This message was preached by Colin D at Word of Grace Church on January 5th, 2020 To listen/download the audio please click here.
Phil 3:12-16- “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
- We have not arrived: Apostle Paul is writing and says, I have not arrived. Are you happy with the way you have lived your Christian life? What grade would you give yourself. We have not arrived. Think about Paul. 2 Corinthians 11 talks about what Paul accomplished. V 23 - 28 “Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” Have any of us experienced any of this? He suffered for the gospel. But he kept a godly Christ like attitude. In the Philippians were suffering, beaten, in stocks, and in prison yet praising God! He has given his life for the gospel. But he says I have not arrived. So we have not arrived.
- Press on: extreme effort is needed in order to grow in our
- Pail says I need to put in maximum effort to progress. Lots of people show up to gym for the first week of the year and then quit. But we can’t give up. So that can be our New Years resolution.
- There is a difference between a marathon and a sprint. You need to pace yourself in a marathon, but for a sprint we press on. Giving everything we have. That’s the picture of what God wants us to press on in our Christian life. 1 Timothy 6:12 - you don’t find fighters fighting casually.
- What can hinder us?
- Forget what lies behind - everyone would have regrets. But it’s gone. We need to be straining in what is ahead. What’s done is done, now we have to run.
- Straining forward - implies extreme effort. It is to stretch. God wants us to exert effort.
- To take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took of me: Paul was a persecuter of the church. And Christ took hold of him on the road to Damascus. He lived his lived to fulfil the reason for that. When did God take hold of you? That is for a purpose. Romans 8: 29- 30 - predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus. That’s the goal. The things along the way are good, but that’s not the ultimate goal. God will allow us to go through whatever is needed to become like Jesus. Just how a diamond is formed, God has taken hold of us to and is fashioning us to make us like Jesus. Blessings and trials come together. Rick Warren author of purpose driven life says had many blessings from this work, but the same year his wife got cancer.
What can we do?
- We could read through the Bible. What is a spiritual goal you can attain for this year? Something that will take effort and stretch you.
- Do something that involves people. Make it a goal to spend time with one another.
- Be in some way involved in taking the gospel to the end of the world.
What are the commitments you’re going to make this year? Jesus took hold of you for a purpose and has great plans for you. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom in this.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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