East Side Church
(Baptist - Disciples of Christ)
201 Spruce Ave.
Sharon, PA 16146
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November 11, 2012
"Press on Toward the Goal (Life's Prize)"
Read Philippians 3:7-16.

What would you do if you were in charge of the world even for one day?

A six year old boy named Alexander expressed his thoughts in these words:

If I were in charge of the world I'd cancel oatmeal, Monday mornings, Allergy shots.

If I were in charge of the world There'd be brighter night lights, Healthier hamsters,

and Basketball baskets forty-eight inches lower. If I were in charge of the world

You wouldn't have lonely. You wouldn't have clean. You wouldn't have bedtimes.

Or "Don't punch your sister." You wouldn't even have sisters. If I were in charge of the world

A chocolate sundae with whipped cream and nuts Would be a vegetable.

All 007 movies would be G. And a person who sometimes forgot to brush,

And sometimes forgot to flush, Would still be allowed to be In charge of the world.

The real question: Not what would I change, but who's in charge of my life? Paul already knew Christ as his Savior, but he wanted to know Him as his Lord and to be Christ-like. He wanted Christ to be in charge of his life so he could make a difference. "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain" (1:21). "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ" (2:5). "He humbled Himself and became obedient to God's will for His life" (2:8). Christ is our pattern; we need the "mind" of Christ.

The Christian life is compared to that of a soldier or an athlete. "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold on me" (3:12). Read 3:7-11: (8) "Knowing Christ as my Lord; that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own ... but that which is through faith in Christ ... (10) "I want to know Christ ... becoming like Him ...." This is the prize we are running for.

What are the requirements for running the race so as to win the prize? 1) "But one thing I do ...." (3:13). First, we must have devotion, focus, training. Above the noise of the crowd, an athlete had trained himself to hear the voice of his coach. So we must focus on the voice of Christ. Second, "Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead" (3:13) speaks of direction. Third, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize" (3:14) speaks of determination. Fourth, "All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already obtained" (3:15-16) speaks of discipline. One of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control or Christ-control (Galatians 5:22-23). 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

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© East Side Church, 2013