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Living in the Present with Purpose

posted Apr 16, 2011, 11:00 AM by Website Administrator   [ updated Jan 9, 2014, 5:19 PM ]

April 3, 2011

Key Passage: Philippians 3:7-14 

“Living in the Present with Purpose” 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re likely to end up someplace else.”  Yogi Berra 

Paul’s entire life, his purpose statement, can be summed up in Philippians 3:13-14: “Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  It’s a deception to live either in the past or the future.  Simply put, God wants us to press on in the present, because the present is where eternity touches us now.  Essentially, this is the difference between the church today and the 1st century church: we’re currently consumed with showing the world what we can do for Christ, while the first Followers were simply content to demonstrate to the world how much Christ could do through them.  There’s a world of difference between the two … one is saddled with guilt about the past, and worried about the future.  The other is consumed with “gaining Christ” by living presently in a way that’s unconditional, unquenchable, and unstoppable.  The question we have to ask ourselves is this: can we let go of the past in order to make a difference for Christ today? 

  1. An Unconditional Dedication to Christ   Philippians 3:7-9

    Paul rejected human achievement as insufficient.  It was nothing compared to knowing Christ.  He had learned an important lesson, and it is this: Nothing is as important as Christ.

    That brings us to an important question – Do I love Christ more than anything the world has to offer? 

2.  An Unquenchable Desire to Know Christ  Philippians 3:10-11

     The word that is translated “know” in this passage has the connotation of a highly intimate

     knowledge.  It’s used in other places in Scripture for the intimate personal knowledge of

     couples coming together in the marriage union.  This is deep knowing – personal knowing. 

     It is not knowing about God.  The more you know Christ, the more you want to know him! 

3.  An Unstoppable Determination to Follow Christ Philippians 3:12-14

     Paul was focused on one thing, Christ – his goal.  Here he tells us what we are going to need

     to do in order to reach that goal.  We must deal with the past effectively, live in the present

     actively, and reach for the future deliberately.  We must replace pessimism with optimism –

     passivism with activism.  Do I live with a determined focus to do what is necessary to fully       

    follow Christ? 

Q: How can a defeated Christian “gain Christ,” – that is, experience Christ’s resurrection power over temptation and sin?

Q: Why is a godly response to suffering so crucial for Christian growth? 

Bottom Line: Like Paul, we must have an unconditional dedication to Christ, and unquenchable

            desire to know Christ personally and intimately, and an unstoppable passion to

            fully follow Christ – whatever it takes.  Christ is our goal.  Let’s run to win until

            we cross the finish line and hear those treasured words:  “Well done, good and

            faithful servant!”