DCLM Daily Manna Thursday 15 December 2022

TOPIC: Finishing Strong

Text:  Philippians 3:14-21
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” .

Philippians 3:14

DCLM Daily Manna Thursday 15 December 2022 OUTLINE

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events. The race is run over a gruelling course covering 26 miles, 385 yards. In order to participate, you must have either won a sanctioned marathon elsewhere, or have met a qualifying time in a marathon. Very few of the people who run the race win any monetary reward for their countless hours of training and preparation.

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In today’s passage, Paul, the inspired writer, likened the Christian journey to a race. The metaphor of an athlete is used to drive home the message to the Philippian audience who were familiar with the ancient Olympics at Greece and the sporting events in the old Roman Empire. He reminded the believers of the preparations they must make and the need to endure trials and temptations while still on the journey. He encouraged them to press on to the mark, that is, the finishing line and win the prize for the high calling in Christ.

Running the Christian race and finishing well is not an easy feat. The athletes of this world go through so much personal discipline and preparation before they compete. They are careful of what they eat and the kind of company they keep. They spend long hours at their training facilities to prepare both body and mind for the tasks. Good athletes do not stop to receive applause from the spectators. They are focused and disciplined while on the track.

As believers, we must pray, practice, prepare and pursue the tasks required of heaven-bound saints. As the end of time nears, we must not expect an easy race. Like Paul the apostle, we must put our bodies under control, deny ourselves of all worldly pleasure and run the race that is set before us. We must watch and pray always to avoid falling into temptations and losing our crown. Only those who make it to the finishing line will win the prize.

Starting well is good; finishing strong is better.

Isaiah 56-60

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