(Philippians 3:14) “I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” (NLT)
Every Christian hopes to gain that final reward of spending eternity in heaven. The question is, “How do we obtain, or pursue, this prize?” Is heaven our goal, or our reward? This verse clearly states that heaven is the reward, not the goal, for accomplishing our mission.
If you were to ask an athlete to state his/her goal while training to compete in the Olympics, it is doubtful that they would simply state, “To win the gold.” Their goal is to be the best. And, the reward for being the best is to receive the gold!
How do you receive your gold medal? Or, to parallel scripture, how do you receive the victor’s crown?
Paul identifies this just a few verses prior: (Philippians 3:8-9) “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.” (NLT)
The way to pursue the prize is simply this: to come into such a unity with Him that our submission, to His will, becomes as natural as it is for our hand to respond to its direction from the mind. There is only one “best” – the only way to become the “best” Christian is to become one with Him.
For one who is seeking to know Him, the Lord said in Luke 11:9, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real, and that He rewards everyone who searches for Him.” (CEV) First, you must believe that He exists – that “God is real” – then accept the fact that God loves you. Yes… you… and me…
Is there peace in your life? Or, do you worry about what tomorrow may offer you? Jesus came to earth to be our “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). He will give you that peace if you will only allow yourself to believe in Him. However, this does not mean that you will live a problem-free life. Verse 4 of Psalm 23 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me.” He is our comfort in the time of trouble! Verse 5 of that same chapter goes on to talk of our enemies, but it also tells that He – the Lord – is providing for us, covering us with His anointing. Peace comes from knowing that, in the midst of trouble, He is there.
If you don’t know Him, we encourage you to begin your pursuit. Hebrews 4:9-16 says, “But God has promised us a Sabbath when we will rest, even though it has not yet come. On that day God’s people will rest form their work, just as God rested from His work. We should do our best to enter that place of rest, so that none of us will disobey and miss going there, as they did. What God has said isn’t only alive and active! It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts. Nothing is hidden from God! He sees through everything, and we will have to tell him the truth. We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, and He is Jesus the son of God…Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because He was tempted in every way that we are. But He did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.” (CEV)
If you seek Him, you will surely find Him, and once you do, the Bible promises that He will never leave you or forsake you. Imagine a Savior who will forgive you, a lifelong Friend who will never leave, Someone who is always ready to forgive you… in this present world, these are rare things indeed. Yet, this is exactly what God can, and will, be to you – if you let Him.
We have provided information that will help you start your journey – simply visit the menu at left to get started. Each topic has been written on a sixth-grade level simply to provide understanding to both adults and children, no matter who may be seeking Him. Should you desire more information, please – do not hesitate to contact us.
If, after studying our lessons, you meet Him for the first very time, we would love to hear from you!
Christ Jesus Bible pursue Olympics Savior peace forgive forgiveness Hebrews Isaiah Philippians Paul