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The Journal

Eyes on the prize

Keep your eyes on the prize Dear Friends, We live in an age of distraction. Technology and multiple options mean we struggle to focus. In Philippians 3:12-4:3 Paul calls us to focus. He reminds us that Jesus has taken hold of us and this power from God at work in us moves us to forget what is behind and strain ahead to the prize we have in Christ Jesus. The prize we have in Jesus is to know Christ 3:10 and be resurrected from the dead where our bodies will be transformed into the likeness of Christ’s heavenly body 3:20. All the parts which don’t work well now will work well again. It is a glorious hope and one which is very encouraging. Paul offers himself as an example. We need good models because the Christian faith is both taught and caught. The importance of examples also reminds us that we need to spend time with God’s people so we can observe how mature and godly Christians behave. It is good to ask ourselves what type of models do I have in my life ? Paul warns about ungodly models in 3:18-19. These are people who are enemies of Christ and they are driven by their stomachs or bodily instincts. They have their minds set on earthly things whereas Paul tells us to have our minds set on heavenly things 3:20. He continues this theme of the importance of models by speaking of a pastoral problem in the church of 2 women who are not getting on well. We don’t know the details of the problem but Paul requests an elder to help them. These women are co-workers with Paul and yet even they have got into problems. None of us are immune from conflict or disagreements and we need godly people who will encourage us to be gracious to one another and forgive one another and choose to have a fresh start with people . Often conflict doesn’t resolve but we still need to forgive ! God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara

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