Go Forward in 2014 – 05/01/14


1    Introduction

Phil 3:13-15 “But one thing I do”

·       Last year is over – it will never come again!

·       Last year we faced challenges, difficulties, pressures

·       These are all “things which are behind” – they will never come again, it is a new year

·       We are entering a new year – full of possibilities – “things which are ahead”

·       God has planned this year for us – opportunities, people to meet, relationships, things to do

·       Our part: Establish a clear focus in our personal life

·       “One thing I do” Paul had a clear focus – pursuit of following Christ – intimacy and obedience


2    Things to forget

vs 13 Forgetting “those things which are behind”

·       “Forget” = 1950 =  to lose out of the mind, to let go awareness of, cease focussing on

·       Don’t live in the past: successes and achievements or failures, offenses

Eg Acts 26:9-11

vs4-6 Paul had great personal achievements

Paul also had immense failures – wrong perspectives – persecuted believers

·       Don’t make the things behind you the focus of your life!

Eg Mistakes, failures, disappointments, sorrows, offenses

Exod 14:15 “… why do you cry to me, tell the children of Israel to go forward”

·       What do you need to let go of? Eg Bartimeus – beggars garment

·       Bring it before the Lord. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal how you need to respond


3    Things to reach out for

vs13 “reaching forward to those things that are ahead”

·       “Reaching” = NT1901 = to stretch out, to stretch forward

·       Change and growth is always in the stretch

Eg Mk 3:3-5 Man with withered hand – “stretch forth your hand” – hand was turned inward

“stretch” – to extend self out beyond the normal limitations

·       God has placed desires and dreams in your heart – what are they?

·       What areas are you withered and inward looking?

·       What areas do you need to stretch out in 2014?

·       What areas do you need to grow in? Extend your faith in?

·       What will you do to go beyond your comfort zone? Reach people?


4    Things to pursue

vs14 “I press towards the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”

·       “Press” = NT1377 = to pursue, to flee, to follow after, to persecute

·       Each of us has a race to run, a course to complete, a prize to win

·       We are placed in Christ to represent Him – act on His behalf

·       No one can run your race for you – make the focus of this year following Christ

Eg Heb 12:1-2 “Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”

·       Don’t look around at what others do and let them set the standard

·       John 21:21 “But Lord, what about this man? … what is that to you, you follow Me!”

·       “Follow Me” active pursuit of intimacy and obedience to Christ


5    Application questions

i)      What is Holy Spirit saying to me?

ii)     What do I need to let go of? – weight, destruction

iii)    What do I need to focus on? – dreams, possibilities

iv)   What will I do to act upon what God is saying to me? – steps to take


Note vs15 “Therefore, let us, as may as are mature, have this mind, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you”