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All Jesus wants me to be

January 26, 2009

by Rev. Keith E. Carlson, Evangelical Covenant Church, Dassel

“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12)

Goals are very important to people today, and they were important to the Apostle Paul, as well. So, one must ask, “What are my goals in life?”

Do my goals center on attaining the highest possible position in my profession or to provide the best possible life for my family? Or maybe your goal involves early retirement or higher education.

Many of us watched some very goal-oriented people at the summer Olympics in China last year. Hundreds of athletes gathered to compete, and for each of them, the goal included representing their country to the best of their ability, and to hopefully take hold of a gold, silver, or bronze medal, which would mean they were among the world’s best athletes.

When we think about life goals today, we must also consider our spiritual goal. Everyone of us has the opportunity to do as Paul did and run toward the goal of eternal life in Jesus Christ. But the decision to press on or not remains with us.

Paul gives us an analysis of his own life and efforts to be God’s person in his letter to the Philippians. He definitely was one who was intent upon achieving his goals.

At. first, he describes himself as an ambitious young Pharisee. We would have called him a “champion” Pharisee today because he was so intent upon stopping the influence of those who were following Jesus.

However, when Christ confronted him on the road to Damascus, the same drive and enthusiasm that was directed against Jesus became totally committed for Jesus. He gave himself completely to the cause of Christ, becoming a follower who was very intent upon his goal.

What was Paul’s goal? It becomes clear as one reads Philippians 3:10-11. Paul writes, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection.”

The goal for Paul was to know Jesus fully and totally. This, too, is the common goal of Christians throughout each generation, to achieve their full potential possible in Christ Jesus.

I want to encourage you to follow Paul’s example and keep working toward that day when you will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved you for and wants you to be.