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Summary: This will be a four part series at the first of the year. Paul uses the analogy of a runner to describe the Christian’s spiritual growth. The believer has not reached his goal of Christlikeness, but like the runner in a race, he must continue to pursue it

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A New Year For A New You Philippians 3:12-14

Ill. Can you imagine what it would be like to be at a track meet waiting for the start of the 100 meter race? Gathered together are the top runners from across the world. Fractions of a second separate these runners. While the marathon is a test of stamina and endurance, the 100 meters is an explosion of power that is over in less than ten seconds. If you have ever run the sprints you know that there is little room for error. Often a race is won in the start itself. But imagine that as the runners come to the blocks that something seems strange about the world record holder. You pick up your binoculars to get a better view and what you see doesn’t make any since. Strapped around his ankles are 25 pound weights. For what ever reason, he has decided to run with this extra load. There is no way he is going to win. (Today, it’s time to take any excessive weight off.)

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Paul uses the analogy of a runner to describe the Christian’s spiritual growth. The believer has not reached his goal of Christlikeness, but like the runner in a race, he must continue to pursue it.

1 John 3:2NLT Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.

What the Apostle John and Paul are saying is, “Presently we walk by faith and we are saved. However, the true heavenly divine person won’t be revealed until Jesus appears. In the meantime, the Holy Spirit is working into us the image of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 9:24-25NLT Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.

1 Timothy 6:12,19NLT Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.

Vs.19, By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

The race toward Christlikeness begins with a sense of honesty and dissatisfaction.

Philippians 3:12TM I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.

Paul uses the word, ‘I press on’ The Greek word was used of a sprinter, and refers to aggressive, energetic action.

Paul pursued sanctification with all his might, straining every Spiritual muscle to win the prize.

Jesus Christ chose you for the ultimate purpose of conforming you into His glorious image, and that should be your number one goal.

Philippians 3:13TM Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.

Paul says, “I focus on this “one thing” Christlikeness; Forgetting what’s behind me, and go onward!”

Luke 9:62TM Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day."

Philippians 3:14TM I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

The unattainable becomes attainable! You win.

I would like to share 2012 Dreams, Visions and Results. (The slate is clean, so what are you going to do?)

Show Video/ “Clean Slate”

It’s time to sell out, surrender all. (Jesus priority) Gal.2,20

Become a worshiper. (Without enticement) Rom.12,1

Pray about everything. Family, Children, Marriages etc. 1 Thess. 5:17

Communicate well. Jer 33,3

Make sure every child is saved, and trained for the present and future. Joshua 24:15

Every teacher and preacher to teach with purpose. Raise up more servant leaders. Phil. 2,5

Reduce the debt, and prepare for the second phase. Proverbs 29,18

Benediction.

Sources: ILL from sermon central

Commentary: John Mcauther

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