps me from You. Convict me of sin from which I need to repent, then, after I have asked Your forgiveness and have repented, help me to let it go. Don’t allow Satan to keep me tangled up and ensnared in sin that You have already forgotten.
Help me to remember that my relationship with You is the prize for which I should always be striving. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
What is Christ teaching you this week?