Summary: A Better Relationship is what the Lord wants.
A Better Relationship HHM April 28 2002
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
1 Many people will make new commitments and promises This happens most of the time at the beginning of each New Year.
2 . They will try to think of something that will improve their life or how others think about them. They will try to think of one thing that they need to do or stop doing that will make them a better person.
In this passage in Philippians I believe that Paul has a similar idea. Paul says that the one thing that he wants to do above all else is to serve the Lord better:
-"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended" --Paul says I have not completely grasped everything I can for Christ. I have not yet learned all that I can learn, I have not yet done all that I can do for Christ.
3 . Paul was a very Godly Christian, but even in his life he knew he could do more for God.
"forgetting those things which are behind," What good is what has be gone and you can’t change?
Paul said forgetting those things which are behind, meaning forgetting all the works he has done for God in the past.
Sometimes we think about what we have done for God and we feel we have done all we need to do. Now we can rest.
4 . Paul said I am not going to think about what I have done, I am going to thing about what I can do.
I have met good Christians that have felt that they have been serving the Lord a long time and now they just need a little rest from the work.
Usually when that happens the get backslidden.
They allow sin to creep into their lives.
5. We must realize we are in a never ending Battle.
When you are in the middle of a war you can not rest, because if you do the enemy will attack and destroy you.
We, have an enemy and he wants to destroy us, destroy me and you.:
1 Peter 5:8, 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.:
6. He is seeking the opportunity to destroy you and he will if you let him.
This church has seen a great year. People have been saved. We have this church
building Now what will we do with the building God has provided?
7. You must decide how you can best use the things God has given you.
-"and reaching forward to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
8. Paul says I will commit myself to do all that I can to have a better relationship with Christ and glorify Him more.
What can you do to have a better relationship with Jesus Christ?
What can you do to help others hear about the gospel?
Jesus died so that people might be saved, what will you do to help?
I. You can have greater Faith.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
A. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
We must learn to trust God.
To believe that He is in control of all things.
His word, the Bible, is true and that God knows what is best for our lives.
In the Old Testament the Children of Israel always looked at the things the other nations had, and many times they complained to God because they didn’t have what the world had.
In Malachi 3 the bible tells us that they stopped giving their tithe to God because they felt there was no benefit to serving God.
We must believe that the things we receive from God are far better than the things we can get from the pleasures of this world.
B. First you must believe that He is.
This is more than just knowing that God exists.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!