Old Testament: Amos 5:6-15
Morning Psalms: Psalms 32, 143
New Testament: Hebrews 12:1-14
Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
Evening Psalms: Psalms 102, 130
Do you remember the movie, Chariots of Fire? One of the final races left to run was the 440 yards. As they came to the first turn, the athletes were bunched together, and one of them was pushed over and fell right off the track. Quick as a flash he was back on his feet and, as though electrically charged by the incident, caught the other runners and won the race.
What would you have done? Most of us, I suspect, would have accepted from the moment we fell over that we were out of the race, with no hope left. With the athlete in question—the famous Eric Liddell—it was just the opposite. It was as though he had been reading this passage of Paul: forget what's behind, strain every nerve to go after what's ahead, and chase on towards the finish line.
Christians should never be out of the race. As Paul stresses in Verse 13, it’s important to concentrate on the big picture and keep on moving towards that goal. Distractions and setbacks will occur, but we need to keep our eye on the goal.
In addition, using himself as an example, Paul wants to head off any idea that you can become a mature Christian, that you can “arrive” and, thus, that there is no need for more spiritual growth. True maturity, he insists, actually means knowing that you haven’t arrived, and that you (and I) must still keep pressing on towards the goal.
What then is the goal? Paul describes it in Verse 14:
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”