Summary: As we press on to be like Christ, we should examine our lives and identify those things that tempt or lead us to temptation.
THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN THE SEASON OF LENT,
THE MESSAGE FOR SUNDAY THE 1ST OF APRIL, 2001
THE TEXT ARE:
The LESSON:.....PHILIPPIANS 3: 12-14
PRAYER...MAY THE WORDS OF GOD AND HIS MESSAGE SPOKEN THIS HOUR BE BOTH A WORD OF COMFORT AND CHALLENGE
WE PRAY THAT IT WILL CHALLENGE THOSE WHO ARE COMFORTABLE AND COMFORT ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEING CHALLENGED THIS DAY.
Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
The greatest thing that can happen to us as Christians is that we become heavenly minded ..
WE DESCRIBE heavenly minded AS to live every part of your life with the goal of entering into heaven having completed the purpose for which God has called you.
To be heavenly minded is not to wait for heaven WHEN WE DIE, , but to push on, toward the goal of entering heaven having finished what God has called you to accomplish.
This passage reveals three important principles TO US TODAY.
We have not yet attained what we are called to take hold of, we have not reached perfection, and we are to press on, toward the call.
1. We have not yet attained – or literally, have not laid hold of the purpose of our calling.
NOW When we enter into fellowship with Christ by surrendering our lives to Him does not mean we automatically accomplish EVERY THING THAT CHRIST WOULD HAVE US TO..
As a new Christian, you have not yet laid hold of your calling. Even as an older Christian, you may not have found the purpose in which you were called.
Jesus is the door that we must enter in order to begin our new life and begin our journey toward Heaven but entering that door is not the finish line.
It is a major error to think that once we HAVE BECOME A CHRISTIAN AND GOTTEN our ticket to heaven we have reached our goal.
2. AND EVEN THOUGH WE MAY COME TO CHURCH SING AND PRAY, We are not THERE YET, WE HAVE NOT REACHED MATURITY.
AND Before your spiritual life can take root, your flesh nature must be crucified. WHEN WE BECOME born AGAIN into the kingdom of God,,,We are set free from the bondage of sin and are no longer driven by the flesh, but it is our responsibility to bring our hearts and minds under subjection to Christ.
AND EACH time I look back on my life, I should be amazed at how far God has brought me.
I should stand determined to never return to where I have been.
THERE FORE, My focus is not on my past, but on my goal of winning the race God has set before me.
When I think I have arrived, I am as far as I can go. If God works in my life and I begin to grow, and I look back and think I have hit the mark, I will stop growing and eventually start sliding.
In Christ, I am encouraged by my past and given the strength to reach ahead toward my calling.
I can only overcome this life by His strength.
Only He has the power to give me endurance to keep reaching ahead.
But I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me".
My earthly goal is to press on so that I can take claim to the calling that God has for my life. I am to strive to find the purpose for which God transformed my life and equipped me to achieve.
God did not change your life just so you can live anyway you desire. God called you for a purpose.
To find that path of life, you must be found faithful. Each step requires faithfulness to find the next step.
As we press toward Christ-likeness, we should examine our lives and identify those things that tempt or lead us to temptation.
Sadly, most people cast off the eternal and cling to what will definitely pass away.
If I am earthly minded, I will value worldly things because I don’t really believe God’s promises.
So how do we get eternally minded and focus toward the calling of God?
This passage reveals two critical areas that help give us that heavenly perspective.
FIRSTLY,,,,We must determine what is of REAL value so that we can count all OTHER things as NOTHING in light of the excellence of the knowledge of Christ..