We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Andrea Johnson.
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Have you ever heard of the Marshmallow test? This test, conceived by psychologist Walter Mischel, was used to test self-control in young children. In an interview with Walter he stated that self-control has been an issue for us ever since Adam and Eve lost their place in the Garden of Eden because they could not resist the enemy’s temptation; they lacked self-control.
Adam and Eve failed when tempted by a treat attached to instant gratification like some children and the marshmallow test. Instead, they chose what felt good at the moment, not truly comprehending the magnitude of their actions. As a result, we know the conclusion of this story.
In the focus verse today, Paul is teaching us how to persevere in the pursuit to be more like Christ, to be a true disciple of Christ. Paul understood that we are not perfected yet and will not be until we are standing face to face with our Savior. However, he is sternly encouraging us to use our self-control. Paul says, don’t fall for those things that may knock us off course, those temptations that promise instant gratification that may feel good at the moment but will have deadly consequences (Romans 6:23) don’t be distracted by past failures or victories. Instead, do continue as a runner of a race to press toward the finish line, the heavenly goal! Keeping your eyes and heart fixed on the victory we have through Jesus.
Father, I understand that “all that the world can offer us—the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance—none of these things come from the Father but the world” (I John 2:16).
Strengthen me to focus my attention and expectation on Jesus, the author, and finisher of my faith. Help me not to grow weary and not faint, for then I will reap the victory prize! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Romans 12:1-2(amp) reminds us to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and well-pleasing to God – this is our rational act of worship. And not to be conformed to the world but be transformed by renewing our mind, staying focused on godly values and ethical attitudes. So let us stay true to this, and with all the strength we can muster up, walk this line!
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