Summary: Staying faithful to the Lord in tough times
Staying the course and being faithful and focused
Philippians 3:13-14 I want to read it from the version called The Message Bible
When Paul wrote this passage he was focused on a goal of living for Christ.
Listen to what it says. I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.
This is what Paul wrote and I think it makes great sense in the hour and day that we live right now.
There reason I believe this is because like no other time in history are there people who are overwhelmed and struggling with life. People are living on the very edge of their ability to cope today.
I see or interpret from these verses in God’s word this.
First: The apostle had his heart upon Christ as his righteousness. In other words he realized he was not good enough in his own righteousness to make heaven. He has come to understand that he is falling short of living the way he should and has a real need for a savior. He does not have it all together and that he is not good enough.
Second: The apostle knew the life that he lived would not bring him the happiness that was real and complete. He knew that this earth was not the place to try to find happiness.
And finally: The apostle’s aim is straight and focused in life. He says that he might not know everything, but this one thing he does know and that is he knows where he is headed in life and his aim or focus is in Christ.
Which leads me to say this to you this morning:
The poorest man in the world is not the one without money, fame, or glory; but it’s the man who has no vision for his life. The person that has not goal or desire to be someone or do something in life. They are just existing in life, that is a person who is truly the poorest in this life.
But I think God that when he calls us to himself, when we are saved and filled with God, then that can change if we want it to change.
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Church, there is freedom and liberty in Christ. You have been set free from nothingness and desperation that sin brings. We have been touched by the Lord who gives us the ability to dream and believe and hope in great things. Amen!
Let me tell you something about vision. Vision requires a person to have a dream and a desire to what to do something with their life. That is what Christ gives. Christ frees us from the death of just existing and the death that follows people that have no desire to live for anything. Amen, church, the greatest thing that happened to me when I got saved was that Christ gave me a purpose for living and a vision to be somebody that I could not be on my own. He gave me choices that I could not give to myself and a hope that I could not make for myself. I owe everything that I am and everything that I will ever be to Christ because of his life changing power in my life.
But, when you’re spread too thin you become mediocre at everything and excellent at nothing.
Failure always results from saying yes to too many things. Because something is good does not mean it is right for you.
And that is what is happening in the Christian world today. We are so busy with so many things that we are stressed and distracted with what God’s plans for our lives are.
However, Staying focused on what God has for our lives sets us free from all of the distractions that the devil throws up at us and other peoples expectations and keeps us free to do what God wants us to do.
I. Why we need to stay focused.
A. God has a plan for your life.
1. It is perfect.
So if God has a perfect plan for you, you have to ask yourself, "am I fulfilling God's perfect plan?" If not are you are getting off track?