Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind…
The secret of all moral force, of all spiritual success, of all reality, is concentration. And what is concentration? The whole man gathering himself up to a point — oneness of being, body, soul, spirit — the will, judgment, energy in unity. And what is unity? The reflection of the one great God. What a beautiful thing is unity, where all the attributes of God meet together in love; beautiful is the world of harmonies in the home where there is no jarring element, in the knit Church, in the man who, having learned the pervading power of the love of Jesus, says henceforth, "This one thing I do."
I. THERE ARE TWO WAYS IN WHICH WE MAY MAKE RELIGION ONE THING.
1. The exclusive way. A man may determine to have nothing to do with anything not essentially religious.
2. The inclusive way, when a man makes a wide circle of engagements converge towards religion.
II. TO MAKE LIFE, AS IT OUGHT TO BE, ONE, THE GREAT REQUISITE IS TO HAVE ONE FIXED AIM. It is the want of this that makes the life of so many weak, uncertain, capricious. The far, high, gathering point, high enough to sustain life, is only one — the glory of God. Some of you did once live for another object — pleasure, self, sin. You served your master with good service. What you have to do now is to throw as much heart into the new purpose as you did once into the old.
III. THE GLORY OF GOD IS THE RIGHT END OF MAN, because —
1. All the lines of life go up to it. You can eat and drink to it, and do whatever you do to it.
2. It is God's end: the end for which God is, for which He gave Christ, for which He does everything.
IV. UNDER THIS END OF ENDS AND SUBSERVIENT TO IT IT IS THE DUTY OF EVERY ONE TO HAVE SOME DISTINCT CHRISTIAN PURPOSE ALWAYS BEFORE HIM. It is marvellous how, when you have a work in hand for God, it will brace up your whole being. If you are troubled with wandering thoughts in prayer or in Church, it is because your outer life is not concentrated. If you would live a braced life everywhere you would find fixedness of thought in your devotions.
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,