“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Mow that Paul is forgetting those things which are behind and looking towards those things which are ahead he makes a statement that I think all of us have probably heard before. He’s ready to press toward the mark for the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. I want to concentrate on the word press. According to some commentaries I looked at, press means that he’s giving all that he’s got, totally dedicated to a task
Now we have to remember that Paul has been in the ministry approximately 25 years at this point. He has traveled hundreds of miles by foot and by boat and probably even by camel. He has had countless trials and tribulations and right now he’s sitting in a prison. Yet it seems to me in reading this section that he still has the same zeal he had when he first started.
I have been at several jobs in the last 30 years. When I started at a printing and office supply company I had a lot of zeal. I was opening new accounts left and right. I was opening new territory for the company. And business was really booming. My zeal was real. You can tell my energy level by my sales level. Next, I started working with an advertising firm. I started 3 new Publications and did some excellent sales the first couple years. My zeal was real. Now I am an insurance agent and I’m taking a little time off to recuperate from cancer. When I first started, I was one of the top new producers, going out and opening up new accounts and signing up new people. My zeal was real.
I give you that brief resume to show you that, in my life, my zeal was great when I first started a new position but as I got comfortable it seems like things trailed off a little bit, I wasn’t quite as excited about getting new business, and my sales faded. So when I look at Paul having the same zeal he has now that he had when he started it amazes me. He is pressing towards the mark, the goal. He has something in mind and he’s going to reach it even if it takes everything he’s got.
How is your zeal for Jesus Christ today? Are you still as on fire as when you first got saved? Are you still pressing hard to try to win souls and minister whenever you can? Are you still reading your Bible with the same hunger and thirst you did when you first got saved? I hope so. I know I’m examining my life right now and I pray that if you’re not carrying the same enthusiasm as when you first got saved that you will examine your own life as well. We need on fire Christians in this day and age. And we all need to be pressing toward the mark of the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. It is the highest calling we can imagine.