Summary: If we can only do one thing this year, what would that be? May I propose for us to strive to develop a close personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ using the 4-step process of FORGETTING (OR FORGIVING) THE PAST, FOCUSING ON THIS GOAL,


Philippians 3: 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have

already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which

Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to

have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and

straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the

prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


Paul’s personal goal “I” SMART. May I recommend the following steps:



✴ V.13, “forgetting what is behind” = our mistakes, mess-ups

Luke 9:62, “Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand to the

plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom

of God” (Amplified).


✴ “I've got my eye on the goal” (V.14, The Message).

✴ “I focus on this one thing” (V.13, NLT).

✴ “It is my one aspiration” (V.13, Amplified).

✴ V.8, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the

surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (NIV).

✴ V.8, “The priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness,

the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing

Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more

deeply and intimately acquainted with Him” (Amplified).

✴ V.10, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection

and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him

in his death” (NIV).

What it is not--

✴ When self-improvement is our primary goal, we tend to be

preoccupied with ourselves instead of with Christ.

✴ This preoccupation parallels our culture’s self-help and

personal enhancement movement.

What it is--

✴ Westminster Catechism: “Man’s chief purpose is to glorify

God and to enjoy Him forever.”

✴ “I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us

onward—to Jesus” (The Message).

✴ The only One worthy of our preoccupation is Christ.


✴ V.13, “straining toward what is ahead” (NIV).

✴ “I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first

possessed me” (V.13, NLT).

✴ “Reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for

me” (V.13, The Message).

✴ “For the joy set before Him (consuming goal) He endured the

cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2).

✴ Pursuing Christ will result in growth in the character of Christ—

his love, grace, mercy, endurance, values, priorities, & pursuits.

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