Sermon Notes from the Sunday AM Service of the Kannapolis Church of God, February 7, 2016
Pressing Toward the Mark
Tonight, two teams will have the eyes of most of the nation on them as they strive for the goal of all professional football players: to win the Super Bowl! Tonight, it is our local Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos, the top two seeds in all of the NFL.
It is Peyton Manning v. Cam Newton, Defense v. Defense, with everything on the line. Who will win? That is the question.
However, pursuing the dream of a Super Bowl, although very popular and highly competitive, is simply a worldly goal that will someday have little or no significance.
Philippians 3:12–14 (NKJV)
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
The Panthers have never won a Super Bowl.
The Broncos have not won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning at quarterback.
They both pursue an unattained goal tonight.
The difference between what they pursue tonight and what the Christian pursues (as described by the Apostle Paul) is clear, though.
While Cam and Peyton both hope to lead their teams to a Super Bowl title and possible tremendous endorsements, Christians should set their sights on a goal that is not adored by the masses, but rather is assigned by the eternal.
Paul here points out that he realizes his place in the journey of faith. He is not finished with the race, he has not attained the level of success or accomplishment to which he has been called, but yet he is definitely called to something higher than that to which he had attained. Why? Because Christ had called him to it! To what has God called us?
All of us are called to a life of holiness and service, to live in relationship with Christ on a day-to-day basis. Also, God has specific callings in mind for each of us in order to fulfill His perfect plan for our lives.
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
One of the most ridiculous and frustrating practices of an NFL player is when a ball-carrier is running downfield, only to find the way blocked by defenders, and turns around and runs backward in hopes of finding a hole in the line and being able to run for a gain. However, most people never get any further by running backward, and quite often lost yardage in the process.
How do we reach the goal? How do we cross the line and score?
- Forget what is behind
- Reach forward
- Know where the Goal is
- Eye on the Prize
- Answer the Call