November 5, 2023

Running the Race of Life

Pastor: Shannon Ford Scripture: Philippians 3:12–14

Running the Race of Life

Philippians 3:12-14

Since the 1990s, 40 million Americans have left the church. (The Great Dechurching, by: Jim Davis & Michael Graham, 2023)

1. Be dissatisfied with you Position.  

“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.” Philippians 3:12-13a (ESV)

  • Strengthen your commitment to Christ. 
  • Seek after conformity to Christ. 

“A divine dissatisfaction is essential for spiritual progress.” (Warren Wiersbe)

2. Be Determined in your Pursuit

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13b (ESV)

  • Forget what is behind you.
  • Focus on what is before you.

“Paul was in earnest over one thing only, and that was his relationship to Jesus Christ.” (Oswald Chambers)

3. Be Devoted to your Purpose

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

  • The goal is to know Him and glorigy Him. 
  • The prize is Christ.  

“Believers must not let the pleasures, opportunities, and responsibilities of this world rob them of the treasure of knowing Jesus.” (Charles Stanley) 

Racing Reminders

  1. We are judged by how we finish, not by how we start.
  2. We do not finish well by accident. We finish well by the decisions we make.
  3. You may be near the starting line, in the middle of the race or near the end but wherever you are, continue to run your race. It is a race worth finishing.
  4. The secret to finishing well is to look forward to the joy that awaits us after life’s race—eternal life with God.
  5. In the race of life, it’s always too soon to quit.

“No matter how dark tomorrow may look, no matter how dire my circumstances may be, no matter how discouraging things may appear, I am going to keep running. I won’t be deterred. I won’t be detoured, and I won’t be distracted. I am going to keep my eyes on the prize of knowing God and glorying Him until I hit the finish line of my life.” (James Merritt)

Making It Personal:

  • Are you comfortable where you are, or does your heart long to know Him more?
  • Paul’s example of single-minded devotion to Christ calls us to examine our own purpose and priorities in living. What is most important to us? How are we running our race?
  • Is Christ everything to you? Is there anything that comes before the greatness of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior?
  • Who can you share these truths with?