Summary: Philippians 3:12-14 is a life verse of most of the winners and successful persons and organizations. This church is one of them because you will not reach this age if you did not succeed.
(My anniversary message in Kaunlaran Christian Church)
Happy Anniversary and Congratulations!
Brethren, Philippians 3:12-14, your text today is a life verse of most of the winners and successful persons and organizations. This church is one of them because you will not reach this age (26 years) if you did not succeed.
I knew the history of this church. I know your struggles. And I knew how you succeed in the midst of many trials you’ve faced since the beginning. Although not all of them!
Our text today reveals what you should do to continue this ministry. And the Scripture suggested three very important things:
I. SET OFF from the past
(don’t be in bondage, don’t let your past hinders your life)
We are special beings in that God has given us the ability to remember.
Your memory may be your friend or your enemy. Negative things or positive…
Most of the times we dwell upon the negative and begin to feel sorry for ourselves. But not only the negative things, even some very pleasant things hinders
us to move on.
Story of Israelites in the wilderness.
When they experience trials, they looked back to Egypt.
“…Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt? And they said to each other, we should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Numbers 14:3b-4
You see, those things can cripple us & hold us in bondage to the past.
In a Nike advertisement some years ago, a voice came over the television saying, "I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Those words were spoken by Michael Jordan, by most standards the greatest basketball player ever to play the game. (Sermoncentral.com)
Illustration. President Abraham Lincoln
Was defeated for the state legislature in Illinois in 1832
He was defeated for Congress in 1843
He was defeated for Congress again in 1848
He was defeated for the Senate in 1855
He was defeated for Vice presidential ticket in 1856
He was defeated again for the Senate in 1858
He became president in 1860 and lives on history as one of the GREATEST PRESIDENTS IN UNITED STATES.
That is why Paul said, "I forget about what lies behind." Paul had a lot that was behind him. Paul had a very bad past.
He persecuted the church. He used his authority to kill Christians. By his own admission he said, "I am chief of sinners." He could have walked around all his life with this tremendous burden of guilt crippling him & he would never have become the great apostle we know & love today.
But Paul said, "…forgetting what is behind…" In other words, "Do not retrieve our past from our memory, it will hinder us to go ahead"
II. CLING ONTO the present
(adhere/hold onto the present)
Please notice verse 13 again. Paul said, "Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do:". Notice that Paul did not say, "one thing I will do." He didn’t say, "one thing I’m going to do," or "one thing I will get around to someday." He said, "one thing I do."
Paul was living and acting in the present. Many people today try to live in the future. Do you know what the busiest day in the world is going to be? It’s not Christmas. It’s not the day before and after your Anniversary. It is "someday." Everyone in the world has something scheduled to do "someday."
I’m sure that we’ve all made plans for "someday," but the fact is, SOMETIMES "someday" never come through.
Paul is the ultimate example of living each day to the fullest -- living each day as if it were your last. When he was imprisoned in Rome, he didn’t sit there resting, thinking about all the things he would do when he got out of jail. He wrote letters to churches, sang praises to God, and even converted some of the people who had imprisoned him! Paul used everyday to the uttermost.
“whatever your hands find to do, do it”
Benjamin Franklin once said, "Do you love life? Then do not squander time for that is the stuff that life is made of."
Perhaps, the saddest example of procrastination (pagwawalang-bahala) is found in the life of the Roman Governor Felix, who listened to Paul "speak about faith in Christ Jesus. But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, ’Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.’" (Acts 24:25).
Never again did Felix listen to God’s word. Once he had put it off for a time, as with so many things in life, that time never came. We all ought to be more like the psalmist, who wrote, "I hastened and did not delay to keep Your commandments" (Psalm 119:60).