“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”
My wife and I just celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary (woohoo!!). We both just realized that we’ve spent more than half of our lives together and that we’ve been married to each other longer than we lived in our homes with our parents and our siblings. One thing that marriage has taught us about ourselves is that we can be very selfish people, but we also learned that we must daily die to our flesh and to live in Christ and for Christ. That’s the only reason why our marriage has been successful, because Jesus has been the center of our marriage the entire time. He was the center of our marriage when our first child was born and we knew absolutely nothing about raising children! He was the center of our marriage when our second child was born and we still knew nothing about raising kids. He was the center of our marriage when, knowing nothing about business, I quit my job of 15 years and we invested in a business, losing all our savings and had a huge debt to pay. He was the center of our marriage when God called us into full time ministry and we knew absolutely nothing about what all of that meant and what it would mean to our children. He was the center of our marriage when our youngest daughter was hit by a car and we didn’t know if she’d survive (praise God she did). And now as we are entering a new season, a new beginning in a sense, and Jesus is still in the center.
Life has many ups and downs, twists and turns, kind of like a roller coaster. Some of us just really want the ride to end—the prize is having the bar release and putting our feet on firm foundation as quickly as possible. Others want the ride to go on longer, we love the twists and turns and the ups and downs—but even with that, there’s a prize at the end. However you view your life, we all have a goal and a hope, and the prize is everlasting life with Jesus at the Center. If Jesus is the Center of your life on earth, He will be the Center of your Eternal Life in heaven.
According to the inspired writer of Philippians (Paul), we all must press on… Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus! Twists and turns, ups and downs, they can be fun and they can be scary, but with Jesus in the Center, we have the promise of something so much more marvelous than this life can ever offer, we have the promise of eternity with Christ! That’s better than any roller coaster, better than any lucrative business, and better than the American Dream. It’s HOPE when we are struggling and all we want to do is get off the ride. But what do we have to do? We must PRESS ON TOWARD THE GOAL! Compared to Eternity with Christ, this life is just a blink! It’ll be over before we know it. Let’s press on toward the upward call of Christ on our lives—and while we are waiting, enjoy the ride.