Summary: in these confusing times, how can we reach our potential for Christ? How can we give it our best? How can they stay focused during these difficult days? Discover a helpful Strategy!
A Strategy For Success in Troubled Times
Introduction: Paul, who is the writer of our text, provides a strategy for the Philippian Church as they move forward to become the best that they could be for Christ. Rather than be complacent with where they were, they needed to set their sights higher. The Apostle Paul gives this church his personal testimony. Paul was never one to let circumstances conquer him. Rather, with the help of God, he was determined to fulfill his God-given purpose. In this text, Paul’s attitude, dedication, determination shines through in a powerful way.
As men and women of God who have different perspectives, needs, and desires, if we are to run this race with patience, we will need a strategy. They are so many things that claim our attention, so many goals to reach until it is difficult to stay focused in these confusing times. How can we reach our potential for Christ? How can we give it our best? How can they stay focused during these difficult days? Discover a helpful Strategy!
Apostle Paul set a good example on how to succeed in the Christian race. He ran his race with a wholehearted commitment and gave every effort to win Christ. He wants the Philippian Church to strive for excellence. He understood the high price to be paid, because he was paying it himself. It will take diligence and exertion to attain what God desired for them and for every one of us, but the price is worth the effort.
Many of us in the body of Christ become motivated and excited about their future and destiny. They make bold declarations of faith about who we are and where we are going but many fail to reach their goals in life because they have no strategy for success. A Strategy is a well thought out, workable plan for making progress. Our goal of becoming the best Christ-like disciples we can for kingdom of God will be challenged.
1Pe 5:8 ¶ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
We have an adversary, Satan who desires to stop our progress. We are challenged by Satan who wars against us; he tries to defeat us. So we must have a workable strategy in order to overcome him. We are challenged by our own limitations. All of us had limitations, but limitations do not have the power to rob us of success, if we have a workable strategy. In this text, I believe Paul offers us a workable strategy. Games are won or lost on Strategy. In baseball, a blunt can be just as important as a home run. Basketball, a free throw can be just as important as a three-pointer. In football, a field goal can be just as important as a touch-down. The difference is strategy. Apostle Paul had a great affection for this church. It was a benevolent, caring congregation that supported his ministry throughout his career. He wanted them to succeed and flourish in the kingdom of God. Every child of God should be striving for excellence. To fulfill my God given purpose is my greatest desire. If you and I are going to be successful in running this Christian race, that is to live a life of purpose, obtain a good report and desired results, we must have a strategy.
Apostle Paul is very open with us in the Scriptures. In the book of Acts, we can see many of his challenges on his personal travels. In the First and Second Corinthians, we can witness his challenges in his personal ministry. Notice with me two passages in 1 & 2 Corinthians, where Paul defends his apostle ship and ministry. He talks more about his ministry in First and Second Corinthians than in any other book in the Bible.
In First Corinthians 15:8-10, Paul argues of his apostleship, " And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all yet not I, but the grace of God which was in me."
Then in Second Corinthians 11:5, Paul describes his ministry by saying, "For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles, but though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge...."
The idea is that Paul labored as a debtor to Christ. He was overcome with love and appreciation that Christ saved him, called him and decided to use him in His service. Paul openly confessed that he had less natural talent, less natural ability, though his speech was rude he was able to accomplish more than all the other apostles. Paul learned how to maximize the moment. He learned how to labor more often, to be more productive, and to get more results. How could this apostle accomplish so much? He was not a very good speaker with homely appearance and besides this, he had some serious obstacles to overcome.