If you have not read the introduction in Part One of the series, you can do so here. Also catch up on Part Two and Part Three.
One Thing I do: Service
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV)
Communion comes before service, as seen in the story of Martha, but that doesn’t mean service isn’t important. There is work to be done for the Lord! “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58 NKJV). In our passage it mentions forgetting those things which are behind. We all have baggage in our past, whether before we were saved or in our failures as believers. Paul persecuted the saints, and Peter denied the Lord. But did you know that the Lord is forgetful in one aspect? You ask, “How can that be? How can an omniscient God be forgetful?” Nonetheless it’s true! Hebrews 8:12 says that “their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” If God has chosen not to remember our past sins, then so should we. Don’t let the guilt of the past be a weight that hinders you in your service for the Lord.
God has a work for each one of us, no matter how old we are. The job of children is to obey their parents in the Lord, and the corresponding responsibility of parents is to bring up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord. We all have a duty in the gospel, in prayer (yes, prayer is work!) and in our local assemblies. As we grow older, our role may change, but there is still work to be done. Caleb’s best work was done after he turned 85 years old! In the Old Testament service of the tabernacle the duties of the Levites progressed from bearing the burdens (each according to his service and according to his task), to increased responsibility and finally to the role of oversight. That is usually the pattern for us too, whether in our secular employment or in our service for the Lord.
One thing I do — Paul served the Lord with all his heart and soul; with the same zeal that he had formerly used to persecute the church. He made it his one goal, his single ambition, to live for Christ. In fact, he could write, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Let’s press on then after Paul’s example, reaching forward in our service for the Lord with the finish line in view before us.
This post comes from The Lord is Near, a publication of Believer’s Bookshelf, Canada. Read additional Lord is Near online articles, listen via podcasts, or order a printed copy at Believer’s Bookshelf Canada.