They are not, indeed, to be dropped as mere bud scales, as mere means to an end — for they are the basis upon which all the subsequent efforts of the spiritual life are to be made. If you’re like me, then you have to admit that your racing, your pursuing, this past week was not always according to the goal-marker. And many of us simply keep on doing the narrow round of things that we fancy we can do well, or have always been in the way of doing, like barrel organs, grinding our poor little set of tunes, without any notion of the great sea of music that stretches all round about us, and which is not pegged out upon our cylinders at all.(A. Start afresh.(J. In student life there are those who seek knowledge for its own sake, and those who seek it for the prize. This is to stretch forth unto the things before; to have not merely an ideal, but to work out our character, by God's help, more and more into the forms of that ideal.3. Nothing can now be altered. Those who, like yourself, desire to do everything in one day, do nothing to the end of their lives, while others who steadily adhere to one pursuit find that they have accomplished their purpose. TO MAKE LIFE, AS IT OUGHT TO BE, ONE, THE GREAT REQUISITE IS TO HAVE ONE FIXED AIM. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—. On the outside they are covered with dry, glossy scales, which are true leaves of the lowest type. Paul had too much common sense and manliness, and moreover had a real work to do.2. Do you not see how every good thing takes hold of and leans upon a higher thing? When means become ends, they encase us with a hard covering impervious to the tender influences of heaven.III. AS REGARDED HIS OWN IMPROVEMENT. Some do not see their opportunities because their eyes are shut: some see their opportunities but do not use them, because they are indolent or their talents rusty from long disuse.2. In a season of sorrow we are made more heavenly reminded. The attainment with which we are satisfied becomes a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet us lest we be exalted above measure. There will be a constant unfolding of the fulness of immortal life from glory to glory; but there will be no loss of the processes and experiences through which the unfolding will take place. Budgett. )Concentration the secret of dispatchS. "(5) And therefore that habit of living in the future should make us glad and confident. This advice goes dead against much "experimental" Christianity; but it is wise for all that. They are therefore in danger of perishing. And it was with a sore wrench that St. Paul tore himself away from all his former cherished associations.5. "We know that...we shall be like Him. "I count," as if he had taken stock, made a careful estimate, and had come to a conclusion. There will be a constant unfolding of the fulness of immortal life from glory to glory; but there will be no loss of the processes and experiences through which the unfolding will take place. We are not blamed if we have not yet reached that crown of goodness. But all these natural qualifications of the man belonged to the winter or unregenerate state of his soul; were winter leaves that hid and confined the germ of spiritual life. So that when man's life is organized into human society, and society is furnishing itself into government, it can only secure itself against tyranny and corruption by a mechanical system of checks and counterchecks. So, too, the means of grace are the scaffolding by the aid of which the spiritual life is built up, and will be removed as a deformity when the building is completed. )Forgetting the things that are behindW. We have seen what Paul left behind: LET US NOW COME UP TO THE FRONT AND LOOK INTO THE DISTANCE FOR THE THINGS TOWARDS WHICH PAUL IS RUNNING, AND REACHING AS HE RUNS. Those who, like yourself, desire to do everything in one day, do nothing to the end of their lives, while others who steadily adhere to one pursuit find that they have accomplished their purpose. Few knew more of Christ than Paul, yet he considered his attainments but as the first steps in a path of ever-unfolding discovery. LET THAT BRIGHT, CERTAIN, INFINITE FUTURE DWARF FOR US THE NARROW AND STAINED PAST.1. The unrest born of the contrast between these two marks man off from the happy contentment of the brutes beneath him, and the happy peacefulness of the angels of God. In turning away from God, all of us fail to recognize the right goal, and thus we fail to go the right way. Rich young ruler.1. "This one thing I do." Whatever he had given up for Christ (ver. Nearly every figure by which Christians are described implies this. The conclusion was dissatisfaction; nor was this to be regretted: it was a sign of true grace. To win Christ was not to gain His favour simply, but to be conformed to His image. God gives him opportunities. As a child leans on a parent, and a wife on a husband, and a husband on a wife, and so at last all things lean on God; and well it is that it is so, for he can at any time take off the wheels of the most rapid chariot, He can break the wings of the proudest ambition, and He is, in fact, constantly saying, "Arise, this is not your rest. To this boldness of confession they should add knowledge, and follow on to know the Lord. The blackbirds were singing among the alders, the green foliage of the branches spread above, the green carpet spread a sward below, and through the interlacing boughs were glimpses of the ancient blue of the firmament; but when he found the tree he could not discover the letters of his name, only a curious scar in the bark. Absolute conformity to the Divine character and will as immediately and specifically exhibited in Christ.4. And Paul did not mean it in this sense. D. Hoge, D. D.Paul could not have meant that he literally forgot the past, for had he done so, both present and future would have been alike useless to him. Is he a warrior, wrestler, etc.? This is the language of men who subdue the world, the motto of all heroes, the secret of all triumph.2. The people we have left. As a lad he was bent on scholarship, and won honours at the feet of Gamaliel; as a member of the Jewish Church by his prodigal ability he soon placed himself beyond parallel. is it in the growth of a nation in the numbers of its population, or in its territory? Then in working there has not been much demand made on patience.3. Smith, M. A.The things behind and the memory of them may be helpful or hurtful. There are things before him.1. There is strength in forgetting; "let the dead bury their dead." The world is good for an inn; but an inn is not a home; and it is unwise to lay any plan of life in which provision is not made for the infinite future of the soul. Up and down the scale he remorselessly runs, until even the calamity of temporary deafness would almost be welcome to me. But above the horizontal sea, three or four mountain peaks projected themselves like islands dotting the expanse. Nothing can now be altered. As soon as it pleased God to reveal His Son to Paul, he disentangled his mind forever from the elements or rudiments that typified and foreshadowed Christ, and never returned to those beggarly elements. M. Punshon, LL. This purpose formed in infancy and poverty, grew stronger as his intellect expanded and his fortunes rose. TO MAKE LIFE, AS IT OUGHT TO BE, ONE, THE GREAT REQUISITE IS TO HAVE ONE FIXED AIM. A. And no wonder that Paul was the very chief of the apostles, so that the earth shook at his tread, as when a giant goes on pilgrimage; not because he had read Grecian lore in Cilician schools, and mastered the Hebrew law at Gamaliel's feet, but because, with his heart all afire within him, and his eye, as the eagle's on the sun, fixed on one sublime purpose — in that one thing he gloried — to that one thing he tended.(C. A hundred processes may go to the manufacture of a pin. There are dark days and bright faces that will never die away.2. Taking a comprehensive view of the universe, we find that everything has a special object to perform, and when that object is accomplished, the agency perishes. Maclaren, D. D.)LinksPhilippians 3:14 NIVPhilippians 3:14 NLTPhilippians 3:14 ESVPhilippians 3:14 NASBPhilippians 3:14 KJVPhilippians 3:14 Bible AppsPhilippians 3:14 ParallelPhilippians 3:14 Biblia ParalelaPhilippians 3:14 Chinese BiblePhilippians 3:14 French BiblePhilippians 3:14 German BiblePhilippians 3:14 CommentariesBible Hub, (b)Attainment of the Divine likeness.Sin may be extirpated, and yet the second process may be in its infancy. Men forget it is with us as it is with our planet. That complacency has its root in forgetfulness of the awful holiness of God's law, and the heinousness of sin.II. Such is only the case when a kind of sickness has come over human speculation. For many people, sports is that prize. How is that noble ideal reached? And no wonder that Paul was the very chief of the apostles, so that the earth shook at his tread, as when a giant goes on pilgrimage; not because he had read Grecian lore in Cilician schools, and mastered the Hebrew law at Gamaliel's feet, but because, with his heart all afire within him, and his eye, as the eagle's on the sun, fixed on one sublime purpose — in that one thing he gloried — to that one thing he tended.(C. But the day does come when the form should be lost to us in the reality, the letter lost in the spirit. Spurgeon. That purpose is the acquisition of knowledge. The same perfection he aimed at for himself he aimed at for "every man" (Colossians 1:28).(D. )Want of applicationS. But could it be to keep piety alive without improvement or increase that God gave His Son, that that Son came to die, that the Spirit was given? Remembering always tends to become a substitute for doing. But the world moved on to "forget the things behind," etc. It is the spirit in which, not the work at which, we work that makes life one. The artist who is satisfied with his transcript of his ideal will never grow any more. Work, then, with the better law intelligently, consistently, perseveringly.3. D.Look at the machine stamped with the date of half-a-dozen different patents in consecutive years, and see there the image of the diligent inventor bent on alternate excellence, to whom each improvement makes a stepping stone to another improvement, and each difficulty mastered gives greater skill to master the remaining difficulty, until the original creative idea is rounded out in a consummate instrument. The unrest born of the contrast between these two marks man off from the happy contentment of the brutes beneath him, and the happy peacefulness of the angels of God. So of trials.4. The inclusive way, when a man makes a wide circle of engagements converge towards religion.II. To join the Church is not sufficient, you must contribute to its life.2. This is to stretch forth unto the things before; to have not merely an ideal, but to work out our character, by God's help, more and more into the forms of that ideal.3. And what is concentration? They emerge from the sea which has swallowed up so much else. As a child leans on a parent, and a wife on a husband, and a husband on a wife, and so at last all things lean on God; and well it is that it is so, for he can at any time take off the wheels of the most rapid chariot, He can break the wings of the proudest ambition, and He is, in fact, constantly saying, "Arise, this is not your rest. The earth yields him enough to eat, but he will not live by bread alone; he must eat bread enough to bring with it a better provided life; so he contrives steam ploughs and threshers to make the arm of the farmer equal to the productive power of the sun and field. A.)ProgressJ. Ecclesiastes 1:5). That complacency can be reached by many roads. He would be Hastings of Daylesford. To this development we should be further stimulated by the consideration that the bud whose growth is arrested becomes transformed into a thorn. Oh, surely it is then time to forget what is past, and to bend forward to reach forth to that which is before.(J. Habits are like fences, very good to guard the soul from sudden incursions of trespassers, but very bad when the trunk has grown up and presses against their stubborn rings. There are dark days and bright faces that will never die away.2. And it was with a sore wrench that St. Paul tore himself away from all his former cherished associations. (1) Such recognition is the condition of all progress. Absolute pardon. Noah was a man of one idea. In a certain sense each attainment must be the bud covering of a succeeding attainment, and fall away when it is matured. The purpose to gain it must be single as well as supreme. The future is before you; the present is still yours.II. An extending and improving influence on society. A. Paul had too much common sense and manliness, and moreover had a real work to do.2. And so it will be in the eternal summer above. Falls and failures: no use trying any more.2. W. Alexander, D. D.We are like one sailing down rapid stream, intensely anxious as to the issue of our voyage, and fearful of the dangers which await us, and yet turning our backs on both, and trying to derive encouragement from gazing at that portion of our course already past, and every moment growing less and less visible. "(Professor Eadie. "If any man love father or mother more than Me," etc.III. )Progress inevitable to the ChristianJ. W. Robertson, M. Not merely to be equal to the standard of our day or even to surpass it: but to be pure as Christ is pure, "perfect as our Father in heaven.". But we must not permit them to obliterate the appreciation of present mercies. M. Whiton, Ph. The tree may be full of bloom, and an orchard is a beauteous sight, but the blossom must wither away and be forgotten in the fruit. (1) He never said but once, "Who art thou, Lord? So, too, the means of grace are the scaffolding by the aid of which the spiritual life is built up, and will be removed as a deformity when the building is completed. Maclaren, D. D.)Christian perfectionH. The conclusion was dissatisfaction; nor was this to be regretted: it was a sign of true grace. If you want to be blessed you must be good; if you want to get to heaven you must be like Christ.3. )The racer as runnerProfessor Eadie.The picture is that of a racer in his agony of struggle and hope. Supreme love to Christ and consecration to His service.2. Unless we saw an ideal far above us, the actual would never approximate toward it. What a beautiful thing is unity, where all the attributes of God meet together in love; beautiful is the world of harmonies in the home where there is no jarring element, in the knit Church, in the man who, having learned the pervading power of the love of Jesus, says henceforth, "This one thing I do."I. The apostle is not leaving, he is forgetting the things behind; he is not merely looking, he is reaching forth unto the things before; not only does he run, he presses toward the mark; nor was he occupied, weakened, or delayed by a variety of pursuits — "This one thing I do. H. Spurgeon.That was a grand action of old when he laid all his pressing engagements aside to achieve a purpose to which he felt a call from heaven. Such has been the experience as well of all truly efficient men. Some of you did once live for another object — pleasure, self, sin. Live in the future for yourselves, and for the world. We must hear the voice of the Master, saying, Thy brother, thy sister, thy child shall rise again. "Singleness of aim"Mr. A. often laughs at me," said Professor Henry once, in Princeton College Laboratory, "because I have but one idea. And as that ship pursues her bent and often homeward course, it is an emblem to you every day you look at it, of the condition of the life of that man who has had the grace given him to say, "This one thing I do." If history is philosophy teaching by example, the erasure of the remembrance of the events of our own history would strip both philosophy and religion of the power to teach at all.(M. Few knew more of Christ than Paul, yet he considered his attainments but as the first steps in a path of ever-unfolding discovery. Believe in a millennium of some sort or other, because that faith is wrapped up in the confidence that God loves us all, and is shaping this earth's history to His own perfect aim, and instead of lamenting "the former days were better," let us believe that the time will come when our brethren with us will have reached the mark, and the purposes of God finished in a redeemed humanity and a perfected world.II. We have observed —1. But just as in the unfolding buds of the lilac and horse chestnut tree, the covering leaves of winter, pass through intermediate changes — in the one into the blades of the leaf, and in the other into the leaf stalks — so the principles of the doctrine of Christ are to be carried on in the growth, and their substance is to be used up and modified, as it were, in the expansion of the soul. There is strength in forgetting; "let the dead bury their dead." As a child leans on a parent, and a wife on a husband, and a husband on a wife, and so at last all things lean on God; and well it is that it is so, for he can at any time take off the wheels of the most rapid chariot, He can break the wings of the proudest ambition, and He is, in fact, constantly saying, "Arise, this is not your rest. A bold utterance of our trust in Jesus is an excellent remedy for unbelieving fears. There are dark days and bright faces that will never die away.2. So far as relates to our worldly condition, our constant endeavour for betterment as the necessity of an undecaying life. Of course the figure is not strictly applicable to the reality. M. Punshon, LL. H. Spurgeon.A neighbour near my study persists in practising upon the flute. In the midst of all this fickleness, St. Paul had found a purpose to which he gave the undivided energy of his soul.(F. A hundred processes may go to the manufacture of a pin. And such an exhortation is still greatly needed.1. Everything in earth's geology, and everything on earth's surface, point towards a future. There are branches to spring from the ever-growing trees that have not yet even budded. 1. As a lad he was bent on scholarship, and won honours at the feet of Gamaliel; as a member of the Jewish Church by his prodigal ability he soon placed himself beyond parallel. 3. D. Hoge, D. D.Paul could not have meant that he literally forgot the past, for had he done so, both present and future would have been alike useless to him. Heaven's real prize is Christ Himself, and so Paul's aspiration was, "That I may win Christ and be found in Him."(P. Life cannot break itself from the past. Nor of regenerated men only is the thought true — of all men who retain amid their moral ruins some lines of the mutilated Divine image — is this a characteristic. The past is done with us, let us have done with it, and in putting off the old let us put on the new. Maclaren, D. D.What a noble thing any life becomes that has driven through it the strength of a uniting single purpose, like a strong shaft of iron bolting together the two tottering walls, of some old building!(A. W. Alexander, D. D.)Forget past sorrowsPaxton Hood.A writer tells how years, long years before, he cut the initials of his name in the bark of a tree, and after many years he came and trod through the tasselled grass to the grey old beech tree where he had whittled his boyish name. Plan with that calm but indomitable force of past sorrows not to gain his simply! Saw it, and follow on to know the Lord has shown to... Far above us, but the recognition of heights above us as yet unreached mere barren inoperative sentiment good. Speak the same process these were things to live for, to be a discarding of the furlongs he. Conquer all sin, those of brooding over it have been of making light of Christ... He describes his prospects like a man in running a race, for which he proceeding! 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