Summary: We can and must keep moving ahead in our relationship with and service for Jesus. Here are several moves of a Christ follower.
People on the Move
Philippians 3:10-16 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, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 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. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Intro: Well, we are 3 days into the New Year. 2010 is here! Have you kept your new year resolutions so far? Or based on last week’s message, how are you doing on your God-sized dreams? Have you allowed Him to expand your thinking and increase your expectations? I sure hope so. If not, take some time this week to dream some God-sized dreams. Then determine what your next actions steps are and go for it!
-The message today deals with pressing on, moving forward. There is no time like the present to connect with God’s purposes and dream big with God! He wants us to know Him like never before and become the people He planned for us to be. Here is the main idea I’d like to talk about today:
Prop: We can and must keep moving ahead in our relationship with and service for Jesus.
Interrogative: How can we maintain the necessary progress in our walk with Christ?
TS: We can press on to know and serve Jesus more by following some simple guidelines from the text.
I. Move Closer to Jesus (10-11)
II. Move Closer to God’s Purpose for your life (12)
-God had called Paul to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Acts 26:16-19 I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' 19 "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
-What has God called you to do? Maybe you didn’t receive a vision from heaven like Paul did, but what has God given you, and how are you using it? When God got a hold of you, what did He have in mind for you? Forgiveness? Yes, but more. A better life? Yes, but more. For you to become a responsible citizen? Yes, but so much more. Maybe you haven’t found your purpose in life that defines you yet. In one sense my advice is relax – but not too much. Don’t get uptight about having to see the big picture. Just start where you are right now and do what you sense God is calling you to do. Get to know Jesus. Read your Bible. Talk to the Lord through prayer. Listen to Him. Ask Him to lead you and teach you to hear His voice. Love God. Love people. Take care of your family. Be a good neighbor.
III. Move beyond the Past (13)
(There is a sense in which we can learn from our failures and celebrate our successes, but Paul is saying, “What are you going to do with today and tomorrow?)
A. Do not rest on the satisfaction of past accomplishments
-George MacDonald wrote, “Nothing is more ruinous to progress than supposed success.” It seems so easy for us to want to relax after we have some success in our lives.
-I had a coach who had been warning our team about getting overconfident in our own abilities. Just the week before, we had beaten a team soundly, and were pretty proud of ourselves. Then, we went to a little town, Long Creek, and they beat the tar out of us.
-If anyone could have patted themselves on the back for a job well done and retired to Easy Street, the apostle Paul certainly could have. However, something was compelling him to do more than asked and go farther than expected. What kept Paul from just taking a deep breath and saying, “Wow! We’ve done pretty well. Now let’s just sit back and enjoy the fruit of our labor”? I think it all ties in with having that living relationship with the risen Christ. If we love Jesus and listen to what He is telling us through the HS, then we will never become satisfied with coming this far. God will help us see that we must keep pressing on until the day He calls us home.