One of my favorite television programs is The Amazing Race. This reality show takes up to a dozen couples (people in pre-existing relationships) and places them in a foreign country where they race, via trains, buses, cabs, bikes, and feet, from one point to the next, gaining instructions for the next challenge. The goal is to get to the designated finishing point before everyone else. The last couple to make it to each finishing point is eliminated. And the couple who wins the race receives one million dollars. Paul said that he was in a race too. He presented this word picture in Philippians 3. The apostle admitted that he had not fully developed as a Christian and that there was room for improvement in his walk with Jesus (Philippians 3:12). He was in a race, making progress, racing toward the finish line of being conformed to the image of Jesus and having perfect fellowship with Him forever. As he ran the race, Paul didn't allow his past failures and successes to prevent him from making progress. He didn't let his past failures make him feel guilty or his present successes make him complacent. He didn't look back, but he moved forward despite his failures because he knew that Jesus had forgiven him (Philippians 3:13).
As believers in Jesus, we're also running a race. We're in process, striving to make progress in our spiritual life. If we want to make it to the finish line, we must be in a constant state of growth in Christ. We must also forget the past and focus on the future. We can move forward despite our failures, knowing that we have been forgiven.
We're racing, not for a million dollars, but for the ultimate prize of being more like Jesus. Let's "press on to reach the end of the race" (v.14).
--Marvin Williams, Our Daily Journey
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