I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
SUBJECT - OUR HIGH CALLING
A look at this month's subject scripture, written by the apostle Paul, addresses the one main goal that every Christian is supposed to be striving for, and that is the prize that is set at the end of our walk in this life.
Before I reveal what it is, let's look at the life of Christ.
Christ spent the entire life of His Ministry, doing one thing, and that was pleasing the Father.
If we look at the beginning of His life, which was divinely designed, we will find that He was born, without the sin nature that all of mankind is cursed with.
However, His life as a youth, does reveal something about His character, even at that age. What it revealed is, He spent an excessive amount of time, in the synagogue, listening to, and asking questions of the religious leaders.
So He could learn about the Father. He wanted to know so much about the Father, that He caused His parents to begin worrying about where He was. And when they found Him, and, scolded Him about the problem He was causing them, His only remark was, Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not[don't you know] that I must be about my Father's business?
At that young age, His mind was set, to accomplish one thing, and that was, 'whatever it takes, I want to accomplish the mission that the Father sent Me here to do.' However, because of the relationship that even as a child, He had with His earthly parents, He submitted to their authority, and went back with them.
However, as time went on, He still increased in wisdom, and His knowledge of the Father, and what His mission was to be.
The next time He appears, it is as an adult, getting ready to be baptized, by John the Baptist.
When He comes before John, John tells Him, that He should be baptizing him[John]. But, here, Jesus tells John, something that is key to how strictly Jesus wanted to follow the Father's Plan. He tells John, Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.
Notice Jesus' statement, 'it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.'
He is making it clear, that He wants to accomplish ALL righteousness. He does not want to slack on any part of what the Father wants Him to do. Not one.
Immediately after this, the Holy Spirit, comes down from Heaven and rests on Him, and the voice of the Father from Heaven announces that 'this is My Son,......'
Then, He is led by the Holy Spirit, in to the wilderness, for forty days, where He is to be tempted by the Devil.
We know the story, about how, despite all of the temptations, the Devil threw at Him, He did not give in to him. The Devil tried everything, and Jesus, responded, with the Word of God. After a while, the Devil, gave up, and departed from Him, for a season.
The point I want you to see, is that Jesus, from the time He was a child, sought to learn all He could about God, and then proceeded to do all that God said He needed to do, in order for His plan for mankind's salvation, to be fulfilled. Jesus, followed it all the way to the death.
In everything Jesus did, He was perfect.
That brings us to what is the 'high calling'
that Paul was talking about when he said he was pressing toward.
Well, let's look at something that Jesus said to His followers.
Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
If a Christian wants to know just what his/her calling in Christ is, this
The term Christian, has many meanings. However, they all boil down to one thing, and that is, 'Christ like!'
One person uses the term, 'little Christs.'
Well, a close examination of the life of Christ tells us that He did everything, perfectly. He didn't fail in anything that God called for Him to do. Consequently, we, as His representatives, are called to be just as diligent, and just as studious, and just as powerful, as He was/is.
All of us, want to be, or claim we want to be acceptable in His sight. However, to be acceptable in His sight, we have to be striving to be something that many of these same people claim is not possible, and that is, to be perfect.
Time and again, when facing correction, or criticism from someone else, their usual response is, 'Nobody's perfect!'
If you have ever used this excuse, then, you have just made Jesus, and the Father out to be liars.
Read Mat. 5:48
Here you have Jesus, telling the people, to be 'perfect.' Not only that, but He said for them to be perfect, just like the Father is perfect.
Mind you now, Jesus never says for us to do something, if we are incapable of doing it. To do so, would make Him less than what He is, and that is Righteous.
Not only that, if you read the story of Job, [Job 1:8, 2:3]
, you will see something very interesting. In both of these verses, God, Himself, no less, calls Job, 'perfect!'
Now think about this. Job was perfect, back in old testament times, and he didn't have the one main tool, so to speak, that we have, and that is the baptism of the Holy Ghost. In other words, we have the Holy Ghost to help us be, 'all that we can be'
, yet we want to say no one is perfect.
Who's the liar, God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost, or you!!??
Let me reveal the rest of the subject scripture passage, so you can see the total foolishness of the argument, of those that say, nobody's perfect.
Phi 3:14-15 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 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.
You see that word 'perfect', in the scripture?? What does that tell you?? What it tells me, is that I have a lot of work to do!!. Just like Paul mentioned in the verse above these, is that he realized he hadn't achieved perfection, and, may never get there, but, he was going to fight, scratch, and crawl, to achieve it. He was not going to
stop. He was not going to make excuses, and try to find shortcuts around it. He was going to take any legitimate criticism seriously, and make changes, all with the goal of hitting the mark of perfection.
That, my friends, is the same mentality that we, who name the name of Christ, need to have.
Now, one thing I want to mention here about the prize, of perfection. It is not referring to Heaven, as much as it is, blessing, in this life. Salvation, comes from your faith in Christ. However, the amount of blessings that you, and your family receive, in this life, are directly tied in to how much you are striving to be 'perfect'
, in His sight.
Only God knows, your situation, it is not for me to make that determination, unless God reveals it to me, by way of revelation. But, for the most part, all of us, just like Paul, are far short of where we need to be, God knows it, and we know it. The question is, what are you going to do about it?
You can make excuses all you want. What that means, is that you don't think you need to do any more than what you are doing. And, as a result, you will miss out on your blessings. You are satisfied with a blessing here and there. You don't want blessing on top of blessing, pressed down and shaken together, 24/7.
Looking again at Christ, who is our role model, everything He needed to do, He was able to do. All power, was given to Him, because He was 'perfect.'
You wonder why we don't see a lot of the power of God, the power that Christ gave to us, manifested in your/our lives?? It's there, waiting for us to tap in to it, but, you/we aren't willing to pay the price for it. We are too busy making excuses, about why we can't do it.
What it really boils down to is this.
We, instead of wanting to be popular [perfect], in God's eyes, want to be popular [perfect], in the eyes of those that were slackers, that didn't care about what God had to say, they were going to do things their way. Oh, they were saved alright, but, they were carnally minded.
The carnal mind, always scoffs at the notion of being Holy, Righteous, and Perfect. And, they have good reason. If no one is showing the benefits of what seeking perfection is, then, there is no reason for the carnally minded, to seek perfection the way God says we should.
So, my friends, the choice is yours. Do you want all that God has for you, in this life?? Then, I suggest that you begin to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
It's high, meaning it isn't easy to get to. So you will have to exert yourself, to attain it. But, it can be attained. So, despite what others may say, press on!!!