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CALLED HEAVENWARD

Daily Devotional Philippians 3:1–14


I recently reviewed the resumes of several accomplished individuals and was impressed by their education and experience. That’s the point of a resume, isn’t it? To highlight our qualifications and pique the interest of a possible employer.


I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

PHILIPPIANS 3:14


In Philippians 3, Paul encourages the church to live with a joy found only in the Lord and to guard against the Judaizers. Paul doesn’t pull any punches here. His warning is harsh as he called those pious legalists “dogs” and “evil” and “mutilators of the flesh” (v. 2). Their confidence was in their own merit.


Paul offered his own resume in comparison (vv. 4–6). He was the ultimate Benjamite, Hebrew, Pharisee, and so forth. But when Christ appeared to Paul (Saul) on the Damascus Road (Acts 9) and called him to apostleship, Paul’s perspective on his credentials drastically changed.


What follows in verses 7–14 is a very personal testimony of Christ’s transformative work. Everything Paul used to take pride in, he now saw as fallible and fallen human offerings that should only be considered as “loss” when compared to the greatness of “knowing” Jesus. Not limited to intellectual understanding, this knowing is an acknowledgment of and submission to Jesus as Lord. This sort of knowing resulted in a new righteousness from God and a fellowship in Christ’s suffering during this lifetime, as well as a future glorification in eternity.


In verses 12–14 Paul repeatedly emphasizes his own humble position and reiterates the ultimate goal, “the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (v. 14). The rich theological significance of this call is undeniable, not only in the present but also in the future. It is a heavenly call which Paul persistently pursued with all his might, and to which we are welcome.


>> God’s call on our lives changes our present condition and our eternal destiny! For this reason, we press onward. Take encouragement from Paul’s words today.


Pray with Us


We can never get over Your incredible kindness in choosing not just to save us from the punishment we deserve, but to have a deep, developing, personal relationship with each of us! Like Paul, we “press on” to take hold of this!

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