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New Years Eve  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Focused on moving forward

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
We have to move forward as we enter the new year. We can’t get stuck in the past. The past was there to prepare us for the future. Regardless of our current situation we still have a future and that future will be determined on how we propose to move forward. The message Bible says it this way I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Its clear we have not accomplished all we would have desired but we can’t wallow in our perceived failures. Paul said not as if I i have apprehended. Paul who was a champion for Christ who could boast about his zeal for the Lord and is credited with providing 2/3 of the New Testament still had visible short comings. At the time he writes this epistle he is a prisoner in a Roman jail. After 3 missionary journeys, 3 beatings to near death. 3 times ship wrecked, and at the time of this letter this is 3rd time imprisoned. So what am I saying? Paul is forgetting a whole lot of pain. a whole lot of suffering. a whole lot of disappointment.
This is many of us. times of disappointment times of dispair. but Paul was not going to allow any of those things define his future. He said I am forgetting those things behind me and reaching (striving) for those things which are before! Got my eye on where God is beckoning me. I don’t about your but I hear God beckoning me to BETTER! He his calling me to Greater! So why would i let my past hinder my future. I see all that as lessons of preparation Rev Milton Brunson sang “He is preparing me”
Secondly if you continue reading you will not only do we have to be Moving Forward we have have to Stay Focused
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. The message Bible said it this way So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
Avoid distractions. What are our distractions? Anything that interrupts your progress. How many want everything God has for them? If you do you have to avoid pitfalls, traps, and distractions. If you were here this morning you would have heard Rev Freeman preach form . one of the of the things the Lord protects us from is the traps the enemy set for us. Yet the caveat is it is reserved for those who Dwell in secret place of the Most High.
When you have folks trying to pull you away from church they are a distraction. when you have folks infringing on your God time mark them as a distraction. Folks who call you to go a sinning, Mark them as a distraction.
Paul gives you a remedy. Make sure you have like minded people around you. Those doing something with their life.
He said in verse 17 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are saints who are serious about this race. They stand out. The are committed, they are faithful, they positive, they have joy, they have peace. They are on fire for the Lord. That’s who you need to imitate. But be careful of the enemies of the cross! Paul said it not me. He is sadden by the “aints” of life who is more interested in their own selfish agenda instead of carrying out the will of God. Its right there read verse 18 and 19 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. The Message Bible put it this way There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
You have to be careful of folks that encourage you to do wrong.
We have a have a goal and that goal is to make it to heaven. We are citizens of high heaven. we know the Lord is coming back and when he does he will transform our earthly bodies into glorious bodies. In the mean time I striving to live my best life.
The Message Chapter 4

4 My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God.

PRAY

The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
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