Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, 60189. All rights reserved.
Philippians 2:1-4 "Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose." (NLT)
Michael L. Fraley, from Texas, shares an incident that happen to him while on vacation in northern New Mexico with his two sons. They saw many beautiful places and visited a number of historic sites, but they also spent a day climbing Wheeler Peak, the highest mountain in the state. Now Michael had been exercising and losing weight in preparation for this great adventure, but he realized that the real challenge was going to be the thin air. Wheeler Peak is 13,160 feet high.
As he was slowly making his way up the mountain, he began to think, "Am I willing to exert this much effort in my walk with God? Am I as determined to reach the pinnacle of faith as I am to reach the pinnacle of this mountain?" Though he had to stop several times to catch his breath, Michael made it to the top.
At times, he thought about quitting the climb, but he did not entertain those thoughts for long. Michael had come too far and worked too hard to give up. So, he asked himself, "Am I this committed to pushing the limits of my love for Christ and my neighbors?" Michael may not have been a great mountain climber, but he was trying to be a "spiritual giant." He wanted to go as far and as high as Christ would take him, because Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of his faith. (Hebrews 12:2 "We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish." ) (NLT)
Dear Lord, help us to have the desire that Michael has; to give our best efforts in growing our relationship with you. Help us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, in Jesus' name. Amen.