December 11, 2020
New River District-Administrative Assistant
Stevens Creek United Methodist Church
Philippians 3:12-1612 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. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
DevotionWhen I first began to read the Bible in earnest, it was quite enjoyable for me to run across scripture that I was so sure others I knew just needed to see! My mother-in-law or my husband or a friend needed to read this or that particular scripture. I was so ready to point out what others needed to clean up in their spiritual lives. I will always remember when that small quiet voice came to me and asked, “Should you not be reading these scriptures in relation to yourself?” The reading of my Bible became quite a bit more serious at that point. Then began my journey of finding out what the Word was saying to me, what I needed to hear and see. God was capable of working on the other people and did not need my help in the way I was seeking to do.
We have all seen and felt that awesome ministry of a mature Christian: the measured, quiet, warm presence of a mature Christian; the mature Christian who reaches out so quietly and humbly to serve others, never for show, only wanting to introduce Jesus to another, seeking to serve a need, to uplift and show the light of Jesus through a smile or a kind healing word or deed; the mature Christian who is able to help bring about life-changing moments for people by answering the call of our Lord. We so vividly remember these mature Christians by their likeness to our Christ Jesus.
We have also seen and felt the sting of an immature Christian in ministry: the immature Christian quick to find fault with everyone; the Christian who blindly fails to see and take the time to seek God in all things, especially the issues of contention. The Apostle Paul tells us in verse 15, “And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”
We so enjoy those moments when we can bask in the Lord’s light through the mature Christians we have been honored to know. We must also be ready to bend a knee and lift a prayer for that immature Christian who has been put in our path and just does not quite understand they must become a willing vessel through which the Lord works. As the Apostle Paul says, we must continually strive and press on to that goal to be in perfection with our Christ Jesus! Leading by mature example to encourage all to press on to that goal of perfection with our Christ Jesus!