Passage for Sunday -
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, 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.
1. Singular focus: Know Christ
"You are Yahweh. Your existence is absolute, eternal. Your sheer being wakes me, shocks me, sobers me, intensifies everything." John Piper
2. Strain towards what is ahead
"Though many are drawn to fire to experience heat, few are drawn to church to experience God" Lawrence Bray
We pray and work towards a church that will draw men towards God.
We do not bring anything to the table. We are not the point. Our lives mean nothing. Our possessions are pointless. Our accomplishment are empty. It is all about Jesus, and what he has done, what he continues to do through us, what he will ultimately do the day He returns. We strain towards a more Jesus centered world, not a more me centered world.
If it is our work. Then we have reason to boast. And by the way, its easier to just make a list and do it, than to wait on the LORD.
"We would far rather work for God than believe in Him" - Oswald Chambers
This is a great paradox.
Its the difference between Mary and Martha. One worked in the kitchen, and worked hard, the other sat at the feet of Jesus. And when Martha complained, Jesus explained that he had more of an issue with what she was doing than with what Mary was doing.
I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately triumph than to triumph in a cause that will ultimately fail.~Woodrow Wilson
We have had some really, really good meetings behind the scenes lately here at the EDGE. God has been gently reminding us of our purpose, and our mission, and urging us to engage in meaningful ways the calling he has given to us. What is that mission? We had better be clear on that:
God wants you and your family to live a life of joy and purpose.
Micah 6:8 - he has shown you, oh man, what is good and what the LORD requires of you. But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Matt 28:18-20 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
These passages show us what we must do, now the question is how?
A) We PROCLAIM the year of the LORD's favor.
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
B) WE spend time together: LEARN, SHARE, REMEMBER, GIVE WITNESS
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.