What are you willing to abandon to press toward the mark for the prize…?

By: Lisa Wilmore

Scripture Reading…Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, My brothers and sisters in Christ…Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before….I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8,13-14 KJV).

My Christian Friends,

What are you willing to abandon to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus?”

A few evenings ago, the Lord allowed me to share with a group of ladies, who are incarcerated, our recent Sunday school lesson, during our Bible study time. At the beginning of the lesson, I asked them the above noted question, “What are you willing to abandon…?” To my surprise, several said, everything, and others mumbled, all. However, there was a small group within the fifty-plus women who did not answer at all. At that moment, I could detect their inward struggle to verbally commit to rejecting anything in their lives for the sake of Christ. I quickly informed and reminded them that God gave us eternal life through His Son, Jesus. So, we must be willing to give up things that hinder us from moving closer to Him.

In addition, I shared with them Paul’s letter to the Church of Phillipi. He writes of his abandonment of his prior life to become closer to Christ. In parts of his letter, Paul wanted them to trust God more than they trusted their accomplishments. Even though he could clearly brag about what he had done in his past life, he chose to “forget those things which were behind him and press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Listen, there may be those of us who have spent many nights, days, perhaps years in preparing for a job or career that we have desired all of our lives. In fact, as a result of hard work, our professions look promising which could possibly yield a life of comfort and security. However, since Christ has come in our hearts, we must be willing to abandon the things of the world to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus?