First Christian Church
November 8, 2020 2nd Service
      • Bible Trivia
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  • Same Power
      • Psalm 103:22CSB

  • Your Grace Is Enough
      • 1 Corinthians 10:31CSB

  • Ready For You
      • Psalm 86:12CSB

  • My Heart Is Yours
  • INTRODUCTION
    What a WEEK! WOW!
    I will say two things about the events of this week.
    We do get what we vote for.
    God is still on the throne, and as Christians we need to always place our faith and hope in that fact.
    We have been examining the thought be being Happy during this series through the book of Philippians.
    I know that after the election, there are many people who are happy with the results and apparently a few less who are not happy with the results.
    What can we do in order to be happy no matter what is happening around us?
    The Apostle Paul we offer us some insights to that seemingly impossible task today as we dig into our text together.
    One of the things that can bring us great joy in life is having a purpose for our life.
    Having a defined purpose for your life can make a great deal of difference in your life because from that purpose, flows the rest of your life.
    When I worked at Square D Company, one of the things they asked of each department was to develop a purpose statement.
    This purpose statement was to be the anchor on which all we did should flow.
    Have you thought about what the purpose for your life is right now?
    I know in ministry, I understand my purpose, and my purpose drives all I do. My purpose keeps me anchored even when things get difficult.
    This pandemic has been rough on EVERYONE (except, NetFlix, Amazon, Wal Mart, Liquor Stores).
    I know a number of guys in ministry who are ready to retire because of the stress, and that is understandable.
    Guiding a church through a pandemic is new for all of us (I missed Pandemic 1010 Class); however, as for me, I know why I am in ministry, I know my purpose and that helps me keep my sanity.
    Plus you all have been a blessing to serve with during this difficult time.
    The BIG IDEA today is one we should all strive to work toward, Paul made his goal to glorify God in all things, and he said he hadn’t even accomplished it yet.
    Let’s begin our journey this morning in Philippians 3:12 and 3:20-4:1
    Philippians 3:12 CSB
    12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
    Philippians 3:20–4:1 CSB
    20 Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself. 1 So then, my dearly loved and longed for brothers and sisters, my joy and crown, in this manner stand firm in the Lord, dear friends.

    I. Know who you are.

    One of the ways we can learn to be happy is by knowing who you are.
    When you look you the mirror, what do you see, who do you see? What do you think about yourself?
    For many, the answer to that question is formed by the opinion of other people. The opinions of others can be a driving force in what we think about ourselves.
    If you do not know who you are, how can you possibly set any course for your life? It is like the person who goes off to college, and 12 years later, is still in college because they still do not know what they want to do if they grow up!
    When I was in Bible College, I saw a lot of folks goofing off, playing games on their computers in class instead of listening. Those kids did not realize how important their education would be for them if they were called into ministry.
    When started going full-time when I was 30, I KNEW why I was there because I KNEW who I was.
    In verse 12 of our passage, Paul speaks of reaching a goal, and reaching perfection, or completion.
    Paul knew he had yet to reach the completion of the work he was called to do, and then he says that he makes every effort the reach the goals before him.
    Paul also tells us what drives him to reach his goals and to put forth so much effort for the Lord!
    I ALSO HAVE BEEN TAKEN HOLD OF BY CHRIST JESUS!
    Jesus took hold of Paul on the road to Damascus and has never let go since!
    When you know who you are, it can help bring focus and purpose to your life.
    Those of us who were older students in College understood why we were sitting in those classes, why we were pursuing our degrees, our calling helped give us purpose.
    Every course I took had an impact on me even yet today!
    When you look in the mirror, do you know who you are looking at?
    I do not have to tell you this, but we just had a national election.
    Now I have my views of how it should go, as a matter of fact, why do we waste time on elections, just ask me, and I will tell you how it should go and who should be in what office. :)
    As a Christian, who are you? If you do not know that, you will drive yourself insane.
    Yes we are Americans, but more importantly, we are citizens of HEAVEN! As Christians, we always must strive to conduct ourselves in that manner.
    We are waiting for Jesus to come back and get us! When we know who we are and who we belong to, even if an election does not go the way we would like, we are not detoured, we are not down, we are victorious in Christ!
    We are citizens of the King, we are citizens of the Heaven!
    When you realize who you are in Christ, it will change to way you look at yourself. The world will tell you one thing, but Jesus will tell you the truth about yourself!
    “Citizenship” (πολίτευμα, politeuma) translates a word found nowhere else in the New Testament.
    The parallel is probably to the right of Roman citizenship possessed by the citizens of Philippi.
    Wherever a Philippian went he enjoyed the “rights and privileges” of his Roman citizenship, and he would spread Roman culture as well.
    So those in Christ, wherever they were, and whatever their circumstances, were heavenly citizens. Included in that position was the assurance of a wonderful transformation. What a powerfully sustaining thought! Ash, A. L. (1994). Philippians, Colossians & Philemon (Php 3:20). Joplin, MO: College Press.
    As citizens of Heaven, we will be transformed when the Lord returns, you will not be who you are, this should drive us to our purpose.
    Paul’s instructions on how we should “stand firm” (4:1) includes reminding ourselves that our true citizenship is in heaven, contrasted with those who are opposed to Christ and keep their minds “on earthly things” (3:19–20).
    Let’s look at verses 13-14
    Philippians 3:13–14 CSB
    13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

    II. Pursue your goals based on who you are.

    Once you know who you are, you can now set your goals based on who you are in Christ!
    When you do not know who you are, it is hard to set a path for life, it is easy to spend your life aimlessly wandering around with no direction, nothing to anchor yourself to.
    Plus, if you do not know who you are, and if you have no goals set, no purpose, how will you know if you ever make it?
    It would be like taking a trip and not know where you are going!
    It is interesting that Paul, a man who knows who he is in Christ still is hungry for more!
    If the apostle Paul, who was radically converted from an encounter with Jesus himself and who made such a vital contribution to the New Testament, had not “arrived” yet by his own estimation, it’s probably safe to say, then, that none of us has come to full maturity.
    Apathy and pride can deteriorate our effectiveness and our growth. How can we shake ourselves loose from apathy?
    Paul was not apathetic concerning his focus because he knew who he was and he knew his purpose for life!
    When you run a race, you cannot allow anything to distract you while you are running the race, lest you fail and lose.
    Paul knows he has a long way to go. It would be easy for him to live in the past.
    In life we have to learn to forget what is behind us. When I ran track, I was always told to not look back because it slows you down.
    We are to keep our eyes fixed on the finish line!
    Too many of us are hung up on the past, whether that past is good or bad. I cannot live in the past, it will inhibit my future growth.
    For one to reach forward to what is ahead, you have to let go of what you were holding on to!
    The phrase ONE THING I DO refers to the single-minded devotion we need in order to be successful!
    Success in life depends on being able to FOCUS!
    When a person trains to run a race, they have to know the distance of the race they are training for. A marathon requires a different type of training than a sprint.
    If you are born again in Christ, then you are running your race for Jesus, and your training will be different than if you are running the race for the world!
    The word GOAL is used only in this verse in the New Testament, the word denotes a target one aims a weapon at. I used to shoot bow and arrow. My arrow would go where I aimed.
    What are you aiming for in life? What is it that you are trying to do?
    Paul says his goal is the prize promised by God, heaven, eternal life!
    That is what he has his eyes fixed upon.
    What are your eyes fixed on today?
    Let your goals and purpose in life spring forth from who you are in Christ!
    Let’s drop down to verses 15-19!
    Philippians 3:15–19 CSB
    15 Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. 16 In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. 17 Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us. 18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame; and they are focused on earthly things,

    III. Inspire others to follow Jesus.

    There is a lot in this section we could spend a great deal of time on; however, lets focus on the main point of these verses.
    Those who are mature in their faith think in the manner laid out for us, know who you are in Christ, and then align your life with that in mind.
    For those who seek God, Paul says God will reveal truth to them.
    In this section Paul is inviting others to follow him on the journey to glorify God!
    In verse 18 we are reminded of the many who live as enemies of the cross that folks were following.
    When you are growing in Christ, it will inspire others to do the same!
    People need to have good examples of what it looks like to follow Jesus!
    When you have a mature faith, others will benefit from your faith.
    One of the things you want to see from your Elders is a faith you would want to imitate!
    As a father, I hoped my faith was worth emulating! As a Minister of the Gospel, I pray my faith is worth imitating!
    One of the reasons we come together is to encourage one another. My faith is not all about me, it is also about inspiring others!
    CONCLUSION
    Keeping a heavenly perspective will help us keep this same goal as our pursuit.
    When we know who we are in Christ, we then can align our life purpose to that understanding.
    When you live life with purpose, life makes more sense, purpose gives your life meaning and direction!
    Think about this, what is the purpose for your life today?
    Does the purpose of your life line up with who you are in Christ?
      • Philippians 3:12CSB

      • Philippians 3:20–4:1CSB

      • Philippians 3:13–14CSB

      • Philippians 3:15–19CSB

  • Lead Me To The Cross
  • Sanctuary
  • Revelation Song
  • What A Friend

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