ECCO | Running the Race

June 20, 2021

    Running the Race

    Paul wrote a letter to the church at Philippi. He reminded them that true joy comes only from knowing Jesus. This is what Paul said. “Brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. As you live, watch out for people who do evil things. Watch out for people who try to act religious. We are true believers if we worship by the Spirit, not trusting in ourselves or our abilities.” Paul said that if anyone could be confident in his own abilities, it was him. Paul had been born a Jew. He followed the law and had persecuted the church because he thought it was the right thing to do.

    But now that Paul knew Jesus, the things that were once important to him did not matter at all. Nothing is more important than knowing Jesus! Paul said, “I lost everything so I can know Christ, and He is worth it. Now that I belong to Jesus, I am made right with God—not because of what I do but because of what Jesus has done for me. I trust in Him by faith.”

    Paul wrote, “My goal is to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection.” Paul explained that though he knew Jesus, he did not yet know Him completely. God brings us into His family and wants us to know Jesus. Paul said, “Brothers and sisters, this is what I do: I forget what is in the past and look ahead to the future. I run after the goal of knowing Jesus. This is a heavenly prize.”

    Paul encouraged the Philippians to follow his example. He warned them, “Not everyone lives for Jesus. Those who focus on earthly things and live as enemies of the cross will be destroyed. But our home is in heaven. We are waiting for Jesus our Lord to come from heaven. He will transform us and give us glorified bodies by His great power.”

    Christ Connection: Following Jesus is like running a race for a wonderful prize. We remember that Jesus never sinned but He endured the cross so we can have forgiveness of our sins. We press on to fully know Jesus and share in His victory for eternity.

    BIBLE PASSAGE: Philippians 3
    STORY POINT: Following Jesus is like running a race for a wonderful prize.
    KEY PASSAGE: 1 Timothy 6:12
    CHRIST CONNECTION: What is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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