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FRONT-PORCH GOSPEL: Never ever, ever satisfied

Welcome, all, to the “front porch.”

We’ve gotten our Philippians study started; and I was thinking of one of the themes the apostle brings out: We are never ever really satisfied on our Christian walk.

Pardon all the adverbs, but it’s true.

We are not satisfied, but we hope to be better. We hope to be further down the road, to be more pleased with what we have learned and how we have grown that we are here in the outset of our journey.

I hope the Philippians’ journey helps us attain that.

In any arena, “satisfaction” leads, invariably, to complacency.

The Laodiceans of Revelation 3 show us the danger of being satisfied with our walk.

They think they have it made. They believe they are on fire for the Lord, but the Lord says they are far from that.

Instead, they are “lukewarm… neither cold nor hot.”

God’s Word is filled with examples of men and women, congregations, entire nations, and generations who believe they are in perfectly good standing – but a long, hard look in the mirror often shows they really aren’t.

The fact that many of our readers will find their faith lacking is not to say that those of you whose faith seems strong are not welcome to come along through any of our studies.

No, you come, too. Even if you are skeptic and are thinking that you have plenty of faith, why don’t you go ahead and grab their backpacks and head out with us. It couldn’t hurt, and you may find that the fresh air will do you good. A look into “gospel of excellent things” always is a breath of “fresh air,” as we know.

Likely, most of us are more desperate than that – or, if not desperate, at least cautious.

We know how hard it is to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

We find the idea of faith pleasing to our thoughts, but an actual walking by faith with the integrity and strength and power that we need is far difficult.

Even the Apostle Paul – after many years of traveling for Jesus – stops to take a good, long, hard look at himself and comes to this conclusion:

“I do not consider myself to have “arrived, spiritually,” says Paul in the everyday language of the J.B. Phillips New Testament, “nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me… I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal – my reward the honor of being called by God in Christ.” (Philippians 3:13-14).

I like Mr. Phillips rendition of Paul’s deep self-evaluation here, as it magnifies Paul’s overwhelming need to give it all he has, to go ever forward with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead.

No, he had not yet grasped the reward; and Paul knows he will never grasp that reward if he doesn’t get his eyes off of the rearview mirror and set them firmly onto the goal that lies ahead.

Paul has to lace up his own hiking boots and set out on this spiritual journey, nothing holding him back – not the past mistakes, not his many accomplishments, not the credentials brethren list any time he is introduced, and not the difficulties, persecutions, and fears he knows lie ahead.

So we would do well to lace our shoes up, as well.

Ellis County Press

208 S Central St. 
Ferris, TX 75125