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Return to Sermon IndexPhilippians 3 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you. At the beginning of each New Year many people will make new commitments and promises. They will try to think of something that will improve their life or how others think about them. They will try to think of one thing that they need to do or stop doing that will make them a better person. In this passage in Philipians I believe that Paul has a similar idea. Paul says that the one thing that he wants to do above all else is to serve the Lord better: -"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended" --Paul says I have not completely grasped everything I can for Christ. I have not yet learned all that I can learn, I have not yet done all that I can do for Christ. Paul was a very Godly Christian, but even in his life he knew he could do more for God. -"forgetting those things which are behind," Paul said forgetting those things which are behind, meaning forgetting all the works he has done for God in the past. -- Sometimes we think about what we have done for God and we feel we have done all we need to do. Now we can rest. Paul said I am not going to think about what I have done, I am going to thing about what I can do. I have met good Christians that have felt that they have been serving the Lord a long time and now they just need a little rest from the work. Usually when that happens the get backsliden. They allow sin to creep into their lives. We must realize we are in a never ending Battle. When you are in the middle of a war you can not rest, because if you do the enemy will attack and destroy you. We have an enemy and he wants to destroy us, destroy me and you.: 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: --He is seeking the opportunity to destroy you and he will if you let him. This church has seen a great year. People have been saved. This church building has been built. Now what will you do with the building God has provided? You must decide how can you best use the things God has given you. -"and reaching forward to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." --Paul says I will commit myself to do all that I can to have a better realationship with Christ and glorify Him more. What can you do to have a better relationship with Jesus Christ? What can you do to help others hear about the gospel? Jesus died so that people might be saved, what will you do to help? I. You can have greater Faith. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. A. Without faith it is impossible to please God. We must learn to trust God. To believe that He is in control of all things. His word, the Bible, is true and that God knows what is best for our lives. In the Old Testament the Children of Israel always looked at the things the other nations had, and many times they complained to God because they didn't have what the world had. In Malachi 3 the bible tells us that they stopped giving their tithe to God because they felt there was no benefit to serving God. We must believe that the things we receive from God are far better than the things we can get from the pleasures of this world. B. First you must believe that He is. This is more than just knowing that God exists. James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and tremble. You must have a personal relationship with him. You must receive Him as your savior. Mt. 7 tells us that on the day of judgment many people will stand before God and say Lord we have done many good works in your name, but He will say depart from me into everlasting fire because I never knew you. --No matter how many good things you do, if you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior you will spend eternity in hell. II. You can communicate to God more. A. We communicate to God with through prayer: Philipians 4:6,7 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. B. He communicates to us through His Word: Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee. III. We can Love the Lord more. There are many people that I love and care for, but I love my wife more. If I had to choose who I would rather live with it would be my wife, because I love her more. If someone I loved wanted me to do something that would hurt my wife I would not do it, because it is more important that I please my wife than that I please others. As much as I love my wife I must love Jesus more. Is it more important to you what the Lord knows about you or what others think? Who do you want to please? Who is more important to you? Love the Lord more.