I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
My oldest son, Eddie, loves baseball. He’s playing college ball right now. He works extremely hard to prepare for each season and each game. He lifts weights, watches what he eats, and practices, practices, practices! His goal is to play professionally someday.
My youngest son, Mark, also loves baseball. He’s about to start his last high school season of baseball. He also works hard to prepare for each season and each game. He also lifts weights, and practices, practices, practices! His goal is to play professionally someday.
My middle son, Kurt, isn’t a baseball player. Due to circumstances outside of his control, he’s not able to play the game. Kurt’s passion is professional hockey. He loves to watch NHL hockey, especially Chicago Blackhawks hockey. And when he’s not watching hockey, he’s playing Xbox hockey!
The other night, Kurt and I watched the home opener for the Chicago Blackhawks. And we witnessed something that hadn’t happened in Chicago for 52 years!
For only the 2nd time in Chicago Blackhawks history, a player scored a hat trick in the opening game of the season! (A hat trick is when one hockey player scores three goals in one game). The first Blackhawks player to do it in an opening game was Hall of Famer Bobby Hull, who did it in 1965.
This year, Brandon Saad did it. Saad scored three times in what became a rout of the Pittsburgh Penguins. You could say that Saad and the rest of the Blackhawks played that whole game pressing toward the goal!
When we are called children of God in the waters of Holy Baptism, we are also given a goal in this life-time.
That goal is to bring glory to God and the Gospel to all people. St. Paul calls this the “prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
St. Paul talks about his every moment being dedicated to pressing toward that goal. Like a hockey player always pressing toward their opponent’s goal, St. Paul is constantly pressing towards sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with more and more people.
Let’s take an honest look at our own lives as Christians for a moment. Are we also pressing toward that goal?
I must admit that, to be honest, I’m not always pressing toward that goal. Most of the time I want to, but I get distracted by something else. Or I get tired of always pressing and I just want to sit and “veg out” for a little while.
But God, through the Holy Spirit, is using his Word to motivate me to bring the Gospel to more and more people, and in so doing, bring glory to his holy name.
At all times, Satan is there trying to get me to sit this one out. Or to focus on something else.
I need help!
I need help from God to press on toward the goal!
Thankfully, God gives me that help. He sends angels to protect me from the demonic forces in this world that would try to stop me. God gives me the Sacrament of the Altar to strengthen my faith through the forgiveness of sins. God has established a day of rest so that I can immerse myself in his holy Word and refresh my faith.
As I look to Christ as my model, I see that he never wavered in pressing on towards his goal – the salvation of all people through his death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.
Jesus pressed on toward his goal so that I could press on toward mine.
I pray you will also press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!
Heavenly Father, help me to keep pressing on toward the goal of bringing you glory and telling others about Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
© 2017 True Men Ministries