Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
October 9 Scripture Selection: Philippians 3
Food for Thought: Phil. 3:12-15
What a life the apostle Paul led! Before his conversion and consequent name change, Paul was an elite at the top of the religious line. He had everything to boast about (vs. 4-6), and then later much to be ashamed of as he had zealously and mercilessly persecuted the believers in Christ, men, women, and children alike. How could he live with himself knowing that he had persecuted the very people that formed the Body of Christ and were really his brothers and sisters? And how could he deal with all that in his heart now that he understood clearly Who Jesus is and that all his high position and prior successes meant nothing? (Talk about an identity crisis!)
Praise God, the Holy Spirit gave him the answer and led him to a new realization. Paul, by the Holy Spirit, came to this conclusion: “I haven’t arrived to perfection yet, but I am getting there. This one thing I do: I forget the past (the things that I might boast about and the things that cause me shame) and keep reaching for that which lies ahead (paraphrased vs 12-15).” In other words, our identity is not in what we have done, good or bad, but in Christ and what He has done, and knowing that frees (vs. 7-10).
Paul advised the believers, “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you (vs. 15).” We can trust that the Holy Spirit will speak to us about adjustments in our thinking. He continues in verse 16 encouraging everyone to “walk by the same rule” and “be of the same mind.”
What a relief! Our walk with the Lord does not depend on our own achievements, and we are not rejected or disqualified based on our failures and regrets, no matter how great they are. (“There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Rom. 8:1)) Those things are passed away when we come to Christ, and all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17). We can forget the past and keep looking ahead.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God…)
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):