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Press forward with your eyes set on Jesus

Paul offers the church in Philippi some powerful instruction. “But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13).”

As a kid on the farm, one of the tricks my dad taught me was when plowing the first furrow in a field, always set your eyes on a post or a tree and focus on that all the way to the end. After that it’s just a matter of keeping your front tire in the furrow. Well, naturally I had to learn the hard way. Instead of focusing on the post, I kept looking back over my shoulder to see where I’d been instead of where I was going. By the time I reached the other end of the field the post that should have been right in front of me was at least 20 yards to my right and the furrow looked more like a semi-circle than a straight line.

My dad’s advice applies just as accurately to our relationship with Jesus. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus all the way to the end.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).”

A. W. Tozer said, “a man can die of starvation knowing all about bread, and a man can remain spiritually dead while knowing all about the historic facts of Christianity.” Names, dates / none of it means a thing if you don’t know Jesus. We read Scripture, pray, meditate, journal or fast for the sole purpose of knowing the mind of Christ. We worship, serve, take communion, and spend time with other believers to share and witness His transforming work in others.

We are His hands and feet to feed the poor, to comfort the lonely, to minister to the sick or share the good news to a broken and needy world. Every work we do in the name of Jesus; every trial we face with His strength; every temptation we overcome through His power; every loss we endure through His compassion, brings us closer to knowing the true nature of Christ. As followers, our entire focus should be on Jesus first above all.

Press forward with your eyes set on Jesus. Let those words settle in your mind and elevate your heart. No clearer words can be found to guide us as we seek to follow Jesus all the way to the end. Following Jesus is all about the relationship. It’s about seeking to know Jesus more intimately. The Jesus God reveals to you in His Word. Knowing your Savior in such a way that you’re excited to share His gospel of grace with everyone in every place.

That’s the Jesus Who calls you to follow. That’s the Jesus you WANT to follow. The One Who called you by name and says I am yours and you are mine. “So, if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God!”

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