I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. (Philippians 3:7 - 9, NLT).
This is the call to race: the review, in light of Jesus Christ, of all we were given by our fore-parents; of our earthly accomplishments and the conclusion that they are nothing. In the darkness, their sheer size and gilded splendor made them seem worth grasping.
We proudly wore letters behind our names, name-dropped to position ourselves a tier above the rest in conversation, gave up food, drink and sleep for the "prized" and most world-lauded seat and reran (in our minds) our past trophy validated victories. But, when the Light appeared, we saw our foolishness in grasping these manmade and man-approved things. When the Light came, we saw we were darkness and that darkness begged for the Light. It begged for the light of Jesus Christ. (John 1:9 - 14).
And we did not find ourselves spurned. Instead, the Light revealed and invited. We found the kindness of God inviting us to take hold of what would never put us to shame. That what was a who-a capital WHO: Jesus. And to us was left to decide: darkness or Light; death or Life; our poor efforts or His perfect righteousness?
At our yes our death grip on worldly trinkets was slackened by Resurrection Life and we were caught up in Jesus's life giving and sustaining embrace. To us was given a place in the race.
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[b] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12 - 14, NLT).
In the race we are set in through faith in Jesus Christ, the day-to-day pace is set by day-to-day obedience. It is set by a diligent surrender. it is set by a heart declaration: "Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." (Luke 22: 42, NLT).
This is our dying. And the journey from our will to entering His, is paved with various sufferings. But, we are not discouraged, for we are not tempted beyond what we can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13). We are mightily helped. (Philippians 2: 13 and 2 Timothy 1:7). We endure for the sake of the prize.
We have seen Him and count the knowledge of Him and His sweet fellowship, worth it. So we press. We make up our minds to exert force in the direction of Jesus. He is our North Star. We make up our minds to surrender the travail by might, for the joy and peace of riding the Holy Spirit's wind.
We begun the journey because of God's kindness and we will press on on account of it. We are, in Him, being built up into what He has had in mind since Genesis 1:26. Efficacy of His finished work on the cross is being worked out, by His Holy Spirit through our vessels of clay, unto perfection. (Philippians 1:6). We will be unto Him, a people chosen, royal and holy. (1 Peter 2:9). Hallelujah!
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God through seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. We are confident that in living the truth by His Holy Spirit we will be transformed into women who bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body-women who are empowered to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God's Word, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture readings.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and. founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.