Straining Toward the Goal
Philippians 3:12-21

Today’s passage continues with Paul’s referring to his righteousness through faith in Christ Jesus. Earlier in this same chapter, he reminds his audience that historically his confidence was in himself, his status, his heritage, and his zeal.

Now, Paul has made a decision to stop looking back, to stop going over and over in his mind what “used to be.” He chose to stop letting pride, guilt, or shame determine a stilted ineffective future, and has started to “strain,” that is, “to seriously work hard at” this new life of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Additionally, he chose “To keep his mind set on him who will transform our earthly body to be like his glorious body.”

I think we, too, allow our minds to continue replaying those things for which we are ashamed. I’m reminded occasionally of a period of time when I had fallen flat on my face, spiritually, and wasn’t sure if I was going to get up. It’s painful, knowing that I hurt others at that time, but in the remembering, I am able to thank the Lord for picking me up, washing me off and planting me firmly in a forward direction. Like Paul, I am not yet perfect, but I press on to make His righteousness my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own.

Stepping Out in Lent – Years ago, when my husband, two children, and I returned after 4 years in Cameroon, Africa, the customs officer looked at us and said, “Welcome home” and that felt so good. As believers, our citizenship is in heaven, and we await the Savior who will transform our bodies to live eternally with Him. I encourage you to keep the goal in focus and anticipate hearing Our Savior say, “Welcome Home.”

Author – Kay Mayo is married to Ken and mother to September Dawn and Wayne & Heather Mayo. She has 6 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. She is a farm girl from Havana. Kay and Ken have just retired after almost 40 years with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She loves volunteering with the mission outreach ministries of St. Peter’s.