There are times when it’s not so nice to have someone behind me who is pushing me forward. Like when I’m standing in the check-out line at the grocery store. After all, I can only go as fast as the person in front of me, right? So I start to have this imaginary conversation with the shopper behind me, “Look, you can nudge and prod and bump me all you want, but I can’t go any faster.”
But it’s a whole different story when the way in front of me is wide open. Now my imaginary conversation changes, “Okay, here we go! You’re nudging and prodding is really going to make me fly now!”
I think this is might have been what the Apostle Paul was thinking when he wrote, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” In essence, it was a thank you note to those behind him, “Thank you for spurring me on to preach better, teach better, live better, be better.”
Here’s what Jesus did for us: He was spurred on both by those of us who would be following Him and by the calling of His Heavenly Father. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the Cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
So Paul said he could follow that example in his own life. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I’m in awe of what God has called me to do.
I’m grateful for the way Jesus has opened up the way for me.
I’m thankful for those who spur me on every day. Especially my family and my congregation. You make me want to preach better, teach better, live better, be better. Thank you!
Who’s spurring you on?