What Is Ahead
Date: September 12, 2023
I use the BLESS method every morning for my devotional.
B - Bible Verse
L - Listen for God's Voice and pray
E - Explore the History and meaning
S - Study the Key Words or Phrases
S - Summarize and Share
You can read more about it by going to: What is a Faith Journal?
B - Bible Verse: "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." - Philippians 3:13 (NIV)
L - Listen for God's Word and pray: Heavenly Father, as I reflect on this verse, help me to focus on the journey ahead rather than dwelling on past mistakes and regrets. Guide me in the path of righteousness and grant me the strength to press forward with purpose and determination. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
E - Explore the History and Meaning: The author of this verse is the apostle Paul, and he wrote it as part of his letter to the Philippians while he was imprisoned. In this letter, Paul reflects on his own journey of faith and encourages the Philippians to press on toward the goal of knowing Christ. He emphasizes the importance of letting go of the past, including past sins and accomplishments and focusing on the future. In the verses following this one, He uses the imagery of a runner straining toward the finish line, illustrating the need for perseverance and dedication in the Christian walk. The verse encourages us to have a forward-looking perspective in our faith journey, always seeking to grow closer to Christ.
S - Study the Key Words or Phrases:
"Forgetting what is behind": This phrase signifies the need to release past failures and achievements, allowing room for personal growth.
"Straining toward what is ahead": It highlights the determination and effort required to pursue spiritual growth and a deeper relationship with Christ.
S - Summarize and Share:
Philippians 3:13 has been echoing in my heart lately. It's like a gentle reminder from Paul to leave behind the baggage of the past and focus on the incredible journey ahead with Christ.
Life, as we know it, can be a rollercoaster ride filled with ups and downs. And I'll be honest, there have been moments when I've dwelled on my past mistakes, letting them weigh me down. But this verse encourages me, and I hope it does the same for you.
Paul's words paint a vivid picture of a runner straining toward the finish line. That image speaks volumes to me. It's about perseverance, about putting one foot in front of the other, and about the determination to grow closer to Christ no matter what.
I'm learning to let go of those things that hold me back – regrets, missed opportunities, even past achievements that might make me complacent. Instead, I'm focusing on this incredible journey of faith, cherishing every step of it. And the best part? Christ is right there with us, guiding us forward.
So, here's my personal challenge, and I'd love for you to join me in it: Let's take a moment today to release something from our past that's been tugging at our hearts. It might be a regret, a grudge, or even an old mindset. Let's free ourselves from it and, with joyful hearts, keep pressing on toward the extraordinary adventure that awaits us with Jesus by our side.
What's something from your past that you're ready to leave behind as you journey forward with Christ?
4 Bible Cross References:
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV): "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV): "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
Proverbs 4:25-27 (NIV): "Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV): "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."