Summary: Our Heavenly Father has called us to pour out our lives in service to Jesus. To tell the amazing story of His great love for us. Do not remain an enemy to the Love of God that is Jesus Christ. It is only your sin that separates you from Him
A mind stayed on Him
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 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.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Last week we talked about how the Bible challenges us to have a heart that is sold out to the Word of God. A heart that is changed from doubt to faith by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This Sunday we will look at how the head or mind of the believer is changed when we give it over to Jesus.
Dear Saints, we live at a challenging time in human history. Freedom of the individual and of free speech is not yet global. Only about 50% of our world enjoys the freedoms we are accustom to. Source: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2016
Many in our world are subject to authoritarian governments that punish people for what they think as well as what they say. Especially on matters of faith. But still the Word of God is being shared despite persecution, arrest, torture and martyrdom. The Good News of Jesus Christ is being told by people in Nigeria, India, Saudi Arabia, Hatti, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. All countries where Christianity is openly and aggressively persecuted.
This week I met people who have either lived in these countries or had worked in them sharing their faith in Jesus Christ at great personal risk. Now that they are here in Canada they are Pastors of churches all across Ontario and Quebec. (CBOQ) Their stories are amazing and inspiring and cause me to evaluate my service to Christ in light of their conviction and service.
St. Paul was just such a person. He was without a doubt the model of a Christian servant given over to proclaiming Jesus Christ even if it meant death. But that was after his conversion. He did not start out that way.
He started out an enemy of the Christian church having arrested and broken up faith communities as part of his job as a Pharisee. He was in fact commissioned and sanctioned by his religious leaders to use whatever means necessary to root out Christians. He was very, very good at his job and as a consequence the Christian Church suffered.
St. Paul had his mind set on the destruction of Christians and the Christian church at all costs. That is until he personally met Jesus Christ the author and perfector of the faith. Hebrews 12:2
For St. Paul it was on the road to Damascus as he was headed to arrest men and women who were in the Synagogues but believed in Jesus. Acts 9:1-31
Such encounters with the risen Christ continue today as I heard from witnesses who had also encountered Jesus by just such a vision.
God is at work Saints changing the hearts and minds of those who would oppose Him so that they become true believers in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
To these incidents I must ask – what about you?
Has your mind yet been changed from doubt to doubtless?
I heard testimony after testimony this week of people who have come to faith in Jesus Christ from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. Jesus still changes hearts and minds today.