LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
Merry Saturday! Parris Bailey
Phil 3:12 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
You have to hand it to Paul. He tapped into something that kept him during his life or should I say something got a hold of him. God happened to met him on that Damascus Road, that definitely gave him a new outlook. In my home is a 19th Century painting that a dear friend of mine found in France. It’s old, the paint is flaking but if you look real close you will see a man on a reared up horse being blinded by a man surrounded by light. It also shows soldiers trying to shield themselves from the brilliance of the light. Paul said he was apprehended and that started his pursuit to apprehend the very thing that changed him forever. The word apprehend in the Thayer word book is: 1a) to lay hold of so as to make one’ s own, to obtain, attain to, to make ones own, to take into one’ s self, appropriate 1b) to seize upon, take possession of 1b2) in a good sense, of Christ by his holy power and influence laying hold of the human mind and will, in order to prompt and govern it.
Paul would pursue this quest till the day Nero killed him in Rome. If you’ve tasted the grace of God you too will spend the rest of your life reaching for more of it and pressing towards it’s perfection. Paul knew this wouldn’t be attainable till he saw Jesus. Christ laid hold of him and he would spend his life laying hold of the thing that which laid hold of him. With the Olympic games being shown in the next few weeks, we will observe these athletes stretching themselves to win the prize. I never tire finding ways to experience the presence of God in my daily life. Reaching out to the hurting, walking in the park, creating something healthy in the kitchen, reading and worshipping and being around my brothers and sisters. If we don’t watch out we will become entangled, distracted and agitated with the everyday and lose the preciousness of His presence. How serious do you take this joy that has been handed to you? The joy of Christ in you? I feel it becomes very necessary to guard this joy from all other joys and pain, distractions and setbacks. Laying hold takes a daily decision on our part to press further into “this grace that has been given us.” Our heart becomes the central seat of all spiritual soul-strength; to love God with the whole heart is to concentrate the whole inner life on the active contemplation of God, and the desire to do His will. To be satisfied in God becomes our quest that brings glory to Him. I pray you press for the gold, get God and His glory above all else.