- Phone: (813) 655-7431
- Meeting Address:
15326 Fishhawk Blvd. Lithia, FL 33547
- Saturday: 5 pm
- Sunday: 8, 9:30, & 11:15 am.
It’s been said that there is an old cemetery at the base of the Swiss Alps where many of the great mountain climbers are buried. As you can imagine some of the epitaphs on those graves are funny and some are sad, but apparently there is one epitaph that stands out above all the rest. You see on this one particular grave there is the name of a mountain climber who died while trying to conquer a rugged peak many years ago and beneath his name are three simple but powerful words, “He died climbing”.
Paul is arguably one of the most influential Christians in history. He wrote most of the New Testament. He planted churches. Not many people experienced God on earth like Paul. Yet, in this letter to the Philippians, as he’s writing from a jail cell for the sake of Christ, he believed that there was still work to be done. There was still room for growth. He did not feel like he arrived. He was still climbing, he was still pressing forward.
Becoming more like Jesus does not happen overnight and does not come by accident. Holiness doesn’t just happen. We cannot coast to godliness. It is a daily journey. While we should celebrate that we are not where we used to be we should never get so caught up in the past that we stop pressing forward. Even Paul believed he had room for growth.
There’s a reason Michael Jordan came up clutch when it mattered most, because he took 10,000 shots just like it in practice. Everyday Jordan showed up at the gym and worked at his craft. For the Christian, we should take the same approach in following Jesus. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 -
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
This is a commitment to pressing forward. Paul encourages us to give this journey with Jesus everything we’ve got. Train yourself. Discipline yourself. Strain. Fight. Press forward.
Why? Because Jesus is worth it. And for Paul, what could be better than to stand before the Lord one day knowing you left everything on the field. You gave Jesus all you had –Because Jesus did that for you!
In the same way, let’s press forward. One day we will breathe our last. Let’s die climbing.