Reading: Philippians 3.12-16
The New Year has begun.
Did you spend any time reflecting on the past year and assessing your goals for the year to come?
Did you make any resolutions?
How many have you already broken?
I had a friend who intentionally avoided that exercise. He said, “Every time I do it, it’s just deja vu all over again. I always seem to be making the same resolutions with the same old outcomes.”
I had another friend who went to the other extreme. His resolutions were revolutions. If he ever kept them, his life would be radically altered. The problem is that his intentions were to give intentionality merely lip service. He rarely had a game plan or a strategy. Nothing really changed.
Paul, sitting in an unlikely place – prison, made a resolution. It’s recorded in Philippians 3.12-14.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
But he also had a strategy. It went something like this:
A REALISTIC ASSESSMENT OF THE PRESENT
A REMEMBERING OF OUR PURPOSE
A RELEASING OF THE PAST
A REFUSAL TO RETREAT
A RESOLVE TO PRESS ON
Forward progress leading to obtaining the prize. A great outcome of a worthy New Year’s Resolution for any Christ follower. Is that what you are planning for in 2011?
(C) 2011 by Stephen L Dunn. All rights reserved.
This devotional is a summary of a message I will preach at the Church of God of Landisville on Sunday, January 9, 2011.