“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to that lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the heavenly prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phillippians 3:13-14)
It seems everyone looks forward to a new year, especially after the year we just had. Many make resolutions to do better this new year, but unfortunately, most people quickly fall back into their old habits and forget what they had resolved to do to improve.
As Christ followers we need to regularly take stock of how we are living, and the beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to do this. Paul said that he was not going to let his past failures or successes control the way he lived—forgetting the past does not mean we do not remember it happened, but looking past it, we strive to reach ahead and are determined to live in ways that will please the Lord.
That should make us ask, how can we please the Lord this coming year? “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1). But how can we imitate God? Look what this verse tells us. “Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).
We are called to love like God. Think about what that means in your everyday life. It means that we need to treat those around us as God does. “Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted, compassionate, understanding, forgiving one another readily and freely, just as God in Christ also forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Question: What goals have you set for this year? How do your goals line up with God’s call to love one another?
Challenge: Take time today to read and meditate on Ephesians 4 and 5. Look for terms like “walk,” “call” and use these words to help you to “lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.”
Prayer: Thank You Lord for all You have done for me, help me to imitate You this year and live a life that is pleasing to You.
Jack Hughes, Chapel Leader -- Phillies Spring Training