- We can learn from the past but we cannot change the past; therefore, our focus should not be on the past but rather on the future.
- "Press on"--continue moving decisively forward, continue doing something in a determined way, despite difficulties, dangers, distractions, or opposition. The verb is in present tense which shows Paul's lifelong commitment and constant action. He didn't just coast through life. We also must keep moving onward and upward with zeal and endurance.
- We are Heavenbound. Heaven is our true home, our destination (the finish line).
- Let's picture ourselves as we're in a race (Hebrews 12:1). Like a runner, we must strain every muscle, exert every ounce of energy, focus on the goal to win the prize, and press on. It's hard work but it's worth it. We need God's strength to run; we cannot do on our own strength. Paul's goal is to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all that Christ wants him to be. That should be our goal, too.
- We must never take our eyes off our goal (target) to win the prize.This takes concentration (intentional focus) because the world, the devil, and our flesh try to distract us from the goal. The reason for running the race is to win the prize. The prize is seeing Christ face to face and sharing in His eternal glory, enjoying eternal perfection in Christ and blessedness in Heaven. O to know Christ fully, to be like Christ, and to be in perfect fellowship with Christ for eternity! This upward call of God (that brings us to salvation) is only in Christ Jesus, by His grace alone. The call is from Heaven inviting and directing us to Heaven. This reminds me of Colossians 3:1-2, "Since, then, you have been raise with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
- What is your purpose? What is important to you? What do you pursue in life? When our passion is the pursuit of Christ and our purpose is a personal relationship with Christ that guarantees being with Him forever, everything else is meaningless by comparison. What we're passionate about is that for which we will make time and make effort.
"When the pathway seems long,
When temptation is strong,
When your strength's almost gone--
That's the time to press on."