September 4, 2016
READ: Philippians 3:12-17
Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example (v.17).
“What will you be like as a Christian 10 years from now?” asked Billy Graham of the Urbana conference attendees in 1984. “Many will be walking with Christ and serving Him in various capacities in the world, but for others there will be tragedy because 10 years from now they will have lost their burning zeal and love for Christ. Not necessarily because they wanted to or because they set their hearts in rebellion against God’s will, but because they set their life by the world’s agenda.”
How would we answer Graham’s question? What would our family, friends, or spiritual mentors say when asked what we’ll be like in 10 years?
It’s been said that it’s the set of the sail, not the winds, that determines the final destination of a ship. Similarly, our future in Jesus is affected by what we focus on today. Are we still striving to love and serve God? Do our decisions and schedules reflect our pursuit? Do we base our agenda on Jesus and what He provides—seeking to live out behaviors and actions that honor Him?
In Philippians 3, the apostle Paul revealed that he had set his sail “to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (v.14). He did so by pursuing greater knowledge of Jesus, intimacy with Him, conformity to His ways, and living a holy—set apart—life. He refused to allow past failings and present distractions to knock him off course.
What will life be like for us in 10 years? In our jobs—and all of life—may we live out Jesus’ kingdom priorities as the Holy Spirit empowers us. And as we put into practice the wisdom revealed in Scripture, the Spirit will provide all we need to serve God faithfully to the end.
—Poh Fang Chia
365-day plan: Luke 20:20-40
Read Jude 1:20-25 and consider what it means to persevere our faith.
What course adjustments should you consider making to sail more purposefully for Jesus? How has God equipped you to continue living faithfully for Him?