Posted by: Larry Hoekman | October 9, 2017

Personal Sharing — Turn Back to What?

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | October 7, 2017

Philippians — Mature?

Day 2871: Have one blessed weekend and find someone to be a blessing to!

Scripture:  As a mature Christ follower, I am to have this attitude of pressing on, and if I disagree on some point, God will reveal that to me as well.  And I must be sure to obey the truth I have learned already. Philippians 3:15, 16

Thoughts/questions: Here Paul makes the assumption he’s writing to mature followers of Christ. Let’s hope we all qualify.

A previous post on Phil. 3:13,14 shared how this ‘forgetting/reaching/pressing on’ is very challenging at times. Paul agrees. God tells us to press on, but when those challenging pasts overwhelm us, we kind of ‘disagree‘ with God’s directive. We argue that it’s too hard; the past isn’t the past as it continues in the present regularly; it’s just not worth it; I can’t press on any more . . . .

Paul doesn’t reprimand us when we feel this way. No, but he encourages us to keep pressing on, and to obey the truth we know, not be guided by things we don’t know. By pressing on, God can demonstrate His mighty power within those manifestations of our past experiences. If we stop, we become stuck and things don’t change – not good!

So let all of us who are in the process of ‘forgetting/reaching/pressing on’ not get discouraged to the point of stopping, but let us commit to continue to press on and reach forward to the blessings which lie ahead!

Suggested Prayer: Father God, I want to mature in my walk with You. Help me to continue to press on . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | October 6, 2017

Philippians — We Are All Called!

Day 2870: Finishing these great 2 verses today!

Scripture: I should not consider myself as being all that I should be, but one thing I am to do – Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!  Philippians 3:13, 14

Thoughts/questions: I trust you have already read the previous five posts on these two life altering verses. We finish with the call of God! Today’s world of phones allows us to know who’s calling before we answer – there are goods and bads to that! But God’s call is not always quite that obvious.

First, what God’s call is about. It is an upward call. As Paul writes in Colossians we are to set our minds on the things above, and not on the things here on earth. The answer to God’s call may not make earthly sense, but this is a heavenly calling!

Secondly, it is the call of God. This call is a vocational type call! It can be your calling for the day or your life’s calling, and we all have a call of God! And third, that call is in Christ Jesus. Not alone, not without an example, not without the One who will be with us always. No, our heavenly call places us within Christ – what a place to dwell!

So, do you know God’s upward call on your life? And if you do, how is your response to His call going? As Christ followers we are heaven bound, but now we are to fulfill God’s earthly call! Make finding and responding to that call a top priority in your life!

Suggested Prayer: Living God of the universe, help me to understand my calling and to live it out each day . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | October 5, 2017

Philippians 3 — The Eternal Prize!

Day 2869: How’s the attitude? Waiting for Thanksgiving to be thankful? How about a daily attitude of gratitude?

Scripture: I should not consider myself as being all that I should be, but one thing I am to do – Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!  Philippians 3:13, 14

Thoughts/questions: What a great technological invention GPS is. Put in an address and a nice voice and visual map guides you to that exact point! Tell it your goal and it will give you the prize of guiding you there.

So what’s the goal/prize of this forgetting/reaching/pressing on thing? Our spiritual goal: To be free in Christ to become all that He has designed us to be each and every day! Our prize: God/Jesus/Holy Spirit communicating to us – “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” (I wonder how one would say/spell that in heavenly language?)

God’s GPS for us knows where He wants us to go! Holy Spirit will softly speak to us as to what direction we need to go. The Bible is our visual guide. We all can press on toward the goal for the prize! Like we depend on our GPS system to guide us to our intended destination, may we also depend on God to guide us to our spiritual goal and speak His prize to us!!!

Suggested Prayer: Almighty God, help me to be good; to be faithful; and to be Your servant . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | October 4, 2017

Philippians — Press On!

Day 2868: Continuing thru Philippians 3.

Scripture: I should not consider myself as being all that I should be, but one thing I am to do – Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!  Philippians 3:13, 14

Thoughts/questions: I shared this verse with my local FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) board yesterday, and one member shared that doing the forgetting/reaching thing was HARD! True!

Maybe that’s why Paul’s next words were to ‘press on’ indicating a struggle! So much of life is perseverance – the ability to accomplish hard things by pressing on. Repetitive actions, destructive comments, soul wounds, demeaning words – when these happen consistently over time, forgetting and reaching forward is hard!

But we press on – not ‘we’ meaning the collective readers of God2me. No the ‘we’ is the partnership God has chosen to make with you! The power to forgive/forget/reach forward even though the surrounding circumstances don’t warrant that response – that power only comes from God!

When frustrated and ready to quit – press on! But not on your own – press on with the very best partner anyone could have – Jesus!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, I can’t do this life on my own. Thank you for always being there to help me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | October 3, 2017

Philippians — Look Ahead!!!

Day 2867: Continuing thru Philippians 3. The whole world needs prayer . . .

Scripture: I should not consider myself as being all that I should be, but one thing I am to do – Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!  Philippians 3:13, 14

Thoughts/questions: Simply put, our spiritual lives and relational issues would probably be far better if we continually followed the advice within these verses. Daily, weekly, maybe hourly we should ‘forget what has happened and focus on what lies ahead.’

It’s hard to reach forward when we hang on to the past, so first things first – drop the baggage. Only then, can we reach, try, stretch, grow, change regarding the future! Our future lies in our present moments. Those are the moments we should be reaching forward to!

These moments should dominate our thinking and guide our actions. Look ahead! The best can and should be still ahead if our past doesn’t hinder us too badly! Daily put the past in the past and physically, emotionally, and spiritually reach forward to what lies ahead!

Suggested Prayer: Living God of the universe, help me to commit my future to You and to always look ahead in anticipation of what You have for me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | October 2, 2017

Philippians 3 — Forget?

Day 2866: Continuing thru Philippians 3

Scripture: I should not consider myself as being all that I should be, but one thing I am to do – Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!  Philippians 3:13, 14

Thoughts/questions: Paul now shares that he needs to ‘forget what lies behind’ as the first step of his beginning to reshape his focus. ‘Forgit abot it’ is an expression often used, but this advice is actually never followed completely. We may attempt to forget major occurrences and repetitive events which we wished had never happened, yet those memories may diminish, but they never are completely erased!

I believe Paul was committed to the fact that his past would be restricted to being merely being an influence on his current life. It would not dominate it or have control over it. By ‘forgetting’ his past, he was freeing himself from daily carrying the baggage of what lay behind him.

Yes, God’s truth can and will set us free, but we have to help. The crap we’ve experienced can help us grow just like fertilizer helps the growth of a plant. The past can be healed; relationships may be reconciled; and there is no condemnation regarding our past when we are in Christ Jesus!

Don’t seek to totally forget about your past – that only results in frustration as we can’t! No, don’t attempt to erase the past but do erase the negative impact certain pasts can bring!

Live in freedom! Your chains are GONE!

Suggested Prayer: Father God, I give my past to You. I know You carried me through even the worst of times. Thank You . . . 

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 30, 2017

Philippians 3 — One Thing!

Day 2865: These verses are some of my favorites! We might spend a day or two here.

Scripture: I should not consider myself as being all that I should be, but one thing I am to do – Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!  Philippians 3:13, 14

Thoughts/questions: Curly in the Billy Crystal movie, City Slickers, told Crystal’s character to find the ‘one thing’ in his life to focus on and then he would find the true meaning in his life.

Paul already knew this and chose one thing that he was going to do! I love the phrasing of this – but one thing I am going to do! And then he goes on to state what that one thing is in his life.

How about yours? Is there one thing in your life which needs to receive more of your attention? It may only be for a season in your life, but what one thing is it today? I know what mine is! If you aren’t sure, let Holy Spirit prompt your heart and mind as to what you need to do and then repeat Paul’s statement with confidence ‘but one thing I am going to do!

Suggested Prayer: Almighty God, help me to know with certainty the one thing that needs my attention today . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 29, 2017

Philippians 3 — Press On!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 28, 2017

Philippians 3 — Not Ever Good Enough!

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