January 24, 2021
Introduction: There are two basic statements that every growing Christian in this room will have to agree with this morning. Let me share them with you.
1. We have failed in the past. That is, we have fallen short of God’s goal for our lives.
2. We are dissatisfied with our present spiritual state. That is, we want to become more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Whether you know it or not, if you get to a place where you think you have arrived spiritually, you will cease to grow in the Lord. By the same token, when you are willing to admit that there are areas where you need to grow, that is a sign of maturing Christian.
In these verses, we are given a glimpse into the life of the Apostle Paul. He lets us in on the secret that even he, the great Apostle, had areas in his life that needed work. I do not know about you, but that encourages me this morning.
In verse 12, Paul is telling us, he did not count himself as having yet arrived---he
was not yet perfect. For Paul hope was of "apprehending" something. That word means "to lay hold on." What Paul is saying is, "I am pursuing the goal of laying hold on all that Jesus laid hold on me for." He realized he had been saved for a purpose and God had a plan for his life. He will not be satisfied until he fulfilled God's mission.
Does anybody here want to move toward spiritual maturity? Let us think together around the thought, Moving Higher.
For us to move higher, there are three things we need to look at:
Forgetting Those Things Which Are Behind - Paul said, I refuse to look behind me at my past." The word forgetting means, "To cease to be affected by." If you run with your eye on past successes, then you will have the tendency to lay back and rest on your accomplishments. If you run with your eye on your past failures, then you will tend to stay back for fear of failing again. Look at your neighbor and say, Moving Higher."
There is another thought that needs to be mentioned here. As you are running for the Lord stop looking at how others are doing in the race! There will always be those who will outrun you and others who will lag behind you, or even drop out of the race. Do not worry about what others are doing, your duty is to win to please the Lord Jesus Christ! When we run, he should be the sole focus of our attention. LOOK AT YOUR NEIGHBOR AND SAY, I'M MOVING HIGHER!
Reaching Forth - Paul's tell us that he is "reaching out with all he has" to be sure that he wins the race! Paul was not content to sit around and wait for life to happen. No, he was busy making it happen! He was out there reaching for all he could be come for Jesus. We should try to reach our fullest potential for the glory of God.
I Press Toward The Mark - The word mark refers to the "goal that one has in view." Paul wanted to finish well.
LOOK AT YOUR NEIGHBOR AND SAY, MOVING HIGHER