Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Philippians 3:13b-14

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Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

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Kendra Graham notes from Philippians 3:13b-14

Step 1

Forgetting what is behind, straining toward what is ahead, PRESS ON toward the goal which God has called me.

Step 2

Happy New Year! The beginning of the new year is a new beginning, a clean slate. Some people are sad to see 2015 go, and some are thrilled, leaving behind heartache and disappointment they shake the dust off of 2015 and are hoping for a brighter year. The year 2016 is unknown territory and for some of us, it’s daunting and unsure with all the world chaos going on.

Here, in these verses, the Apostle Paul is urging his readers to not be brought down by the past. Each day is a new day, a new opportunity to press in to what God has called you to do. We were all created by God, knit together in our mother’s womb for a unique purpose from the beginning of time, to know God, to walk with God and to need God. Many of us have things in our past that haunt us, things we have done perhaps decades ago that strive to chain us down and keep us from that God-given purpose. We tend to beat ourselves up for past indiscretions and then year after year strive to atone for them by living our lives in misery, enslaved and defined by these epic fails.

What if… in 2016… we decided to forget what is behind and strive toward what is ahead? Learn from the past for sure. Know we never want to repeat some things, but accept the fact we can never change the past, it’s done…the brick was laid… we hate it, we wish it was different, but what can we do? We can do nothing… so that is why God, not trusting you to another, came Himself with skin on, His name, Jesus! Jesus lived a perfect holy life, in order to pay the bounty on that indiscretion of mine and yours. We are unable to pay off, work off or talk off the mistakes of the past, but oh that we would press in to Jesus this year and allow Him to pay that debt He bought outright from us. Let it go at the foot of the cross once and for all. Jesus paid it all on the cross so that we could grab a hold of that purpose He has set aside for us. We have to let go of our past to press on today to His call.

Aunt Anne Graham Lotz tells a story of a monkey that I found appropriate to start this new year with. The question: How do you catch a monkey? The answer: you place a banana in a jar that is wider at the bottom, and smaller at the top, then bury the jar at ground level, leaving the top of the jar open for easy access to that banana. A monkey comes by, with his sniffer, he smells the banana, sticks his hand in the jar, grabs the banana and then makes a fist around that banana… you have now caught yourself a monkey. That monkey will scream and holler and throw his hand around, but that fist won’t fit through the neck of that jar. The monkey is caught, ensnared, and unless he drops the banana, he won’t ever be free.

Whatever your “banana” is, the answer is found in setting our eyes today in the Word of God. Intentionally setting our sights on Jesus (Hebrews 12), and when we see who Jesus is, and His incredible love for us, that banana will pale in comparison. When we see what it cost God Himself to forgive us of our past, and present us with a future we will be constrained by the love of God to look no where else.

May this year be the year of healing for your heart. It cost God the agony of Calvary to provide us with the freedom and joy that is present and in Him, may we reach out this year and obtain Him. As we hold on to Jesus, we will forget all about that banana in the past that held us down for so long; this year may we have the strength to let it go. Let’s start this year, this day and the next and the one after that, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our days (Hebrews 12:1-3). This year, let’s daily seek God in His Word, starting now!


What is your “banana” from last year(s) to this year? What do you just need to let go of so that you can press on toward all God has set aside for you to do? Do you need to let go of a ungodly relationship? Step away from an immoral practice? Let go of an unforgiving spirit, anger or bitterness from the past that continues to define you, enslave you and keep you down? Do you need to let Calvary pay once and for all that debt you seem to think is too great for the blood of Jesus to cover? This year will you be defined by the grace of Jesus or will you work yourself to death trying to make it right on your own? You will press on toward someone or something… so what will it be?


Today I will press in to God’s Word and seek out what He has to say to me. I will ask God what I need to let go of, and what I need to grab hold of and do it.


Special announcement from Kendra:


If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.

If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), click here.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by
calling 1-800-950-2092.