Summary: This is a Homecoming message to encourage a church celebrating their anniversary.
HIGHWAY TO TOMORROW
• [Quote] Jonathan Swift who wrote Gulliver’s Travels had an unusual greeting to others – “May you live every day of your life!”
• As you look back over this last year – how many days did you really live life at its best?
• Living life at its best – I know someone who strived to do that – the Apostle Paul.
• Certainly no man had better excuses for being miserable in life
o He went about doing good yet the worse sort of things constantly happened to him
o He was arrested falsely many times
o He was beaten unjustly
o He was thrown into prison
o He was shipwrecked
o He often went without food
o He was afflicted with illness
o YET this man seemed to live every day at its fullest.
• Most of us, if not all of us are conscious of the fact that we are not living every day to its fullest.
o Someone will ask us, “How are you doing?” And we will answer, “Great” “Super” – Ah, but behind our mask, we know it isn’t so.
o We know that there has to be a better way than the way we are going.
• Jesus said He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly [John 10:10]. Is life abundant to you?
• Let’s check in with what Paul says in Philippians 3:12-14. Now, keep this in mind as we look at these verses – Paul is in prison, once again, after being falsely accused.
• He is about to reveal to us his secret to live life to its fullest – even when it is falling apart.
• There are three groups of people here this morning listening to me as I share
o Satisfied – You are resting on your own achievements, saying “I’m OK. I have arrived and am satisfied with my life”. If that is the case for you then there is not much ahead for you tomorrow. You have already arrived.
o Dissatisfied – Maybe you are dissatisfied with yourself, with others, and with life’s circumstances. In such a condition, tomorrow doesn’t hold much for you. Why? Because you will be taking that dissatisfied attitude into tomorrow with you.
o Unsatisfied – Paul puts himself in this category and I hope that is where most of us are this morning. It’s the condition where we believe that there is more to life than what we are getting out of it and where we realize there is more we can do in life. It’s were we realize we are not finished. Therefore, tomorrow has much in store for us.
• Paul says, “I have not arrived”. Then he says, “But one thing I do”. Let me rephrase that last statement – “I have pulled together all my thoughts, goals, and purposes and shaped them into a single goal – a single purpose”.
• Have any of you worked your way through Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life? About 6-7 years ago our church went through that study together. Rick lays our 5 specific purposes for each individual life
• I won’t go over those purposes; I just want to point out that we all need to center in on what our purpose is. We have a tendency to fragment ourselves, having dozens and dozens of targets in life.
• [Illus.] One fellow said he had too many irons in the fire. I believe he was wrong. Each of us has only one iron. You may have one iron in too many fires. You have only one life, one day, one hour, yet are you trying to put your iron in too many places?
• We have to decide where we are going to put our lives – decide what our goal and purpose is going to be. Paul said, “one thing I do”.
• [Illus.] I’m not a hunter – I’ve been bird hunting twice – one time we startled a covey of quail – they shot up in the air – as they did, I shot at the bunch of them – missed every one – my friend aimed at one – pow – aimed at another – pow – and then a third – pow – 3 shots 3 dead quail
• We are not to shoot at the covey – we need to center our aim
• Listen again to Philippians 3:13b-14
• I would like to reduce that to 6 little words – 3 couplets
1. Forget Yesterday
• “Forgetting what is behind” – That is hard to do.
• Yet life is less than what it can be if we keep carrying around all of our yesterdays. They burden us down.