Pressing On

By Frank Cox
Type: Story
Subject: Faithfulness; Steadfastness
Pressing OnWednesday, April 16, 2008Philippians 3:12-14Upon his retirement John Bisagno, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Houston, Texas preached a dynamic sermon. During his sermon he shared a burden about people who start well, but who do not finish well.When Bisagno finished his college days, he and all the young men who were graduating and entering the ministry decided they were going to pray for one another throughout their ministry. Each passed around their Bibles and every man wrote his name and created a prayer list. Bisagno said over the years he would hear of one of his friends who had dropped out of the ministry for various reasons. He would take his Bible, open to the front flap where their names were written, and with a pen he would scratch through the name. When he retired from active pastorate of First Baptist Houston, of the original 24 names there were only two names beside Bisagno’s left in the ministry.You may say “Well, I’m not in the ministry. What does this have to do with me?” In the Christian life it matters how you start, but it also matters that you finish well. If you are saved, then you are in the ministry. The way you live your life is a ministry unto the Lord. We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.The Apostle Paul is about to finish his course here on earth. It reminds the reader that at Philippi he had not arrived spiritually. He still faltered from time to time but he kept pressing forward. In fact, woven within his letter he gives some insight. Finishing well does not mean one finishes without a blemish or has arrived at perfection. You must remember Paul is the one who asked, “Why is it the things I would do I do not do, and the things I would not do, I do?” He struggled just as we all do. How does one deal with this struggle?Paul says, “One thing I do, I forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (v. 13-14) No matter what our past has been, God is not through with us. We can, through confession of our sin, place it where it belongs--under His grace and in our past. Then we must press on toward the hope that is found in Jesus.When you feel like a failure, remember—there were many in the Bible who at times in their lives looked like failures; however, as they fixed their eyes on Jesus and received the grace and strength of our Lord, they were enabled to finish well. Do not stop—do not quit, for there is a finish line ahead with a tremendous prize that only Christ can give. Press on!