Students of Christ
Verse 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
So now that we are focused on what it means to be on the journey with Jesus, what is the destination that He has for us? What is this that we are to strive to take hold of that He already has taken hold of?
Paul knew that knowing Christ was changing his life. We tend to put spiritual leaders on a pedestal forgetting that they are still on the path of growing too. All spiritually healthy Christians are growing. In fact this is a sign of the Holy Spirit indwelling a person, we will see growth in their life. And if we are growing spiritually others will see it in us as well.
This is something that we need to be serious about in our lives. We can’t just take for granted that we will grow spiritually because we claim to be a Christian. Growing spiritually relies on getting to know Christ and His character on a deeper level. This can’t happen if we are complacent about our spiritual life.
Too often we give little to no thought about our spiritual life and health. We know that growth is necessary but to give actual thought to it is another thing entirely. When was the last time we spent more reading the Bible or listening to sermons than we did watching TV, reading a novel, or playing video games? It isn’t that those things are all bad, (although we must be intentional about the kind of content we are giving our time to) but they can sap our time and leave us saying we don’t have time to do things that will help us grow spiritually.
Paul is making the case for the fact that we need to be intentional students of Christ. We are to seek time spent with Him, learning at His feet through Bible reading and prayer. We are to see the need of time spent studying what we read about Jesus and learning what His character requires of us if we are to call ourselves His followers. We need to be honest with ourselves about who we are in Him and how much we are ignoring Him. He was perfect and while we can’t reach that in this life it doesn’t mean we don’t need to strive to be more like Him in character and truth.
Making It Personal
What is your spiritual temperature? What choices in your life prove that? Is God pleased with your choices?
Making It Personal Kids
If your friends spend more time playing with other kids than they do you, does that make you think that they don’t want to be your friend? If you play video games and watch TV more than learning about Jesus, does that mean you love those things more than Jesus? How can you learn more about Jesus?
Father, thank You for the reminder that You should be more important to us. We so easily make idols of other things and that needs to change. Help us put You in first place in our heart and life. In Jesus’ name, amen.