The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

12/31/2007

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Striving Towards Christ


"Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining for what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ" (Phil. 3:13-14).

In Yosemite National Park there is a 3,600 foot rock formation called El Capitan. Its southeast side was once considered "unclimbable." Even today, it challenges the most skillfull mountain climbers. The first two men who scaled this side of El Capitan, set a goal of twelve days to complete the ascent. With expectancy they began their climb. Often they were delayed. It was time-consuming to drive the pitons into the cracks in the wall by which they climbed up its steep face. They found only two ledges on which they could stand. Winds, rains, and freezing temperatures slowed them down, prolonging their climb to thirty-one days.

At last their goal was reached. Imagine the excitement and thrill of their success when they finally reached the top of the mountain. When asked to describe their feelings upon taking that last step to the top, they said that they found it "a tremendous emotional fulfillment."<.br>

The apostle Paul experienced this challenge of climbing upward and onward in his Christian life. What burned within him was the desire to know Christ more personally and intimately. He said, "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for who's sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Phil. 3:8). His life was directed toward the fulfillment of this goal. Paul often compared the Christian life to a race. With his eyes steadily set on the goal, he realized that he had not yet reached the finish line, he was still running the race. "I haven't taken hold of it yet."

"I press on toward the goal."

Paul's life had this one all-absorbing purpose--- "This one thing I do."

Recognizing his race was not finished, he knew he must strip off everything that would hinder form accomplishing God's purpose for him. He aimed straight for the goal. As we are about to enter a new year, we can look forward to it with great expectancy. Christ is our goal. God desires that we "Grow in grace, and in the knowlege of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18)

Lets turn our eyes away from the past and look forward with anticipation to a new year, fresh from God's hand to us. May our prayer for the new year be to, "To run in such a way that we will win." and "Run in such a way that is not without aim." (1 Cor. 9: 24, 26) Lets become more like the Lord and get closer to Him...

Have a wonderful New Years Eve... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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