Philippians 3 The Message (MSG)
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
My one word for this year is FOCUS. These past 4 years I had a lot of focus on my physical self by working out 5-6 times a week. After I injured my shoulder in April of last year, I lost my focus on working out and have had trouble getting back into it since I had surgery last November. Needless to say, I am dealing with an internal battle on how to regain my focus and how to maintain it. This has also brought me here today and this study – if I cannot stay focused on self, how can I stay focused on Christ? With all that goes into each of our lives on a daily basis we are told to “run our race” with our eyes focused on Christ.
3 Simple Steps to Find Your Focus:
- Find your Purpose – What is your purpose in your life today? What is your reason for living? Everything that God has created has a primary purpose, it has a reason for existence and for anyone or anything to be successful, it must fulfill that purpose. Have you written down your purpose?
- Forget the Past – 2 things:
Face the Present – It’s easy to live in the past and dream about the future, but what we do in the Present is the real challenge. Why is that? Some say that we can no longer allow ourselves the luxury of saying, “Well one of the days I’ll do something about my relationship to God, spending more time with my family, or taking better control of my health. By facing the present means that we choose to live life as it comes to us day by day. Not in the past, not in the future, but right here and now. God does not want us to waste our lives away. He wants us to “seize the moment” and live every day of our lives on purpose. What is going to be your plan to face the Present and be your reason for living?
- Forgetting the Bad – Many of us have a past that we would like to forget. For some, that past controls their present. There is nothing that we can do to change what is unchangeable. The only thing that we can do is to forget and move on. How do we go about doing that because it is easier said than done?
- Remember the Good things in our Past, but stop living for them – Many of us wish for the good times in the past to be our present. Whether it was what you did in high school or college, as a young husband/father, or even earlier in your career, how do we prevent spending the rest of our lives trying to relive the past?
One thing we can know for certain is this, is that, “God never consults your past to determine your future.”