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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT - WEDNESDAY: Three Principles For A Victorious Life In Christ

We have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only one short hour before sunset in which to win them. -- Robert Moffat
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, -- Phil 3:12-13

Consider the second principle that will enable us to have a victorious life in Christ…

Face The Future
Paul perceives himself as a runner in a race…
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. -- Heb 12:1, exerting all his strength and pressing on with intense concentration in order not to fall short of the goal that Christ has set for his life, that he may be one with Christ, his final salvation and resurrection from the dead.

We cannot live in the past; we must embrace the truth of today.
Yet we must do more than this, we must plan wisely for the future, this doesn’t mean that we should ignore the advice of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount…
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -- Matt 6:34

Jesus was speaking in the context regarding the foolishness of becoming distracted with material possessions and failing to trust God. Wise people plan for the future and rejoice over every new opportunity for victorious living in Christ.

Paul visualises his enthusiasm for life as “straining towards,” which is a very interesting phrase.

Some Bible versions translate it, “reaching forward,” and the word picture from the original language becomes very clear. This is the expression used for a sprinter as he goes hard for the finishing line. He has eyes on nothing but the goal, his arms are thrashing the air, his head is forward, and his body is bent toward the line, he is literally “flat out” for the finish.

This is the type of enthusiastic striving that gives flavour to to life and motivates others to follow in our steps. There is always more ahead for the Christian who has a vital experience of victorious living in fellowship with Jesus.

What does it really mean to have a vital relationship with Jesus?
Vital means...
essential to life, alive and breathing. Friends, the secret of true obedience is a clear and close personal relationship with Jesus, this fact is essential, the relationship is indispensable, and the fellowship must be alive.

God does not have to come and tell me what I must do for Him, He brings me into a relationship with Himself where I hear His call and understand what He wants me to do, and I do it out of sheer love to Him. -- Oswald Chambers

All of our attempts to face the future, even after complete obedience will be failures, until we find this relationship with God. It is God's holy presence of the Holy Spirit consciously abiding with us that keeps us from disobeying Him.

We must consciously include the Lord in every thought, activity, and conversation until the habit is established. And when this happen in our lives there will be victory. This truth inspires us to find excitement and joy as we anticipate each new day as it is lived in a victorious life with Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Loving Father, help me to have the same enthusiasm as Paul had, that I may keep my eyes firmly fixed on the author and finisher of my faith. I thank you for the power of the Holy Spirit that keeps my obedience in check, in order that I may have a vital and victorious life in Christ. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus! Amen!

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