Cross Pointe Church

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1800 Satellite Boulevard
Duluth, GA 30097

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Sunday 9:15 AM

Sunday 11:00 AM

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Cross Pointe Blog

Results filtered by “Persistence”

Every Christian's Goal

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“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:14

If Paul already has Jesus through faith, should he still “press on” towards Him as Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians?  Here in verse 14 Paul reiterates that he is pressing on, “toward the goal to win the prize.” 

Isn’t salvation the prize?  Apparently it is not.  In fact, salvation is not the goal or the prize.  Salvation is what comes as a result of pursuing the prize.  The prize is Christ.  The goal is to know Him.  He is the author, finisher and the subject of our faith.  This perspective changes everything.  If we make salvation or heaven our goal, once our eternity is secured what motivation have we to “press on,” as Paul wrote?  I am not suggesting that Christians shouldn’t long for heaven…quite the opposite is true.  We should long for heaven because it is there that we will finally see Jesus face to face. 

Paul’s goal was to know Christ and his prize was to be with Him forever.  Matthew Henry once said, “Wherever there is true grace, there is a desire for more grace.”  We run hard after Christ in order to know Him more.  Such desire and pursuit proves that we have experienced His true saving grace.  We “press on” because God has adopted us as His own children.  What child doesn’t want to know His earthly father?  It delights a son to commune with his father.  How much more, then, should it delight us to grow in relationship with our perfect Heavenly Father?

How, then, do we run hard after Jesus?  First, by forgetting what is behind.  This doesn’t mean that we never look back.  It means that we should only look back only for the sake of pressing forward.  Then, we strain towards what is ahead.  We must set our hearts on the True Goal and then order all else around Him instead of squeezing Him in to an already-full calendar. 

None of this is possible without an attitude of dissatisfaction.  Paul began this passage by acknowledging that he had not “arrived” spiritually.  Despite the mighty ways God was using him, the souls he had seen converted, the churches he had planted or his suffering for the sake of the gospel, he wanted more…more Jesus.  What about you?  Are you comfortable where you are, or does your heart long to know Him more? 

Father, Please develop a holy dissatisfaction in my soul that drives me to chase after Your Son.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Pressing On

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Jesus is not part of a Christian’s life – He is the Christian’s life.  There is a huge difference in the two.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”  Philippians 3:12

We have entered the season of resolutions, goals, and new strategies and plans.  Every church building and gym in America will likely be full for the next few weeks.  Fresh starts feel good, don’t they?  But how much lasting change will take place in the coming year?  How many goals will be reached or even steadfastly pursued? Most of us are quite good at starting…but finishing is all that counts.  Somewhere between the starting gun and the finish line, the newness wears off and reality sets in and it is so easy to give up. 

Is your walk with Christ any different?  I hope so! A relationship with the God of the universe should not be one of many priorities.  He is not a slot on a calendar or an item on a to-do list. Following Him does not take place in a couple of hours each Sunday.  Jesus is not part of a Christian’s life – He is the Christian’s life.  There is a huge difference in the two.  The Apostle Paul understood this difference.

The phrase Paul used to describe his relationship with Christ was, “I press on.”  This phrase doesn’t merely mean to follow or run, but a heated pursuit.  It means to run after something as if to chase it.  Do you remember playing the game of “Chase” as a child?  Someone always had to be “it.”  That person had to chase someone until he caught him.  In Philippians 3, Paul is declaring himself “it” as he chases after Christ.

What is interesting about this metaphor is that through faith, Paul already “has” Jesus, doesn’t he? So why run so hard after Someone you already believe in and have a relationship with?  What is it Paul is pressing on to take hold of if he is already saved?  I am going to let you ponder that question on your own.  Later this week as we continue in Philippians 3 I think God will answer that question for us.

Are you pressing on after Jesus with all your heart?  Let 2013 be the year that you not only start well, but also finish strong.  Make this the year that you chase after Jesus with full abandon and steadfast faith. 

PRAYER

Holy Father, What peace I have knowing that I don’t have to be perfect, just persistent.  Please help me to press on in You today, through all of the noise, distractions and temptations that surround me.  Draw me nearer to Your heart so that I may glorify Your Name today.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.