Summary: If you follow these principles, you will achieve success in all you do!
• Here we are, it is now the year 2006! Can you believe how time flies?
• What is one thing that many people do when the New Year comes around?
• Many of us make the infamous New Years resolution! Can you give me a few? (Lose weight; exercise more; spend more time with the family; go to school, etc…)
• Now let me ask how many of you had a New Years resolution at the beginning of 2005?
• How many of you completed or stuck with it?
• I do not know the real statistics concerning how what percentage of people keeps them, but I would venture to say the vast majority of people fail in their attempt to keep their resolutions.
• Why do we fail so miserably at keeping our resolutions?
• We will get back to that in a minute.
• I want you to think about some things you would like to see change in 2006. How many of us want a deeper relationship with Jesus? How many of us want to feel excited about our faith, maybe we have not been too excited lately? Maybe our faith just does not seem to do too much for us right now.
• How many of us have wanted to experience Jesus in a deeper way only to find that it is not happening. When we look around us we see a few people who seem to have a strong growing faith, but we do not feel as if ours is going anywhere, we feel stuck in neutral right now.
• Why can some people keep their resolutions and other fail? Why do some people seem to have a growing exciting faith when others do not?
• SLIDE #1
• Today I am excited to share three principles with you that if you will take them to heart and implement them, you will start to have that faith you have always longed for.
• The great thing about these principles is that you can use them to achieve success in other areas of your life.
• Today I want to take you to Philippians 3:4-14, if you have your bibles, please turn there now as we read.
• READ PASSAGE
I. DEVELOP A CORRECT PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE. (4-8)
• One of the reasons we make resolutions is because we look at our lives and we find that something is missing.
• We find that we need to change something. If we are going to change our lives and if we are going to be successful in achieving the vibrant faith we have wanted, we need to develop a correct perspective on life.
• Let us look at this for a moment.
1. How do you define success? (4-6)
• How do you define success? Do you measure it in dollars? Do you measure it in material things? In verses 4-6 Paul recounts his life.
• By the standards of the day, he was quiet successful. He most likely had money, he was respected as a Pharisee, and he was from a good blood line.
• Paul was someone whom others envied; he was a person only others could dream of being.
• If the passage stopped at verse six, he is looking pretty good.
• What about you? How are you defining success? On the softball team Shane and I coach, it is not too hard, you look at the record, and you look at the scoreboard.
• In life it is not always that easy. What kind of price do you have to pay in order to achieve your “success”? Are you paying for it with your family, your faith?
• When Paul met Jesus, his definition of success changed. Paul realized the futility of the way his life was going. SLIDE #4
• Look at Philippians 3:7 says:
2. What is important in life? (7)
• As Paul reflected on his life, he came to realize what he thought was important, really was not.
• The statement but whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ sums up the dramatic change that took place in Paul’s perspective when he met Christ. All of the cherished treasures in his gain column suddenly became deficits. But by God’s marvelous grace, those things that he wrongly imagined would give him eternal life were replaced by five matchless benefits that were his in Christ. (John MacArthur Jr)
• If you want to succeed at growing spiritually, you will need to evaluate what is really important in life and spend your time pursuing that.
• I like what Heather said in her bulletin insert, she wanted to be a choir director, and then God rocked her world. I wanted to run a company, and then God rocked my world. Paul wanted certain things in life and then God rocked his world.