Go Forward in 2014 – 05/01/14
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”