At the foot of the Swiss Alps is a marker honoring a man who fell to his death attempting the ascent.  The marker gives his name and this brief epitaph, “HE DIED CLIMBING.”

This made me think of the Apostle Paul.  He wrote in the 3rd chapter of Philippians, verse 7 and 9 these words:  “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,  for whose sake I have lost all things, 
I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.”   
Paul was single minded.  He wrote Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect but I press on…”  Then verse 13 and 14 “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Since Paul felt this way, how much more should we.

Self denial is the first step of the Christian life.  Nothing that we sacrifice for Christ is as great as what we gain through faith in Christ.  We must learn of him, feel Him within, know God’s power that lifted Him from the dead and share with Christ in suffering for His cause.  The prize of salvation awaits all who run faithfully toward Christ.

What a great day this will be when we shall see Him and be like Him and be with Him. But this glorious prize is not yet completed, so we continue on faithfully.  “Don’t grow weary in well doing, for you will reap if you faint not.”  Know this, that whatever we give up for Christ, it is as nothing compared to the gain reserved in Heaven for us.  Count all things loss in order to gain Christ for to gain Christ is to gain life eternal with God.

The epitaph of every Christian should be that they died climbing the upward path toward the prize of Christ-likeness.

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