Philippians 3:12–21 (ESV)
Straining Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that
I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let
those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with
tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship
is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Paul holds out before us our upward calling, his example, and the promise of our transformation in the resurrection. In contrast, we often focus on earthly comforts, worldly examples of success, and maintaining a youthful appearance for this
life. But, while doing this, we starve our souls. Our citizenship is in heaven! Our life is in Christ, who reigns over all things in heaven and earth.
I pray: Dear Lord Jesus, turn us from the destructive
ways of our human nature and turn us continually toward the heavenly calling and promises You have set before us. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2037–2038.