Now, The Exciting Future
By Dave Breese
Most of us have now been through a complicated time of personal examination. Businesses have spent millions bringing things up-to-date, especially the computer. Governments, attempting to keep up with things, have read the instructions and millions are still trying to measure up. Yes, the world has been through a period of self-evaluationfrom a Y2K set of questions from big time corporations all the way down to personal analysis. Billions have been spent! The computers have been reprogrammed and the prognosis for the future is beginning to be put to the test. It has been a very interesting, challenging, and expensive set of activities on the part of the global commercial systems.
This is a perfect time, therefore, to remind ourselves of the real goals for which we are supposed to work and that the real results are not for time alone.
The Apostle Paul spoke about this. He said, Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: 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 Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:12-14). In so speaking, Paul left for us some real inspiration and instruction. He said some things that we do well to follow. They include:
1. I dont have it made. Paul, despite his experience and spiritual maturity still realized that he still did not know the complete answers to the questions of life.
2. Therefore, Paul said, I am forgetting the past and I am reaching into the future. Paul refused to make the mistake which is so common today and that is to give the past too much influence. Tradition meant nearly nothing to him, but he realized he must give himself with new enthusiasm and labor to the ministry of the Gospel. We can be sure that Paul awakened each new morning and asked, What can I do for Christ today. Sometime he might also have added that no one has attempted before. Too much tradition can overburden todays thinking. Too many crosses, candles, and somber outfits can ruin the real work of God.
So the Apostle Paul said then, I am going to press toward the great goal and gain the prize of high accomplishment. Notice Paul did not say, I meander toward the mark. I drift toward the mark. I float toward the mark. Rather, the direction of his life and the intensity with which he lived it were very apparent and produced the basis of his lifetime of astonishing accomplishments. Paul also said, Lets all be that way. He called for everyone to think as he did and, therefore, be turned into resolute soldiers for Christ. He called for spiritual initiative and illustrated that by his own living.
Few more sublime goals have ever been stated than Pauls statement, The high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Paul wanted each one of us to arrive at heaven, to receive the highest possible credit for his strategical activity for Christ.
Quite obviously, Paul was aware that the church would do little or nothing in the world if it were simply populated by sleepy Christians who knew nothing of spiritual accomplishment. They are like the person who said, Lord, I will be happy to serve Thee providing, of course, it is in an advisory capacity.
Indeed, if a billion people in todays world are Christians, where are their accomplishments? Oh yes, there is no end to expensive enterprises, educational systems, discussions, and dozens of other pursuits in which Christians take part in the process. However, the accomplishments that only come by evangelism, the preaching of the Word, are difficult to find. It is a very helpful reminder to look further at the words of the Apostle Paul when, a few verses later he said, . . .The Lord is at hand (Phil. 4:5). We are not supposed to think of ourselves, therefore, as serving a distant taskmaster. Not at all, rather, we are distinguished associates of Jesus Christ, who even now, in the days of our flesh, can do so much toward accomplishing heavens purposes. One day, perhaps soon, we shall stand before Christ. May God grant that we shall hear Jesus say, Well done, good and faithful servant,. . .enter thou into the joy of thy Lord (Matt. 25:23). This is the testimony of those who press toward the mark. It is not the words of a meandering church.
Destiny Newsletter continued