Through the Bible in 90 days: Day 84 (& 83!)
Read: Galatians 3:26-6:18; Ephesians; Colossians; 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
Verse that stood out: 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
I don't know what happened yesterday. I got up. I actually read the day's reading. Then got going with kids and football games and never made it back to blog. Never even thought about it really. Eighty-two days of doing something. You'd think it would be quite the habit - and then I just forgot. Oh, well. The blogging everyday has been a good discipline, but it's been more difficult than I thought. Weekend posts have definitely been a little weak, anyway. I may have to do an extra post to make up for the missed one later in the week. The readings end on Thursday, so I have a few extra days before the final sermon in this series.
As to today's reading (actually yesterday's), I've always loved Paul's deep sense of purpose in the book of Philippians. All that forgetting what's behind, pressing on towards what's ahead. His words remind me that as Christians, we are to be a forward looking people (not just looking forward to finishing with our reading the Bible through!). We're to have our eyes pointed forward towards God's kingdom come, always on the lookout for the places and ways God's kingdom is breaking into the world and our lives today.
We believe his coming is a sure thing, so we can go ahead and live full out attempting to lay hold of that for which Christ has already laid hold of us. Think of anytime a special family member has been on their way to visit. How much effort we put forth getting things ready for their coming! Their visit is a grace, a gift. We don't deserve their coming, but their furture arrival inspires us to prepare for their future presence. We don't do this so that we can earn their visit, but so that we may honor their coming. When we are especially excited by a future visit, say in the ancipation of a newborn's arrival, our preparations are a kind of reaching forward into the future in an attempt to lay hold of their visit which is to come.
In much the same way we live today in joyful anticipation of Christ's return. Through our lives and our worship we prepare our hearts and this world for his coming. Through our faithfulness we reach into the future to lay hold of that moment when he once and for all, lays hold of us.