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Dear Paul

Dear Paul

Words of Faith 8-30-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Philippians 3

[13] 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, [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


     Dear Paul,


     Let me get this straight.  You were a Hebrew of Hebrews and perfected when it came to the law, but you met Jesus on the road to Damascus while you were going to persecute Christians?  You were blind for three days and then miraculously healed?

     When you started your ministry, you carried the Gospel to the Gentiles and founded churches all across Asia minor?  You were miraculously saved from violence and freed from prison by earthquake?  You are now in a Roman jail witnessing to the guards and seeing them come to Christ?

      Your life has been a whirlwind of God's Spirit and call, and YOU do not consider that you have taken hold of what Jesus has for you?  Oh my. Paul, I have to tell you that most of us, if we could claim just one of the adventures you have under your belt, we would settle back and tell the story for decades to come. 

       Not you. You talk about things that don't come easy: FORGETTING, STRAINING, PRESSING — forgetting what is behind?  I understand forgetting about my failures, but Paul, I really like to talk about the victories and past Christian achievements. After all, I have accomplished some great things as a Christian. Are you saying that is just as bad? Just as paralyzing? 

       Are you saying that no matter how great the victory or how devastating the defeat we must forget what is behind because it will hold us up? Our accomplishments AND our mistakes can snare us and keep us from the prize? 

      But how do we "forget"?  Doesn't that Greek word mean to "lose by neglect?”  Okay, if I neglect in my thoughts both the accomplishments and the mistakes of the past, I can "strain toward what is ahead."  I think that Greek word means "to stretch." 

       So, I may not be there yet.  But when I am on God's path, I am sure to be stretched?  Then I can press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus? 

      That word means "to pursue." So you are saying I need to "pursue" God's best in my life?  That sounds like a lifetime pursuit.  Forgetting by neglect, stretching with the Spirit, pursuing His goal.  Okay Paul. Got it.  Thanks.


     Lord, keep my eyes off of my past.  The mistakes that cause me to despair and the accomplishments that puff me up.  Stretch me today as I pursue the prize for which You have called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Amen.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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