Summary: Always exert an effort to improve on the way we serve the Lord in everyday life.
Scripture: Phil. 3:12 – 13 – 14
Title: “Room For Improvement”
Introduction: I don’t know how many times I have sat down with someone and encouraged them to “Prioritize” their life. What are the most important things in your life? What would you list as the “Most Important Thing” in your life? – What would you list as the “Least Important Thing” in your life? Would you have to spend some time thinking about it, or would you be able to say it quickly?
EXPERIENCES: Paul had learned through the experiences he had gone through how to live out his life.
PURPOSE: The Apostle Paul had made one of life’s most important discoveries. That being, the purpose for which he was born.
I. PURPOSE IN LIFE.
a. I doubt seriously if very many people ever really discover their real purpose in life.
b. Why was I born? – Why am I here? – What am I supposed to be doing? – I don’t feel like I do anybody any good! – I wish I had never been born! – I’m bored with life in general! – (Have any of these statements ever come out of your mouth?)
c. Contrary to what the world will tell you, God didn’t make a mistake when He allowed you to be born.
d. God has a PLAN for each and every one of us – And when we start discovering that PLAN life becomes very exciting!
e. In the first place God’s plan for every living human being is that we get SAVED!
f. From the time we get saved we are to live our lives in such a way as to bring GLORY to God our father.
g. Be FAITHFUL to God and help each other and we will fulfil the law of God. (Gal. 6:2)
II. “I HAVE NOT YET APPREHENDED.”
a. The word “apprehended” means, “Attained – Know it all – I’ve arrived – finished – I’ve got it all together – There’s nothing else for me to learn – I’m perfect and don’t need to improve.”
b. In Joshua 13:1 The Lord told Joshua, “You are very old, but there remains much land to be possessed.”
c. Jesus reminded His disciples in John 4:35 “The fields are white already to harvest.” – (That was 2,000 years ago. I wonder how white are they today?)
d. Let’s face it! – There are so many people to reach for Christ that we can’t count them! – We haven’t even scratched the surface on what we need to learn concerning our relationship with God.
III. “THIS ONE THING I DO”
a. “Forgetting those things which are behind” – This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do, “Forget.”
b. There’s something we need to always remember, “The Past, you can’t change it.”
c. Learn from the past and then forget it. – When you start looking back you’re DEAD in your tracks! – Gen. 19:26 “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
d. Luke 9:62 “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
e. Do you know how January got its name? – It comes from the Roman god, Janus. He has two faces, he’s looking both forward & backwards, at the past and into the future. – He was known as the god of beginnings, and eventually gave his name to the first month of the year.
f. This is where the saying, “Two-faced” comes from. – People who say one thing and then does another.
g. Some things need to be forgotten and some things need to be remembered such as promises need to be remembered. Failures need to be forgotten and move on with your life.
IV. REACHING FORTH
a. The things which are ahead of us.
b. The “Mark” – the finish line.
c. The “Prize” – the trophy.
d. The “High-Calling – the High Road, High Standards, Proper Priorities.
V. PRESSING TOWARD
a. Nothing comes to us without “Pressing Toward.”
b. Christianity has had an “Uphill” battle throughout all of its history.
c. Refusing to be an under-achiever takes a lot of courage.
d. Holding your belief high in the midst of a sinful world takes a lot of guts!
e. In 2 Tim. 4:7 Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
f. Paul lived his life with the realization that “There’s always room for IMPROVEMENT!
CONCLUSION: Complacency destroys the future.
Give God all you’ve got.
You have to run as fast as you can if you are to win. – You must do your best.
Paul forgot the things which were behind, so as not to be content with past labors as he continued to look toward the future.