Sunday, November 15, 2015

Press On

Rome, Paul and the Underground Church

"I am so thankful that I have certainty.  He has brought me from death to life."  Thus testified Pastor Joe as he introduced the message.

Scripture lesson:  Ephesians 4:22-24.  Paul from his prison cell writing to the church at Ephesus.
 That ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, that waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit;
and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
and put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. (ASV)
Even though Christ has entered into your heart there is still war around you.
The battle of letting go of sin.  "I want.  I deserve.  I need...I, I, I..."
Can you be saved and not be a disciple?  Is the struggle what God has planned for you?  No, and No.
One cannot be a Christian and not be changed.  "No one is perfect," but it is a mistake to use that as an excuse for failure to grow.  We should strive harder to be Christlike.  In the letter to the Philippians, Paul says,

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (3:13.14KJV)
 "Press on," that is, "strain toward."  How?
1. Face your shortcomings.  Along with Paul, "I don't claim to be perfect, but I try harder to be more like Christ.  The passionate Christ-follower never stops growing.

2.  Let go of your past. Memories linger, but move on.  Do not let your past control you.
Let go.  Move on.
    a) failures.  God has forgiven you.  Forgive yourself.
    b) successes.  We can hold on to them too long.  Don't stay in the past. Make now a success.

3.  Focus on the future.  As Paul said, Press on; move forward. No looking back.

4.  Fight to win.  Press on = pursue. 

 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (KJV)

You do your best; God will do the rest.

Pastor Joe Deckard
Sunday morning

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