“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13, 14.
Suggested reading – Philippians 4:6-9.
As we enter the New Year 2011, we should have a desire to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and live our lives to glorify the Saviour. The best way to assure a successful year of service in the Christian life this year is to set new goals. Paul outlines clearly for us the steps we need to take in order to set our goals and see God work in our lives.
First, he said, “forgetting those things which are behind.” Whatever happened in 2010 is now behind us, and it would be a mistake to dwell upon it. Even if you did something wrong and you asked the Lord to forgive you of your sin. He promises to give forgiveness. I John 1:9. If we dwell on past failures it will do nothing but pull us down and kill our service for Him.
Second, he said, “and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” This simply means to decide on the goals and keep them before you daily.
Thirdly, he said, “I press toward the mark (or goal). We should not just set the goals, but press and strive daily to achieve them by God’s grace and power.
The following are five suggested goals that would be good for any Christian to strive to achieve.
- Set a goal to pray everyday. Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” The Lord wants us to talk to Him daily and share our desires and needs with Him.
- Set a goal to have clear thinking and a clean mind. Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The best way to keep our mind right is by allowing the Word of God to clean it through daily reading.
- Set a goal to know Jesus in a personal way. Philippians 3:10, “That I may know know him, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” We must spend more time with Jesus as we meditate on the Word of God.
- Set a goal to have the right kind of friends and to be a right kind of friend. Philippians 3:17, “Brethren, be followers of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example.” We need to follow the people who follow Christ and be the right influence on our friends.
- Set a goal to be a witness for Christ. Philippians 1:20, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.” Let us allow Christ to shine out through our lives as we through His power, tell others of His saving grace.