Jesus is the goal for our lives, with all the things that is happening around lets also focus on Jesus.
The question today is, what that drives you? What is something that you are very passionate about? What really pushes your buttons and gets you going? Some of us are passionate about sports, some of us dressing up, shopping etc, but the question today, is our passion moving us towards a worthy goal or just driving us to be the people we want to be? We have to examine our goal and our passion to see where we are heading.
Apostle Paul had one goal in life-Christ was everything to him. Everything in his life revolved around that goal. We will look at three qualities that Paul had
1. Unconditional Dedication to Christ
4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets.
6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power.
8 Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,
Here Paul was talking about people who put their confidence in the flesh. They trusted themselves, their position, their talents; they put their confidence in what they achieved. In vs4-5, Paul was a man like that. He had some incredible credentials, he could have relied upon his race (Hebrew), religion (Judaism), reputation (Pharisee), rituals (legalistic), rules etc, but he realized that this was not enough to take him to heaven. In vs7-9, Paul was dedicated to Christ. He had given up everything and anything that he took pride in. He put all these things behind him. He realized that nothing was more important that Christ.
Look at your life, is their anything more important to you than Christ (degrees, achievements, role, respectability, reputation, wealth). Lk.12:15; Mk. 8.36 is there anything more important than your relationship with god?
2. A Unquenchable desire to know Christ
2 Corinthians 5:9-11
9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
Our only goal should be to please Christ. Paul was an incredible man. He was known for his convictions. He was an apostle. He wrote most of the New Testament, but with all this, he had the humility to say-my desire is to know Christ. He wanted to get deeper in his knowledge of Christ. He was not satisfied with what he knew. He wanted to know the whole Christ. Many of us are satisfied with our Christianity. We pray a little bit and feel good about ourselves. We read the bible and feel good.
We come to church and think this is all to it, but are we passionate about the mission. Many of us have taken a step backward in our faith. We have settled down for mediocrity, lost all dreams, spiritually waiting to die!!!! Being content is not enough. We have to keep growing in Christ. When we settle down we become stunted and finally die. It is time to be driven again. It is time to dream again. People are passing you by, get hooked on to the train that's will take you heaven bound, stop sleeping, wake up and renew your life towards God.
3. Unstoppable Determination to Follow Christ
'Joan of ark' was a great example in this area. She never let problems stop her and her plan. She was a woman. In those days, they were less respected, but she was called to save her country. She on one occasion told her generals, I would lead the men over the wall. The general replied not a man will follow you, Joan of arc replied. I will not be looking back to see whether they are going to follow me or not, I am going to do it. As she was being burned to the stake, she was given a chance to betray her people but she chose the fire, and while dying, she made this statement - every man gives his life for what he believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing and yet give their lives for little or nothing.
One life is all we have. We live it and it's gone, but to live without belief is more terrible than dying. She had a purpose and she died for it. What is stopping you today from giving all you got for God?
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Paul was focused. He knew what he wanted, nothing would stop him from getting to his goal, which was Christ. Is there something that has replaced your love for god. Only determined people move ahead.
1 Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Run in a such a way to win the prize. Let us run brothers and sisters. In the past, we let things get in the way of you and god. It could have been money, dreams (worldly), family pressure, studies, bad company, lets make sure Christ is our goal. As we continue to run until we cross the finishing line together!