Sermon for 12-29-19

Sermon for 12-29-19

Philippians 3:1-21

What were the highest priorities of Jesus Christ? What are the highest priorities of this church? What are your highest priorities? New Year’s day is a good time to start new resolutions and recommit to striving for goals.

This year is 2020! Do you have a 2020 vision for your life this year? As we see in Philippians 3, Paul certainly did! His life was goal oriented. He was focused on the highest priority of all, was he not? I wonder what it would have been like to go on a mission trip with Paul. I wonder where on the priority list he would put safety and comfortable transportation. Just imagine Paul on a jet ride to a mission point. I picture him converting as many passengers along the way as he possibly could. I can’t see him wasting an opportunity with such a captive audience and not sharing the gospel, can you?

If you were to ask Paul what his highest priorities were, he wouldn’t bat an eye!

1. I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things and count them as rubbish!

2. I have become all things to all men that by all means I might win some to Christ. In other words, I want to bring as many people as possible to Christ! I want to present them to Christ as my offering.

3. I live my life for Christ as a model for others to follow.

Philippians 3 begins with a charge to rejoice and a warning about those who would draw us off the path, then the chapter ends with a warning about those who would draw us off the path and a reason to rejoice. What stands between those is an amazing declaration of how to live for the highest priorities that exist.

Paul took Jesus seriously, did he not? Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Then Paul wrote these words of instruction: Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. What did this just say? What is the New Testament church pattern according to Philippians 3:17?

Does that not mean that his example is for us to follow too? Are his priorities not to be our priorities too?

How does the song go? “If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul, you can tell the love of Jesus and say He died for all.” So what do you do?

You can look at this and decide that it’s too much and just give up, or you can look at this and ask God to strengthen you to do what He will through you and let Him work in your life while you strive to keep seeking His kingdom and righteousness with your eyes on Christ as my prize. You don’t have to win this race, just finish it! This is not about being better than anyone else, it’s about striving to be like Jesus, because you know He gave it all for God’s will for us, for you and me. Following Jesus is not a competition! Following Jesus is a life giving priority, it’s a soul saving mission that keeps eternity in view. It’s a walk by faith and not by sight. Following Jesus is the highest possible human priority! Barring none!

Sing this new song with me that’s in our songbooks. Knowing You, Jesus.