Faithlife Sermons

In Pursuit...of Steadfastness

In Pursuit  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The true mark of a disciples, is one who follows and stays that course. Repeatedly throughout the New Testament we see the challenge to hold fast to the faith and to endure. Staying the course is not something that just happens. We must pursue steadfastness and stability in our journey with Jesus.

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INTRO

1 Timothy 6:11 ESV
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
Philippians 3:1–14 ESV
1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. 2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

3 REALITIES OF STEADFASTNESS:

1) NOT PRODUCED BY YOUR PEDIGREE! (Phil. 3:1-7)

When we see people who are consistent in their devotions to something and we are not, we tend to say, “Well, some people are just wired that way.”
While that may be true in some cases, that is not the case with being steadfast in our faith.
People who are steadfast in the faith are not steadfast because it just came easy for them.
My Story - My Struggle.
No matter what your background is, you can flee the things of this world and pursue steadfastness in Christ because Christ is in you.

2) NOT SET UP BY YOUR STRUGGLES! (2 Cor. 11:23-29)

2 Corinthians 11:23–29 ESV
23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
You know the Farmer’s Commercial Slogan, “We know a thing or two, because we’ve seen a thing or two.”
Sometimes people think that steadfastness only comes through difficulty.
People who are steadfast in their faith seem to always have some kind of traumatic experience that led them to being steadfast in the faith.
While it is true that God will often use difficulty to bring someone into a deeper walk with Him, it’s not the struggle that produces that walk.
The struggle simply strips away false realities and helps us to see a proper perspective of what matters most!
You don’t have to experience hardships to gain the proper perspective of understanding that Jesus matters more than anything else!
Tough time will always come because we live in a broken world.
While God will use tough times to shape our character and grow our faith, it’s not because of the struggle, it’s because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Jesus is the focus, not the struggle.

3) DEVELOPED BY A DETERMINED DAILY DEVOTION TO JESUS (Phil. 3:7-14)

Jesus is better!
Steadfastness is built upon Jesus above all.
Don’t just know it in your head…let it sink into your heart.
Fleeing the things of the world and pursue steadfastness means that we are wholly devoted to Jesus everyday, not just on Sundays.
It means that each day is a fresh and new pursuit of growing in our love for Jesus, growing in our devotion to Jesus, and growing in our walk with Jesus.
What would it look like if every day your sole ambition was Jesus? What it would like if everyday you woke up and prayed, “My Lord and King, what are we going to do today?”
Steadfastness isn’t just starting the morning that way…it’s making sure you check in and stay connected all day.
When pursuing Jesus becomes your identity, then you will be steadfast in Him. Nothing else will matter more than Jesus.
When we are steadfast in our faith, Jesus will no be an accessory of our lives, He will be our life.

CONCLUSION

“NOT THAT I HAVE ALREADY OBTAINED THIS OR AM ALREADY PERFECT, BUT I PRESS ON TO MAKE IT MY OWN, BECAUSE CHRIST JESUS HAS MADE ME HIS OWN.”
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