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Our DAILY GOSPEL DEVOTIONAL is the story of Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension. This is a chronology and harmony of the gospel accounts in which the ongoing narrative and doctrinal context are carefully considered. In one year we reflect on every passage of every gospel.
May God bless you as we follow the disciples on the journey through the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What about Tithing? Part 3








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Listen to the audio or you might get the wrong idea. The New Testament teaches grace giving. We will first look at the concept of tithing as seen in the Old Testament, and then discuss how this relates to the New Testament, and what it teaches about giving and stewardship in general.

Leviticus 27principle of purpose (vs.30)

• Tithing became part of the Law, like a tax, so as to provide income for the priests and for the routine functioning of the nation of Israel.

• This text in chapter 27 is very specific about what items are to be given.

• Numbers 18:21-32 / 2 Chronicles 31:4-18 confirm that part of the purpose of the tithe was to support the spiritual leadership. (cf. Luke 10:7 / 1 Corinthians 9:11-14 / Galatians 6:6 / 1 Timothy 5:18). The Levites were also given cities (Numbers 35:1-8).


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What about Tithing? Part 2








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Listen to the audio or you might get the wrong idea. The New Testament teaches grace giving. We will first look at the concept of tithing as seen in the Old Testament, and then discuss how this relates to the New Testament, and what it teaches about giving and stewardship in general.

Genesis 28principle of stewardship (vs.13-15, 20-22)

• Jacob recognizes that all he has been blessed with has been given by God.

• God owns it, we use it, and we give some directly for God’s use.

• It is not a transfer of wealth, as if we give God a tenth of what is ours, it is an acknowledgement of who is the actual owner, not that we have produced, but that God has given us these gifts.

• We worship with what we have been given, for it is all from God. God entrusts us with all He has given us, and we recognize the giver and His control by giving off the top.


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Monday, September 28, 2009

What about Tithing? Part 1








USE THE PLAYER ABOVE TO LISTEN TO THIS POST


Listen to the audio or you might get the wrong idea. The New Testament teaches grace giving. We will first look at the concept of tithing as seen in the Old Testament, and then discuss how this relates to the New Testament, and what it teaches about giving and stewardship in general.

Genesis 14principle of thankfulness (vs.18-20)

• Abraham gives a tenth to the priest Melchizedek in light of the victory he had just experienced. Abraham is giving as a response to God. (cf. Hebrews 7:1-4)

• However, it is not suggested here or mentioned anywhere else that we are to give a tenth because of some victory.

• It is not mentioned anywhere at all that we give a tenth to stir God to give us a victory or to spur Him to some action on our behalf.

• Compare Abraham’s response to the King of Salem vs. the King of Sodom (vs.21-24)

• It is about a grateful heart for what God has already done, and in Christ, we have been given the blessing of Abraham, blessed with all spiritual blessings, etc…


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jesus IS the Golden Rule

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12 – ESV)

The Golden Rule is consistent with the other components of Christ’s teaching as revealed in the Gospel accounts (Matthew 22:37‑40). Moreover, the personal character of Jesus Himself was a living commentary on the rule in action.

Matthew 5:17 – Jesus is the embodiment of this, He fulfilled this

Matthew 5:19-20, 48 – He wasn’t relaxing He was advancing – He is perfect, His righteousness did exceed the Pharisees, and everyone else – Jesus is the opposite of the false ways

He said have no fear what others may do to you, He had no fear

He could have destroyed them but didn’t (my kingdom not of this world, a legion of angels, the only reason you can keep me is because I allow it, blew men down before they arrested Him)

Forgive them they don’t know what they do

He challenged them even though He knew this would bring trouble

He didn’t let others keep Him from doing God’s will

He gave to those who didn’t give back

He knew what they would do but He did it anyway

We cannot simply say, “Go out and live in perfect obedience to everything God said and then you will be like Jesus." If anyone could do that, then Jesus was not the unique Son of God. True saving and sanctifying faith are not found in self-sacrifice, they are found in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. You need Jesus or you will not be able to walk the road, and we walk it by faith, knowing that He has accomplished the walk for us, and when you fall He lifts you up, it is not your walk, your good works, it is His, but we follow Him along that path because we are saying we have faith, that this is the right way and we follow the righteous One. Jesus IS the Golden Rule, the way the truth and the life of it.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Living the Golden Rule

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12 – ESV)

This Golden Rule is the summation of all that had gone on before it, and we see that there is a road to this is as seen in the Beatitudes, where the Sermon on the Mount starts. The Beatitudes reveal 7 qualities that reflect the spiritual life God desires for His people. These 7 “blessings” are markers along the road to the Golden Rule. In order to be able to live out the Golden Rule as our rule of life, we need to follow along the path that these blessings point to.

5:3 – the walk starts with brokenness, realizing our lack of strength to live as we ought
5:4 – repentance towards God
5:5 – humility
5:6 – hunger for God
5:7 – merciful
5:8 – purity leads to vision, you can see the fruit, and we are being set free from selfish sins
5:9 – James 3:13-18 – we sow because we love as God intended as the Golden Rule teaches
10-16 – they try and douse your flame but it remains this is living it out

We have broken hearts because of misunderstanding these things, and we need God to help us in order to help others through these things. Do unto others as you would have wanted them to do back when you were in that situation, even when people didn’t do you right, now turn that around, Christian, and do others right, this is living the Golden Rule.

He loves us even though we mess up. God doesn’t mess up, but He allows us to go through trying circumstances, and so we often feel like He does mess it up for us, but so do we still love Him? We must admit that the answer is often no, not really, but the beauty of God is that He gives us a chance. Even when we fail on our end of the bargain He still holds up His and we can see that He loves us more than we love Him. He has a greater love and we worship Him for it and become more like Him because of it. We would do Him the ultimate wrong (If you could kill God would you do it, would we kill Him again?) and yet He does us ultimately right, we can learn to see as Paul did (Philippians 3:8) and as Jesus taught us (John 12:24).

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Perverting the Golden Rule

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12 – ESV)

Many people espouse their version of the “Golden Rule”. However, the Golden Rule is NOT…

· Do unto others or they will do unto you (fear)

· Do unto others before they do unto you (malice)

· Do unto others because they have done unto you (retaliation)

· I won’t do unto others so that they won’t do unto me. (The silver rule often has been described as “the golden rule in a negative form.” It is the golden rule without the gold. “What you do not wish done to you, do not do to others.” This has found expression in the literature of many different cultures. Sayings like this forbid much, but they command nothing. Many people live by the principle of the silver rule: “It’s not my problem”; “it’s no skin off my nose”; “mind your own business”; and “take care of ‘number one’ ”. You might let yourself off the hook and think you are doing the golden rule by being loose with others, but it really is only so as to give yourself room to sin. The positive form is more telling than its negative counterpart, for it speaks against sins of omission as well as sins of commission. The goats in Matthew 25:31‑46 would be acquitted under the negative form. The negative confines us to the region of justice; the positive takes us into the region of generosity or grace. It isn’t “I want them to leave me alone” it is positive. It is not I’ll do unto others who can do back unto me (Luke 14:12-14) Mercy – helping someone that cannot pay you back it is not just don’t do, but do

· Do unto others as they would have you do (godlessness) – wrong it is not higher than Golden rule, a criminal wouldn’t want you to turn them in

· Do unto others so that they will do unto you (selfishness) (we should do it because we love, not for purchasing love or a desired reaction, thinking we deserve, driven by the desire to be satisfied, this one wears a subtle mask, radical flaw, we do things and expect them to do to us, or recognition, etc.)

· I won’t do unto others because they won’t do unto me (bitterness)

It is universal (whatever) / It requires action (do also to them) / It is grounded in divine revelation (this is the Law and the Prophets)



“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Feasting on Jesus

These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them.
(Leviticus 23:4 – ESV)

In Leviticus 23 we have the seven major feasts that were observed by the Jews under the ceremonial system and each one of them points us to a certain aspect of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. Now, as Christians, since Jesus is the fulfillment of these, we do not have to keep the feasts (Colossians 2:16-17), but they do make for a fascinating study that can enrich our understanding. Of course, there is so much more than we can delve into here, we cannot give a detailed exposition of these verses in one message, but let’s take a quick look at the feasts and see them as types of Christ’s life and work. We want to “feast” on Jesus.

These seven feasts were seasons of joyful solemnity appointed by God to point to Christ’s coming and what He would accomplish. Each feast pointed the children of Israel back to something they had experienced and pointed them forward to things yet to come.

Verse 5 has a reference to the Passover, representing the time when God passed over the Jews and destroyed the Egyptian first born, securing the release of God’s people from captivity, which reminds us of the Cross, the shedding of blood, and the remission of our sins (1 Corinthians 5:7 / John 1:29). In this we see Christ’s death.

Verses 6-8 speaks of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which represents purity, freedom from corruption, and which reminds us of the sinless life of Jesus (Acts 2:27, 31 / Hebrews 4:15 / 1 Corinthians 5:8). In this we see Christ’s burial.

Verses 9-14 bring us to the Feast of Firstfruits, which represented the fact that the whole harvest would come, which reminds us of Christ’s resurrection to an incorruptible body, and the guarantee of our resurrection to an incorruptible body (Acts 26:23 / 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 / 1 Corinthians 6:14 / 2 Corinthians 4:14 / Romans 8:11 / Philippians 3:20-21 / Hebrews 2:14-15).

Verses 15-22 (15-16) are about the Feast of Pentecost, fifty days from the crossing of the Red Sea, and fifty days after Christ was resurrected, when the Holy Spirit was poured out (Acts 2). This speaks of the ingathering of all God’s elect from all over the world.

In reviewing the first four feasts we see that Christ was crucified on the Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread, raised again on Firstfruits and sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The first four, or spring feasts, represent the first advent of Christ; the second three in the fall represent His second advent.

Verses 23-25 (24) give us the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), was the first day of the Jewish New Year, in the seventh month of the religious calendar, but the first month of the civil calendar. It was a memorial celebration of the glorious future of Israel, a proclamation of liberty which served as a calling for attention to the Day of Atonement, and it represents the glorious triumph of Christ in the Gospel and Jesus coming for His Church (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 / 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Verses 26-32 (27) present the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), was a solemn holy day when the high priest of Israel entered into the Holy of Holies and made a sacrifice on his behalf as well as for all the sins of Israel. Jesus is our High Priest and the full and final sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 9:24-28). The Day of Atonement will reach its final fulfillment when the Lord returns at His Second Coming, at which time Israel will finally accept Jesus’ atonement.

Verses 33-44 (34) show us the Feast of Tabernacles, which celebrated that God provided shelter for the Israelites in the wilderness, He dwelt with them in the pillars of cloud and fire, it represents Christ as our shelter (Colossians 3:1-4), and is a picture of the Millennial Kingdom.

Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected, and as believers He is poured out upon us, He is coming for us again, He has made the final sacrifice, and He is our shelter for any journey we must go through, and our eternal habitation.

The ups and downs of life are here to stay, and life itself is fleeting. Trials are here for a moment. So is triumph. So are we. But amidst all of this there is Jesus, He is risen, and He is everything, and everything we need.

John 7:37-39 – the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:36), symbolized the entrance into Canaan. They would repeat Isaiah 12:3 for 7 days as they poured water on the altar, on the 8th day they stopped the literal water. Jesus took it figuratively for Himself (Isaiah 44:3, 58:11), telling them the true source of Living Water.

Now all these feasts are pointing forward to the greatest feast, what we call the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Matthew 26:26-29 / Revelation 19:6-9 – We proclaim the reason for our hope (the Lord’s death) and the object of our hope (The Lord Himself coming for us).

Ephesians 5:25-27 – this gives us another picture of Christ and His redeeming work from the cross into glory with His bride, His body, the saints

Communion, or as we sometimes call it, the Lord’s Supper, is one important way that we do the remembering, as we remember His sinless life and His sacrifice on the cross and, because of His resurrection and ascension, His sure promise of coming again.

The Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice, because we cannot repeat the infinite sacrifice of Jesus (Hebrews 9-10), but it points us back to the truth that we come to know God because of the judgment that fell on our King at Calvary’s Cross. It points us to the fact that He was given for our trespasses, and raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25).

We should be broken over our rejection of our God but then we should be rejoicing as we see the gospel put on display through the taking of the Supper together. The Lord’s Supper is an opportunity to present the tangible evidence that our sins are forgiven. The Lord’s Supper is the great proclamation of the death, resurrection, and return of Christ until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11:26) and we dine with Him in heaven at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Saved to Serve (with audio)








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…there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.
(Philippians 3:18 – NLT)

Paul had earlier spoken of the legalists (3:2-3), now he speaks about the libertines. You are to forget the legalist path, the “make your own way” types of the past, but you are not to swing the pendulum too far. Your obedience is not the root of your justification, as the legalists would say, but it is the fruit of your justification, as the libertines wouldn’t say. Good works does not save you, but you are saved unto good works. Grace is a teacher – Titus 1:15-16, 2:11-14. Some are not walking the walk (Galatians 5:25), and they talk a different talk. It is all about what they are allowed to do, they use liberty as license, and they are deceived.

Be aware of this fact: it is not those who don’t even claim the name of Christ that Paul is talking about in this passage, it is those who remain self-indulgent, who don’t press on to maturity, but who keep feeding their old man, and then try and justify it by saying that they are allowed, or even that it is somehow right. They are ripe for deception, and are already deceived. It is not those who are trapped in sin, even, that Paul is discussing and warning about, it is those who defiantly state that they are of Christ but who won’t take their self-indulgent old man to the Cross. This is why Paul says to be following him and those who walk right because there are many who don’t, and they are dangerous.

When you are saved, you are saved to serve, and that means others, not serving yourself, like the people Paul warns about here. When you won’t go to church, what are you doing? Think about it. In order to get your food, you must always do what? Serve yourself, and you never serve others, do you? And you prevent others from serving you.

Paul says beware because these types tend to try and gain converts to appease their conscience. Other biblical writers warn us also. Jude 1:3-5 – obedience is believing, acting in accordance with what you believe (that sin is bad and that Christ has delivered us from its bondage). Look at 2 Peter 2:2, 10, 14, 18-20. 2 (sensual), 10 (despise authority, i.e. they won’t learn in community they won’t follow patterns they must make their own), 14 (they try and recruit others who don’t know better), 18 (they appeal to the flesh of those who are still struggling with it), 19 (they talk of freedom but they are slaves to sin and self), 20 (they are unfruitful in their knowledge – Hosea 4:6-10 / 2 Peter 1:8).

Their end is destruction, whose god is their belly, or their own appetites; they live for the pleasures of the body, mind, and soul. Romans 16:18 – and they try and win others to this view, which is why they are doubly dangerous, it spreads because it is an easy way. Their feelings, emotions, and passions rule them, meaning they do what they want to do; their god is their own self-ish desires, with its self-indulgent agenda. They are proud of their liberty, thinking they are more enlightened than those whom they see as more narrow-minded, and they are constantly trying to defend their “right” to import this or that practice from the world. They are worldly, they thought they could be whatever they wanted to be, worship however they wanted to, and approach a holy God anyway they saw fit, and still keep Jesus too.

They wouldn’t let anyone correct them, they wouldn’t accept rebuke or be admonished, and they thought that they knew better. They are not broken by their sin and instead of falling on Christ, He will fall on them to their peril (Matthew 21:44). They wouldn’t suffer the death of the flesh; they are enemies of the Cross of Christ.

In this way are they enemies of the Cross: they may have thought they believed in it for Jesus, and indeed that is all it takes to be saved, believing Jesus died on the Cross for your sins is a saving knowledge of Christ. However, the bible clearly teaches that this knowledge if held in truth will cause a believer to also follow Jesus to the Cross. Godliness teaches us to become more and more repentant, our lives will progressively become more and more unlike the world, not like the world.

The degree of effectiveness in an individuals life is not the question, the resolve to do it at all or to deny the need to is the matter at hand (1 Corinthians 5), the desire to become sanctified in practice, rather than defiantly avoiding the possibility of going to the Cross for the gradual death of the self life, that is the question. In essence, they deny this saving knowledge in practice, if not in doctrine, by not believing in and following Jesus to the Cross in their own life. They became progressively more and more deceived, their faith was proven not to be real, and they are damned.

Those that won’t go to church wind up serving themselves and that isn’t why we are saved.


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Tell You With Tears (with audio)








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Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
(Philippians 3:17-19 – ESV)

Vs.17 – People who are pressing on follow and fellowship with likeminded, maturing saints. Whose examples are you following; you are following after something, someone, pressing on to be like them, sometimes if we can’t change our friends we need to change friends. Make God the goal of your life, fellowship with other people who are doing it right, and walk in the light you already have, and you will be given more light to walk by, this is what pressing on is about. Otherwise you will be like the many that fall back and fall away. Again, Paul is not saying you have to be perfect he is saying that maturing believers strive toward it, and those that do not are not who they think they are. Too many talk a good game but God is not mocked; if they actually trusted Christ they would treasure Him, but their lives prove that their treasure lies elsewhere.

Vs.18-19 – He has warned them many times, and with a broken heart, that there are many that are not really Christ’s. Those that are not pressing on are falling away to their own desires for earthly things, they have the wrong mindset. Many who profess Christ do not actually possess Christ. He has warned them many times. He tells them with tears that many walk as enemies, not in doctrine, but in practice. What is your mindset, what is your mind set on (Colossians 3:1-2)? If they are not pressing on they are not actually Christians, they may be in name but not for real. This passage is clear that this is the normal Christian life; the high call must be answered. It is not that your work saves you but that if you are saved God will give you the desire to answer the call. “Their god is their belly” means their appetites, what they set their minds on, what has them fascinated, what they live and strive for, what is most important to them, it says “who set their minds on earthly things”. They don’t treasure Jesus; they are not broken over their sin and their heart grows harder and their sight becomes dimmer and their mind becomes more clouded every day. They are pressing on, yes, but they are pressing on to perdition. No one stands still to the things of God, you will either be pressing on towards the upward call, or you will be pressing on down the path of destruction.

We could still have a revival but we must answer the call and press on, souls are at stake including yours. We will either press on or fall away. In doing that we must remember it isn’t your decision to start but your determination to stay that counts, and he that endures to the end shall be saved, and we can endure all things through Christ who strengthens us. Let’s press in that we may press on.


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Maturing Minds (with audio)








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Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
(Philippians 3:15-16 – ESV)

Mature people press on, they keep maturing, and God gives them more light. We must walk in the light we have in order to receive more. The expectation of a new revelation is not to make you less careful in walking according to whatever degree of spiritual maturity you have already attained. God makes further revelations to those who are obedient to the light they already have (Hosea 6:3). There is little point in pursuing God's will if we are not willing to comply, especially with obedience in the things He has already made known to us. How can we expect to receive more light if we have not responded to the light we have been given? God's guidance subsides when it is unaccompanied by our acceptance. We should examine our lives to see if we are disobeying in areas He has already made clear. Walk in the light as you have it, or else it will become darkness to you, and you will grow cold to the things of God.

Maturing people, people who are pressing on walk consistent with the light they already have. Many are deceived into thinking they are in the kingdom of God but all they do is walk outside the will of God. They are falling back into the flesh, instead of pressing on in the Spirit of Christ. Instead of advancing they are retreating, instead of pressing on, they are falling back, and they are falling away. Falling away from the faith, falling away from Christ, falling away from church, falling away from the Bible, falling away from prayer, falling away from the old paths, falling away from Jesus being the only way, falling away from sound doctrine, falling away from all that is holy, falling away and falling prey for all the fads and frauds that come down the pike. People are falling away and falling down and falling back and falling into a trap, falling for anything that makes them feel good but is not of God. Falling away and falling to stay, falling to pieces but still not broken over their sin.

Yes I believe that when we are saved we remain saved forever, but I also know that the scriptures declare that many will think they are saved when they are not, and that many will be caught up and carried away with the cares of this world (Mark 4:18-19), and that is what Paul says in this chapter. Examine yourself in the light of God’s Word. Are you pressing on or are you falling back? Is your life becoming increasingly conformed to the image of Christ, is it even a real concern for you, are you consumed with Christ or with being a worldly consumer? Are people better off spiritually having been around you? Is your light shining, or is it becoming dimmer, soon to be snuffed out? If you fall behind, eventually you will be left behind.


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Going Towards the Goal (with audio)








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I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14 – ESV)

Here again is our basic outline of the text from Philippians 3:12-19.

12. Paul is not there yet, he presses on to know Jesus more
13. He isn’t complacent, he leaves the old life behind and strives toward his destiny
14. He moves toward his goal, the upward call
15. Mature people think this way, they keep maturing, and God gives them more light
16. Maturing people, people who are pressing on walk consistent with the light they already have
17. People who are pressing on follow and fellowship with likeminded, maturing saints
18. He has warned them many times, and with a broken heart, that many are not really Christ’s
19. Those that are not pressing on are falling away to their own desires for earthly things, they have the wrong mindset

Vs.14 – He moves toward his goal, the upward call. What is the goal of your life, what are you chasing after, are you using God as a means to an end, or is Jesus Christ the goal Himself? Is your goal to glorify God, to chase after Him, really now, can you say that with a clear conscience? Godliness doesn’t seem to be the goal in many people’s lives. Most certainly God is patient with us, but which way are you headed? Which goal are you running towards? If you aren’t running towards God, then you are carrying the ball for the other team, and there are only two sides to this contest.

Complacency is the cancer that has eaten up the Body of Christ in these days. This is why God must send affliction our way because the poison must be rooted out. The Bible says that in the very last of the last days, there will be a great falling away from the faith (2 Thessalonians 2). I know that we are in those days because I can see the falling away everywhere I look.

How do I know that this is the falling away? It is because everywhere I look people are falling behind. Falling away starts by falling behind. Today they are falling behind; tomorrow they will be falling away. We will press on or we will fall back. Press on to perfection, to maturity, mature people will continue maturing. The word for "press on" means to follow after like a servant. Too often we are looking to be served.

There is a higher call, and God invites you to higher ground, but it takes diligence (2 Peter 1:10). It is all about Christ and knowing Him. Do you dare to go there; will you press on?


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Press On (with audio)








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Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
(Philippians 3:12-13 – ESV)

We’ll start our next series of posts with a basic outline of the text from Philippians 3:12-19.

12. Paul is not there yet, he presses on to know Jesus more
13. He isn’t complacent, he leaves the old life behind and strives toward his destiny
14. He moves toward his goal, the upward call
15. Mature people think this way, they keep maturing, and God gives them more light
16. Maturing people, people who are pressing on walk consistent with the light they already have
17. People who are pressing on follow and fellowship with likeminded, maturing saints
18. He has warned them many times, and with a broken heart, that many are not really Christ’s
19. Those that are not pressing on are falling away to their own desires for earthly things, they have the wrong mindset

Vs.12 – He is not there yet, he presses on to know Jesus more. Conversion is only the beginning, not the end of the chase. Paul knows that he will not be fully perfected and completely matured until he is in the glorified state of heaven, but since it is his destiny, he strives toward it, as all true maturing Christians do, because God gives them a hunger for it, and then they know Christ more fully as they progress, as they mature in this life, they begin to understand Jesus more intimately, whether it be by dying to self interest, or having to suffer persecution and affliction. They press on toward the prize, the upward call, not upward mobility, but spiritual mobility, that they may be as Christ would be in any and every situation. Paul wasn’t all the way there yet, but he was on the right road, the road of faith, the road of submission, the road of repentance, the road of revelation, the road to his Lord. Paul presses on to make the prize of fully knowing Jesus his own, because Jesus has made Paul his own. 1 Corinthians 13:12 / 1 John 3:2, we will finally and fully know God as He knows us, but if we truly have God given faith then we will pursue God, to know Him as fully as we can right now.

Vs.13 – Paul isn’t complacent, he leaves the old life behind and strives toward his destiny. Those that aren’t hungry for God and are only hungry for the same old things are only fooling themselves. Is your faith the faith of fools, or has God truly put His stamp on you? If He has put His stamp on you, then you will be headed in His direction, your life will be run along the right route, which way are you headed? Christians are forgetting their old life and reaching out to their destiny; “what lies ahead” for you? You know the truth! Paul may have been wearied but he wasn’t wandering, he may have been pressed down but he pressed on. This needs to be the pattern of our lives as well. He is not saying you have to be perfect he is saying that maturing believers strive toward it, and those that do not are not who they think they are. If Paul knew he needed to press on, how much more we?


“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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