5/15/2011 ~ Pressing Toward the Goal

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It is a marvelous honor to glorify God.
~ God has revealed Himself to us through the Bible.  
Testimony of His will and of His desires for all of us who would serve Him.
We have no excuse for not learning and knowing His will for us
and following it with all of our herts.

... I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus
my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, ... ~ Philippians 3:7-12

Paul's purpose for God was paramount.

... reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for
the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:13-15

~ Paul discovered the most important thing in his life.
Once Saul of Tarsus became convinced that Jesus was the Christ,
the Son of the Living God, then everything about his life changed.

It comes down to the ONE thing that matters in your life.
How does the importance of God influence you?
~ Does it?
- Conviction, is it your passion?
Are you open to feel the power of God?
Can we have this vision?
Can we be settled in ONE unified confidence?
To know Him and immitate Him?

A massive amount of people are reluctant to believe in God when they
witness the examples of hypocrite Christians, of which is arena is vast.
Hypocrites are those that say they believe yet act otherwise,
in not adhering to God’s announcements for human conduct.

Do we reflect this?
I do
what is
behind me
on to what
is ahead
... the goal for
the prize of
the upward call
of God in
Christ Jesus

A Living illustration in You?
Conviction or not?
God over self?

Offered to us.

... to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; ... ~ Ephesians 3:14-21

To be full of Christ?
We are called to have this one mindedness,
~ it is essential to how God calls us.
God’s plan will work if it is applied as planned.
Christians should be intense in their desire to know The Book
It has to, in your heart, as an obsession.
ONE thing that guides your direction.
What is the focus of your soul?

"... shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " ...
~ Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus our Lord, while He was on Earth,
fully experienced the human condition.
He knew God’s Will and Word and used it to defend Himself against Satan!
Are you d e v G
t e d to the word?
Believing as God is speaking to us.  
It is the difference between life and death.
Do you seek (read) to understand The Word?

... take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, ... ~ Acts 20:17-32

┌─> Members too.              
Elders need to know our hope is through our convictions.
~ It is able to save our souls.
It is the only chance we have against Satan and His agents.

Obsession, passion, conviction, … with all your heart.
The Word of God is more important than anything else one pursues in life.
In fact, it is the source and judge of whether we will obtain life over death.
Do you walk the talk?

"... the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." ~ John 12:48

"... pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you."
~ Acts 8:22


"... pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father
who sees in secret will reward you openly." ~ Matthew 6:5-6

One needs an intimate and private relationship with God.
It is spiritual life or death, to know Him.
God wants to be close to us.

... "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away
from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." ~ Mark 14:36

He wants our tender love where we call out … Abba Father.

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received
the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." ~ Romans 8:15

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens
the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, ..." ~ Revelation 3:20-21

Hear and overcome!

"... spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit,
and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." ~ John 4:23-24

From Jesus to every church: I’m knocking on the door of your heart.
The Light of this world wants us.

... In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. ... ~ John 1:1-5

The Creator of this Universe is speaking.
God wants to privately dine with you.
Do you cherish this as the ONE thing.
Is this your deepest desire?
Is God your sanctuary?

Christ’s pattern…
... Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.
~ Luke 3:21

Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. ...
~ Luke 4:42

So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. ~ Luke 5:16
No matter how busy with people, He routinely sought after private prayer.

... in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray,
and continued all night in prayer to God. ... ~ Luke 6:12-13

He prayed most deeply before important decisions.

... as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, ... ~ Luke 9:18
└─> His disciples knew this was His pattern.        

... He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, ... ~ Luke 9:28-29

Our deepest connection to God is during prayer.

... as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one
of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, ..." ~ Luke 11:1

If Jesus needed prayer, we also must need it.

... He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is Your will,
take this cup away from Me; ... ~ Luke 22:39-42

No was the answer, one must endure.
Jesus’ pattern was to pray to God daily.
- God, His only hope.

... present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God,
which is your reasonable service. ~ Romans 12:1

                   └─> Spiritual service of worship.

Sacrifice, what is important?

"... 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by evey word
that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " ~ Matthew 4:1-4

Devoted to The Word?

... when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door,
pray to your Father ... ~ Matthew 6:5-6

Time spent in private with God?

... that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you,
... ~ 1st Corinthians 1:10-13

Know the unity of what The Word delivers in Christ.

Love one another as Christ loved us.

"... love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, ..." ~ John 13:34-35

Jesus loved us enough to show us the way.

... He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, ...
~ Philippians 2:5-8

If we could gain such a magnificent obsession,
look what God will do through us.

... according to the power that works in us, ... ~ Ephesians 3:20

It won’t work until you have the ONE thing straight.

Devoted to The Word
Time spent in private with God
Know the unity of what The Word delivers in Christ
Love one another as Christ loved us

~ Take the Gospel to the whole world ~

... Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them ...
~ Matthew 28:18-20

The Lord calls to us to evangelize the whole world.
We need to BROADEN OUR VISION of how we can do this.
The church exists to communicate God’s word.
Every Christian is a part.

Through the centuries ...
Disciples have passed on to disciples the message of Jesus:

To make disciples of all nations COMMANDMENT
Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Teach these disciples to obey my commandments

... parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man
who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, ... ~ Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus explains the parable of the wheat and tares …

... And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the
tares of the field." He answered and said to them: ... Matthew 13:36-43

└─> The field is the world.                                  

195 countries or nation on the Earth
  63 colonies or territories
258 places

258 locations with a planetary population of 6.79 billion people.
USA = 307 million = 4.5% total world population
→ No one can argue that the Lord has blessed US with surplus.

Personally, we are all charged to help take the gospel to all nations.
How can we touch the world and make a difference?

How big is your world?
● Self?
● Friends and or associates?
● A few ~ a State ~ or Nation.
● Jesus instructed us: The World.

Is your world BIG enough?
                        └─> Be In God

        ┌─> The Corinthians were asked to help those worse off in Judea.
... that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, ...
~ 2nd Corinthians 8:12-15

For those that have more are asked to help those
that have less so equality may be established.

Our opportunities, from this nation, to evangelize,
are greater than ever before.

~ Roughly in a broad inclusion,
13,000 congregations calling themselves “churches of Christ” in the USA. 
  └─> 2,200 “non institutional” churches of Christ.               

┌─> The rest of the world, not including the USA.              
13,000 congregations called “churches of Christ” in the rest of the world.

Average size of churches in this country is 50 members or more.
The average size in the rest of the world is 10 members or less.

Current "Best Case" Scenario:
Population Congregations Members per
USA 307 million 13,000 50 650,000 1 out of
(Worst case)
307 million 2,200 50 110,000 1 out of
6.4 billion 13,000 10 130,000 1 out of

Roughly, the alarm sounds 1 out of 500 verses 1 out of 50,000!
The great majority of New Testament Christians are in this country.
4.5% of the world’s population holds the lion’s share of Christ’s messengers.
                                       More than any other place in God’s Kingdom. <─┘

Increasing our advantage to globally evangelize is that
English is the most universal language of this world.
  └─> The top of commerce and politics.                        

Yes, some parts of the world are dangerous to preach the gospel,
however, most of the world is open to the message of the Gospel.

Two choices:
      1. Remain at home and stay involved.
           a. Pray for evangelists.
           b. Adopt an evangelist and his family (acquainted/reports).
           c. Support evangelistic efforts personally.

                                       ┌─> Connection to other works.
                    └─> Correspondence courses via the Internet
                                   with people all over the world.

             These are just a few websites among numerous selections.

           2. Go some where else and get involved.
                a. Vacations well planned in foreign countries for a few weeks.
                b. Coordinate your business trips.
                c. Move your family to evangelize.

Atrociously, most Americans can not point out their State on a map.
Many have no identity other than self, missing the ONE that sheds light.

For those of ability and agility, we need to carry
The Word forward both at home and abroad.
We must use our skills for God.

And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit
these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. ~ 2nd Timothy 2:2

God’s way is designed to work if we work it.
Share with someone is the call.

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this
you will save both yourself and those who hear you. ~ 1st Timothy 4:16

We need to take confidence in our Lord.
~ To pursue His will.  

Thanks again to my dear acquaintance and brother in Christ, "Buddy" Payne.





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