Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Hold on!

While I have not yet arrived, nor have I become perfect, still I am charging on to gain anything the Anointed One, Jesus Christ, has in store for me - and nothing will get in my way because He has grabbed me and won't let me go.  Brothers and sisters, I know I am not complete but there's one thing I am doing:  leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission.  I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts:  to cross the line, to win the prize and to hear God's call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:12-14

My favorite line is "He has grabbed me and won't let go."  In the NIV, the translation reads "I hold on to that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."  Under the power of His attachment to me, I attach to Him:  I hold on!  This creates a sense of the tandem effort (Christ's being the greater), that Paul is depending on to advance to his ultimate goal:  heaven.

I have to leave all behind, drop my baggage, in the pursuit of the resurrected life.  Too often, we hold on to other things not helpful in the faith walk, which keep us from grabbing hold of the hand that Jesus Christ offers to us.  

As a former rock climber, the climb represents a good analogy.  Whether I use a hand up from a fellow climber or use the rope system to pull myself up, I depend on the placement and strength of my buddy or the ropes.  They don't give way.  They guide.  To engage the climb and the help offered, I cannot look back; my hands and feet have to be clear of all encumbrances not useful for the climb. My eyes have to be engaged on the system offered to me.

I see that Jesus, as he offers the hand, requires a total commitment from me.  Leave the past behind.  Embrace the present - the present moment and present gift of a life with Christ.  And to keep my eyes on the path I am on, both present and future.  I see it now:  it is the gift of the presence of Kingdom of Heaven now.  That is my focus.  It is my hope and surety.

Jesus was intent to offer this new life and his hand that is to lead us into new life.  He was intent upon its presentation.  The present tense nature of the language shows that this "attained" life is offered now; the only delay would be us.  God intends to give us access for life today, as much as the future.

For now, let's hold on to what we have been shown.  (The Voice)
Let us live up to what we have already attained. (NIV)
Philippians 3:16

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