Summary: God wants us to move forward through the pressures of live. Phillipians is a Lesson In Surrender to God.
19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" 37 Jesus said to him, "’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ F121 38 This is the first and great commandment.
I. Striving: What Makes Life
a. Choose a person from the congregation to demonstrate striving
b. Pushing / breaking through is a constant process
c. It requires one to have constant motion
d. We strive for progress, power, authority, posessions, fulfillment
e. God wants us to move forward through the pressures of live
II. Phillipians 1 – A Lesson In Surrender to God
a. Paul was in prison and writing about being magnified
b. He identified the prison as a vehicle for glorifying God
c. He had lost nothing because he had given everything – his life WAS Christ.
III. Matthew 6 – A Lesson In Acknowledging the Weight of His Call
a. God wants us to give up our own ideas of what life is about
b. His sacrifice calls us to account for ignoring it or acknowledging it in ALL we do. It was too great a sacrifice for any less.
c. It requires us to deny ourselves and lose ourselves in His perfect will – to be swept away by God. Life transforms and becomes an adventure with God as the Master Planner.
IV. Matthew 22 – A Lesson In Relentless Love
a. Our love for God should not only be above our love for other things, but should be a different kind of love – complete and total commitment of everything we are.
b. The secret to this love is not in the separate ways to love him (heart, soul, mind, strength – Luke 10:27), but it the way that those things are combined.
c. Unlocks the combination to complete and lost love for God allows you to experience the fullness of God as far as it can be experienced on earth. His heart is revealled and your trust is complete.
d. It requires all motives, emotions, thoughts, convictions, energy, time, resources, strength, and endurance that you can possibly give.
e. This does not speak of any one particular things (like ministry, Bible reading, tithes, etc), but of the combination of it all.
V. Get Lost!
a. Understand what this personally means for you. Every person has different levels of strength in each area.
b. Understand that it is your specific combination that God is looking for. He did not build us all to look alike, so we never will.
c. Spent time pushing through in prayer, worship, and doing good deeds. After salvation, these are the things that help us to understand God’s nature. Once you understand that, you will fall in love.
d. See every challenge, trial, and pressure as opportunities for experiencing God through breaking through and losing yourself in His will. God will begin breaking the walls down and you will grow to love Him more deeply.
e. When things do not seem to work out, break through the sadness, resentment, and pain by losing yourself in His presence. You do this by acknowledging that God has complete control and by looking for the next steps rather than focusing on the last stumble.