This message was preached by Colin DCruz via zoom at Word Of Grace Church on January 3rd 2021. for the audio please click here. TO listen to the worship please click here
Phil 3: 10-
10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Paul is writing to the Phil and talking about his great desires: know Christ, power of his resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.
Paul wrote a large portion of the New Testament, he went up into heaven, and encountered Jesus in person. He was an amazing person
What can we learn from this passage for the New year
1. Desire for more V12 Paul was dissatisfied with his spiritual progress. Imagine that. He was still looking forward to something greater.
We need to have a holy dissatisfaction about what we have accomplished things for God. We can’t settle for less if we want to grow in maturity.
Often when we go for a buffet, we fill ourselves with the appetizers.
Ps42 As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul longs after you.
There is great desire expressed by men and women in scripture for God.
The way we move ahead is a desire for more of God
2. Forgetting what is behind. v13 Sometimes things in the past hinder our spiritual progress viz failures – you can feel hopeless or paralyzed. We need to put it out of our mind. That does not define you
Success can also hinder you. you feel you have arrived – I am serving, giving etc.
With failures we humbly confess and with success we humbly thank God
3. Strain toward what is ahead. Paul loved sport. He gave a lot of sports examples. Straining/press on. Those are not walk in the park terms.
1Cor 9:24-27 Run in such a way as to get the prize.
How are we beginning the New Year? We need to get hold of Christ, we need to make an effort
What does this mean for us? We need to have a plan like an athlete who trains for a marathon. They train months in advance,
Have a plan to get into God’s word – read, meditate, memorize, study it.
Prayer – I do not know anyone who is happy with their prayer life. This is something we all can grow in. When we pray God will act. It may be slow but God acts like the nation of Israel in the desert. Of like Daniel and the writing on the wall, The Medes invaded that very night.
Consider how you can increase your prayer life. This is how we push back the darkness.
Developing relationships – the lockdown has been a challenge but we need to find a way through it. We need to build relationships across the church to encourage others, to build a friendship. In every encounter let us express love
Giving -Many of us have not been affected by the COVID-19 19 crises. But many industries have been severely affected. WE need to be intentional about growing in our giving. We thank God for our finances. We are intentional about increasing our giving.
4. Reach the lost – People are in great need. We need to reach out. If people do not receive the gospel, shake the dust off your feet and leave. It is no reflection on you.
5. Serving – Many served to make the Christmas Carols evening a success. Look at how you can serve. We are not doing this for public recognition but serving for the audience of one. People may or may not acknowledge it but you serve faithfully
We had many amazing prophetic words for this year. Here is the video link.
New wine is not put into old wineskins. We have to be ready to adapt to change. In the book of Acts, the church grew rapidly but they did not leave Jerusalem. Then in Acts 8 the church got scattered and the Word spread. With COVID-19 we have been spread out too. Jesus said when 2 or 3 are gathered he is there. He did not say 200 or 300. This year we want to strengthen the gathering of 2 and 3.
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