Summary: This sermon is based on Paul’s statement in Phil 3:10-11 "All I want is to know Christ". Do we view our christian walk in these terms?

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New Year Challenge – A closer Walk

Bumping into Ross-anne at Supermarket

 At the supermarket this past week, I was at the meat counter when this girl came up and threw her arms around me

 Fortunately I knew her

 She belongs to a Christian group, “Cornerstone” who operates an evangelistic ministry in Ballarat.

 We hadn’t seen each other for over 6 months and we spent some time catching up with what was going on in her life and the life of her team.

 It was great to hear the news of what God was doing in their lives, but I did have one regret.

 The leader of the team, Nerida, had become engaged and moved back to Burke

 My disappointment came from not catching up with her before she left.

This is what happens though when we don’t stay in contact with one another

 we lose track of what is happening in each other’s lives.

 It the same with God. When we don’t stay in touch with Him as we should, we lose track of his agenda for our lives.

As we start a New Year, it’s important we step back and evaluate our relationship with our Great God

 For me personally, the most important aspect of the changes our church has been through is this aspect of how we now relate to God

 Instead of trying to relate to God through the law, it is now defined through a personal relationship of love

 No longer is it a matter of trying to win God’s approval by performing impossible tasks

 I know I have been accepted into a personal relationship with the God of the universe through the blood of Jesus Christ

 This change has a dramatic influence on how we practice our Christianity

Let me ask you a question

 Think of two individuals – both Christians

 One gets up early and spends time in prayer and Bible Study before heading off to work

 The other gets up late and rushes off to work without touching bases with God

 Which one does God love the most?

 God loves them both equally – God does not love in degrees like we do,

 nor does he love conditionally - “If you do this, I will love you”

 How would we be if this is how we related to our spouses

 We would never tolerate this in our own personal relationships, so why do we think God operates in this way

 God loves us all, period!

 Does he like it when we talk to him and read his word – absolutely, but we can’t equate this with His loving us more

John 5:39-40 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life;

 like the Pharisees we can study the Bible all we like to acquire knowledge about God

 But knowledge about God is not going to give us eternal life

 and these are they which testify of Me.

 the scriptures, the law and the prophets were given to lead us to the source of true life, Jesus Christ

 40 “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

 only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can bring eternal life

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