I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:14) Paul is saying here that he pursues the reward of living a life in serving God through Jesus Christ. He considers it a high [important, exalted] calling.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. (1 Cor 9:24) The apostle is encouraging believers to live their lives as winners and as people who will cross the finish line.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Tim 4:7-8)
In these various passages of Scripture, we believers are being encouraged, influenced and motivated to:
- Fight the good fight,
- Finish the race, and
- Keep the faith.
Just as in any type of race or physical sport, we need to stay spiritually fit to take part in this spiritual race. We are encouraged to be persistent and consistent, as well as to be constant and committed to our faith.
This is, indeed, a high calling—an important and exalted mission to which Christ has called us and has enabled us by His grace. Let us rejoice in Him!
Ponder this: did Jesus truly show His love for mankind? Do you have assurance of God the Father’s love for you? Here are some Scriptures for you to consider:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
. . . nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39, underscoring added)
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
All of these Bible verses talk about the love of God for us and the love of Jesus for us. It is very easy to understand it through these passages.
Jesus, our Savior, demonstrated His great love for mankind and for His Father by offering His own life and blood in order to reconcile all of mankind to our Father God. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (Joh 15:13) Jesus absolutely loved us—He gave His life for us!
With this understanding of Jesus’ love, which is a reflection of God the Father’s love, I believe it should seem like a reasonable service for us to put God in first place in our lives.
For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4:12 AMP)
I really appreciate this version of the above Scripture passage. It amplifies our understanding of what the writer may have been thinking as this was written.
It makes it clear that God’s Word is alive and powerful; that God’s Word can read us, and it can reveal us to ourselves! Most of us keenly need God to do that for us, because we don’t truly know ourselves.
This is why the Bible tells us that the Word is like a mirror.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:23-25)
Let us read the Word and allow it to introduce us to ourselves! As we come to know the Word more thoroughly, we will come to know ourselves more honestly. And we’ll experience the incomparable love of God, without which, we could not have been saved!
Love the Word; read the Word; embrace the Word—and LIVE!