Summary: Sermon is focused on finding the direction of a church and individual lives.
WHERE IS THE GOALPOST?
Have you ever been lost? Now, I’m not talking religion here. I mean honest to goodness, didn’t know where you were right now, kind of lost. Men, women accuse us of not admitting it when we’re lost. They say we’re too proud to confess we took a wrong turn. Well, I’m not prepared today to say that they’re right. But, I will tell you that it kills me to have to stop at a gas station and get directions.
Sometimes, however, even the most stubborn person is forced to admit that they goofed and went the wrong way. Circumstances are so bizarre that you simply can’t deny the error.
Take, for instance, the1929 Rose Bowl game between the University of California and Georgia Tech. The California center, Roy Riegals, recovered a fumble on Tech’s thirty-three yard line and ran toward the wrong goal, seventy yards away. One of his own teammates finally tackled him on his own one-foot line. California’s attempt to kick from behind the goal was blocked and Tech scored a safety which brought victory. The final score was Tech - 8, California - 7. From that day on, Roy Riegals was tied to a nickname, Wrong Way Riegals. Yes, sometimes it’s easy to get turned around and to lose sight of your ultimate destination.
The Apostle Paul knew the danger, and so he diligently set his heart on one goal, and one goal only — living to please Jesus.
Do you, the members of First Baptist, Nicholson know where the goalpost is? I believe that a church must persistently strive to accomplish the goal of becoming all Christ wants her to be. But, how will this church accomplish the task? Join with me in a look at Paul’s reflections on his life, and I believe that we can discover some principles which will help us reach our goals.
I. TO REACH OUR GOAL, WE MUST STOP LOOKING BACKWARD (v. 13).
1. Paul understood the principle of letting the past be the past.
2. This is clearly not a command to forget everything in the past.
1) The Bible itself, in many places, indicates that there are some things worth remembering.
2) Those memories can, in fact, bring strength and faith into our lives in times of weakness and doubt.
3. But, I do believe that this is a principle which declares that we cannot live in past.
II. TO REACH OUR GOAL, WE MUST NOT STAND STILL (v. 12).
1. Paul knew, that in spite of all he had done, he had never fully "laid hold" of Christ’s purpose for his life.
2. If we grow complacent, if we accept the status quo with no questions asked, then we will have ceased to grow.
3. But, if we are willing to accept that we are not all that we can be — if we are willing to accept the challenge to change and grow in faith — then we are well on the way to becoming who God wants us to be.
III. TO REACH OUR GOAL, WE MUST MOVE FORWARD (vv. 13-14).
1. Paul believed that he was saved for a reason — and dedicated his life to the fulfillment of that reason!
2. Do you believe that there is a purpose for First Baptist, Nicholson ? (Commitment to honesty)
1) I am not seeking theoretical opinions.
2) I am asking you "where is your heart for this church, for the call of God in this congregation?"
3. If you do believe, will you be dedicated to the future — committed to the task with your whole heart, with all that you are?
Where do we go from here? As individuals and as the corporate body of Christ, our ultimate goal is always to be like Jesus, to bring honor to his name, to be his people in the fullest sense, to accomplish the task he has set before us, to move forward and upward. If First Baptist, Nicholson is committed to this, then she will accomplish her task. If, as a church, if you live in the past, or, if you are satisfied with where you are now, then you will have a hard time reaching the goal.
Today, I encourage you to make a commitment to the future. Let God get hold of your hearts and move you, as a people, to where you ought to be. Commit yourself to one thing, the pressing on to the high calling that is yours in Christ Jesus! And then you, then we, together, will know how to reach the goal!