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FORWARD

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2 Peter 3:14 NKJV
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
the 1929 Rose Bowl, the California Golden Bears squared off against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and provided one of the most famous plays in college football history. In the second quarter, California player Roy Riegels recovered a fumble, but instead of advancing it, he got confused and began running toward his own end zone. A teammate finally stopped him at the goal line, but the two points Georgia Tech scored following “Wrong Way” Riegels’ mistake proved the winning margin in the game
Like Riegel often we place much effort and emotional investment into things that are not profitable.
In 2022 New Years resolutions focused primarily on self-improvement. In fact
23% were to be more healthy
21% were to improve happiness
20% were to lose weight
However, on average only 9-12% keep their resolutions.
If we can lie to ourselves, we can lie to anyone.
Of those who make New Years resolutions, 23% quit in the first week and only 36% make it past the first month. According to (Insideoutmastery.com)
43% of all people expect to fail before February.
Interestingly, most people quit on the second Friday of January and this day has been dubbed “Quitters Day.”
As a result, many people make the same resolution year in and year out. Always, setting the same goal yet, without progress.
This morning I would like for us to reset our minds so that we may get off the preverbal merry-go-round and move forward.
Philippians 3:13 NKJV
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
What had Paul not apprehended?
Verse ten gives us the answer.
Philippians 3:10 NKJV
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

Looking back is sure to end in going back

REMEMBER LOTS’ WIFE
Luke 9:62 NKJV
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The greatest threat to North Etowah is complacency.
For the followers of Christ our desire and aim should be perfection.
Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians & Colossians C. Knowing Christ Expresses Godly Motivation (vv. 12–16)

To describe that focus, he employs the image of a runner in a race who hopes to win the prize. He cannot look back. He cannot cloud his mind with past memories. He strains every muscle in his body to achieve forward motion. Eyes focus on the finish line. Paul forgets the guilt of persecuting the church. He forgets the pain of prison and physical punishment. He forgets the frustration of disobedient church members and false teachers. He looks ahead to see the resurrection, where he will meet Jesus face-to-face.

Matthew 5:48 NKJV
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Although, we will never be perfect in this flesh, we should strive to be perfect.
Yet, when we become complacent in our walk and service to God, we will inevitably look to the past. And, when we settle our eyes on the past, there we will die.

Same Mind

Philippians 3:16 NKJV
Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
There are two areas in which we must unify our minds.

1. Same Effort

In vs . 13 Paul uses the term reaching forward. This implies a strenuous labor.
The word reaching actually means to strain. Thus, Paul is saying that he is straining to reach the things that are ahead.
There are great days ahead, for Gods people. Yet, that destination will not be reached without a unified effort.
I know we are busy, life is busy, family and work consume our time. However, we must be unified in our effort.
We will never make great progress if only a few are performing the work. Young people, middle-aged adults, we need your help.
We must labor together in ministry, evangelism, and in prayer.

2. Same Goal

Secondly, we must have the same goal.
It would do little good for us all to labor, but towards different ends.
As a team of bakers work together to create a beautiful cake, so must the church work together to the same goal.
Our goal at North Etowah can e summed up by this, “We must faithfully bring honor to God through every word and deed of North Etowah Baptist Church.”
Now what are our more ground level goals, for 2023?

A. Engage the unchurched

We must be faithfully to engage the unchurched. This includes the corporate and personal endeavors.
To engage them means to intentionally have conversations and interactions as ambassadors of the Lord.

B. Evangelize our community

We must double down on our evangelistic outreaches.
The only path forward must go through evangelism.
This means that we, collectively, engage in evangelism.
We are about to launch a new campaign for the next year.
This campaign is called 1 Day

One Church One Heart One Day

What we will be asking is that every member give one day this year to evangelism.
This equates to 24 hrs, or 2 hrs. a month for 12 months.

C. Elevate our worship

We must learn to worship.
Psalm 100:4 NKJV
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
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