Summary: This sermon is focused on helping us to press on to enjoy the life that is our for the experiencing – a life that is progressive, a life that understands how the Lord corrects and prunes us for our benefit and a life that enjoy the fruits of being an authentic Christ follower.
Theme: Growing in Christ
Title: Pressing On
This sermon is focused on helping us to press on to enjoy the life that is our for the experiencing – a life that is progressive, a life that understands how the Lord corrects and prunes us for our benefit and a life that enjoy the fruits of being a Christ follower.
Grace and peace from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
I want to talk to you today about focusing on where you are going in your life; about the direction that your life is heading. After all, where you are going (the direction you are taking) matters a great deal where you will end up in this life.
In fact, it matters way more than we could ever imagine. And that is true whether we are child or a mature adult.
Did you know that if you are going somewhere and you are off by just one degree that after a foot, you’ll find that you have missed your target by .2 inches.
Not much, right?
Big deal. No problem. Who cares?
But what happens if you go further?
+After about 100 yards or the distance of a football field you will miss your target by 5.2 feet. Still not very bad, unless, say you are target shooting.
+After about a mile, you will find yourself off by 92.2 feet. Now, that one degree separation is starting to make a difference.
+After about 400 miles or the distance between Nashville, TN and Charlotte, NC you will find yourself off by over 6 miles. That means you could find yourself in the wrong neighborhood or miss you destination all together.
But if you were traveling to the moon and were just off 1 degree you would miss landing on the moon by over 4,000 miles. You would have traveled over 240,000 miles for nothing. Now, that would make a difference.
Over time and distance, then, a mere one degree error would of course make a big difference. What you thought you were aiming at would be out of reach and maybe even out of sight.
Now, all of this may not mean much to you this morning. After all, you are not trying to hit a target 300 feet away or 400 miles away much less the moon which is over 240,000 miles away.
However, you may be aiming at becoming a better person, a better grand-parent, a better parent, spouse or friend. You may aiming at becoming a better Christ-follower; a better ambassador for Christ this morning. In that case knowing where you are heading does make quite a bit of difference.
That’s what the Apostle Paul was writing about when he penned his letter to the congregation in Philippi. At the time of Paul’s letter:
+ He has been a Christ-follower; a disciple for over 30 years. So, when it comes to understanding how to live the Christian life, Paul had some gravitas.
+He is in prison for sharing the message of Jesus to both the Jews and the Gentiles. Paul knew what it means to stand up for Christ in the midst of persecution and trials. The Apostle Paul was not a one-hit wonder. He was a man of God who was tried and true.
+He is around the age of 60. Not an old man by our standards today but considering all the physical abuse he had endured over the years he no doubt looked much older. We have to remember that Paul had been tortured many times in his life for his faith in Jesus.
Listen to his own account in his 1st letter to the congregation that lived in Corinth:
24 “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-- 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.” – 1 Corinthians 11:24-28 NKJV
Just reading that passage can make a person feel overwhelmed by all this man endured for our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
It can almost make you wonder why Paul didn’t just retire. Why didn’t he just take it easy? Why didn’t he just give up and pass the battle on to those who were younger and in better shape?