Summary: Amazing things can happen when we allow Jesus Christ to change our perspeective
Assessing, Forgetting, and Pressing
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I want to preface this message with the words of one of the greatest statesmen, educators, philanthropists, ever. He was a prophet in his own right. His name was Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mayes. He once went on record saying, “it must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is a sin.”
o That is where we find the sage Apostle Paul in this text.
o He has adjusted his aim.
o He is no longer concerned about those mundane affairs that once concerned him.
o He is no longer consumed by those ambitions that consumed most of his life.
o He has not stopped dreaming, but he is now dreaming about something different.
o He has not run out of goals and he is certainly still ambitious.
o It’s just that his aim has been adjusted.
You know, there must come a point in all of our lives where our aims are adjusted.
We come to a place in life things that once mattered so much to us, no longer matter.
We come to places in life where that that was once major in our lives become minor, and those things that were once minor now become major.
I read an article over one year ago where the Reverend Billy Graham talked about how now as he is awaits that day when his voice will be hushed and his eyes closed in finality that things that were once majors to him like traveling and revivals and interviews and meetings with presidents and other world leaders have now become minors and the things that were minor have become major. Things like his wife, children, and family, playing with the grandchildren and watching his dogs and enjoying life have become a priority because his aim has been adjusted.
I don’t know who I am talking to, maybe in many ways I am talking to my self, but whoever you are hear me when I say to you that there is a danger in waiting until it’s too late to adjust your aim.
There are many fathers, perhaps mothers too, who too busy doing their own thing to pay attention to their children and their home and their family. Too busy to see what is really important? Too busy trying to make a living and forget about making a life.
You’d better be careful. One day you might want a relationship with your family and children and grandchildren and they may not have time for you because you did not have time fore them years ago. I ought to have a witness in here.
So then Paul’s aim has been adjusted. He can see things more clearly. As the pastor of this church I would to God that some of you could see things more clearly.
You would not behave like you behave.
You would not take advantage of those whom you take advantage of.
You would not treat people they way you treat them.
Paul in our text is in a roman jail. His execution is looming near. Nero’s chopping block awaits his head. He writes to this church at Philippi and attempts to explain to them what his ultimate goal is. You will find it there in verse 10. It reads, “that I may know Him…….”
He says my ultimate goal in life, my highest priority and my most noble pursuit is to know Christ.
Notice that he does not say, that I may know about Him! You see that’s where many of US get off track. We seek to know about Christ, but don’t seek to KNOW CHRIST. We want intimate relationships with each other, but how deeply do we desire to an intimate relationship with Him?