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Summary: Four choices to make if you’d live in hot pursuit of a God-consumed life.

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Philippians 3:13-21

Put Your Behind In The Past

Woodlawn Baptist Church

January 7, 2007

Introduction

Have you ever heard of or taken the time to read the resolutions of the preacher Jonathan Edwards who was made famous in the Great Awakening? Over a period of time, he wrote…

1. Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humble entreat Him, by His grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ’s sake. [I will] remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

2. Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.

3. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.

4. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

5. Resolved, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

6. Resolved, Never to do anything out of revenge.

7. Resolved, Never to speak evil of any one, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

8. Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

9. Resolved, Never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession which I cannot hope God will accept.

10. Resolved, To ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.

11. Resolved, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

12. Resolved, After afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them; what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.

13. Resolved, Always to do that which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak.

In what have become possibly among the most well known resolutions ever made, Jonathon Edwards expressed a simple desire to live a life in pursuit of God. Whether you choose to be so eloquent or not, anything short of that desire in your own life is going to cause you to miss God’s very best for you. A God entranced life, or a life consumed with the pursuit of God isn’t just the stuff of our favorite Bible heroes, nor is it a life that ought to be relegated to a handful of preachers. Every life, each of your lives and mine ought to be marked by the passionate pursuit of God and His kingdom.

The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14,

“Brethren, I count no myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

“This one thing I do…I press toward the mark.” If the apostle Paul was anything in life, he was driven. There are three words in that little phrase we ought to learn from. First of all, “I press.” The word press comes from a Greek word that’s used over 40 times in the Bible, and 31 of those times it is translated persecute. It has to do with purpose, and more specifically, intensity of purpose. “I press toward…” meaning that he is moving in a chosen direction, and thirdly, “I press toward with great intensity and purpose the mark.” Toward what? I’m pressing toward the mark, the goal, the one thing at which I have taken aim. Nothing else matters, nothing else has any importance for me – I am driven with great intensity toward this one thing – God, the things of God, and the kingdom of God.

I want to issue forth a simple challenge today and throughout this year – and that is that we begin to see ourselves as people of the kingdom of God and that we begin to live in hot pursuit of a relationship with God which reflects that God and His kingdom really are the most important things in our lives. The challenge is for us to live like people of the kingdom, to love like people of the kingdom, to have kingdom values, to have kingdom desires, and that we set our sights on that one thing and run after it with great intensity. My challenge to you today…God’s challenge to you today is to life a God entranced life, a God consumed life, a God centered life.

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