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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia
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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Monday 18 February
Knowing and being known

 

Read Philippians 3:12–16
Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. (verses 13–14)

The joy of knowing Christ and complete participation in Christ’s resurrection is always a work in progress: it is never complete. Surrendering to the encompassing and liberating love that Christ offers is a lifetime commitment. Paul offers the example of his own abandonment of all that came before, his exertion in the present as he intentionally pursues this goal, and the living hope of the glorious prize that summons him to the end of the race. Paul frequently uses imagery from sport and athletics. Here it is a marathon runner he calls to mind: the past steps and effort don’t   matter, the present exertion demands no less than everything, and the goal beckons: the prize of the crowning glory of life in and with Christ.

The effort involved is not ‘hard work’ demanded to earn salvation; no, it is the passionate and active commitment required to render ourselves open to the gift Christ offers. The offer Christ make is whole and complete, direct and immediate. On the other hand, our readiness to receive the offer requires an abandonment of our instinct for self-preservation; the openness to embrace it demands a vulnerability acknowledging that we cannot save ourselves. Perhaps hardest of all is the necessity to affirm that we are broken, fallen down and hopeless – and in urgent need of redemption. The gospel that Paul proclaims here is that it is Christ who saves, it is Christ who invites us to claim that salvation and it is Christ who, by grace, empowers us to open ourselves, wholly and entire, to receive the gift Christ offers.

† Recreate me, Lord Jesus Christ. Transform my need to save myself into an embrace of your love. Take me as I am and remake me in the fullness of your grace.