During a crucial football game, a rookie began celebrating his touchdown too soon—before he reached the end zone. As a result, he stumbled and fumbled the ball. The other team grabbed the ball and scored. Showboating and celebrating too soon has caused numerous athletes to lose. The Apostle Paul used the metaphor of winning a race to stress that, as Christians, we must not take our eyes off the prize to which Christ calls us. In Philippians Chapter 3, he relates how after meeting Christ, he gave up relying on his pedigree and earthly attainments to find fulfillment in life. Now that Christ had transformed him by faith alone, he thinks of himself as in a race to win the prize. Now he wants to win by fulfilling the purpose for which Christ saved him and wants him to be. Now his love for Christ is so great that he will let neither past failure nor present obstacles deter him from winning the race. He says, “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Furthermore, he invites others to join him in this relentless pursuit for excellence–fulfilling God’s purpose in this life. Paul’s life goal was to please Christ at any cost. His determined attitude to win the race for Christ ought to inspire us today.
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