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Summary: It this message we will talk about what it means to pursue holiness. A pursuit we are all called to take as Jesus-followers.

Swimming Upstream

Chasing After A Life Of Holiness

#setapartforChrist

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The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. – John 10:10

I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Jesus saved me for and wants me to be... I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling is up to heaven. – Philippians 3:12-14

Prayer

TODAY – is week 4 in our message series, ‘The Chase, Going After The Life We Were Created To Live.’ A message series where many of us have declared that we are done!

DONE -with pursuing.

DONE - with chasing after.

THINGS - that NEVER have and never will (no matter how hard we run) give us what we are thirsting for. True and lasting – fulfillment, satisfaction, contentment and fulfillment.

UNDERSTAND…

Chasing after, relationships, possessions, accomplishments and pleasure… thinking that they will give us what we want and always fill our cup, is like pouring water into a cup with multiple holes and trying to take a drink from it.

LIKE – God said through His prophet in Isaiah 55:1-3… why keep working for (why keep chasing after) things that do not satisfy?

Why spend your money on something that is not real food?

Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you?

Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies. 3 “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. - Isaiah 55:1-3

REMEMBER - as we have said since we began The Chase…

Living the life we were created to live doesn’t actually begin with chasing after the right things. Instead, it begins when we consider our present chase worthless.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.

– Phil 3:7,8

Okay – so then what do we chase after… I order to live the life we were created to live… WELL – was chase after as we talked about last week, a life of worship…

AND – we chase after, a life of connection.

Connection to God and to other believers…

AND LISTEN – I cannot emphasis enough the importance of connecting with God… JESUS – put it this way to His guys the night before his arrest and crucifixion.

I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relationship intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. – John 15:5 (msg)

Around 4 o’clock yesterday, I decided to ride over to Carters Mountain with Mei-Leigh and Jin-Tao for several reasons…

• to get out and enjoy the awesome day,

• pick some apples (yeah ‘Pink Ladies’ were in the house)

• and to get an object lesson for this morning.

(Note - I showed pictures of apples on a tree and dead branches on the ground)

AND – here is that VERY SAME branch…

QUESTION – what are the odds of this sucker producing any ‘Pink Lady’ apples now? WHO HERE - would bet all of their savings that it would? Why not?

YEAH - connected to the vine this branch doesn’t have a choice, an apple is coming… BUT - disconnected it doesn’t have a chance.

AND – we get that, right? THEN – why would you and I ever think we can bear fruit disconnected from Christ.

UNDERSTAND – connected to Christ we do not have a choice we will bear fruit and disconnected we do not have a chance.

NOW – this week… we are going to talk about ‘Pursuing Holiness’ in a message I am calling…

Swimming Upstream

#setapartforChrist

QUESTION – what thoughts immediately come into your mind when you think of someone pursuing holiness?

WHAT THOUGHTS – do you think would come into the minds the average person in the world?

I MEAN – if you told the non-believers in your life (or for that matter) if you told your Christian friends, that you were going to ‘really’ get serious about pursuing holiness…

WHAT - would they think you were getting ready to do?

THEY – would probably think that you were getting ready to kick all the fun out of your life… and become a very ‘not fun’ person to be around.

I MEAN – pursuing holiness has too often become nothing more than a bunch of ‘nots.’

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