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A high school student was academically number two in his class. But to motivate himself to excel, he did not compare himself to students below him. Since he was already ahead of them scholastically, he compared himself to the number one student — the one at the top of the class. His goal was to match or outdo him. That is similar to the way Paul viewed his Christian growth. He did not compare himself to others, or even to his own achievements. Neither would he let previous failures discourage him. He had one consuming passion that drove him. He wrote in Philippians 3, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved my goal or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Like Paul and like many before us, God calls us to use our time, talents, and treasures diligently to serve the interests of our Lord Jesus Christ. When our ambition and passion is to fulfill the purpose Christ has set for us, we cannot lose.

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