Friday, December 26, 2008

Philippians 3:12-14

Hello Everyone!

I hope that you have all had a wonderful Christmas!

Some of you may still be celebrating and that's a good thing, too!

Let's get back into our routine and let's

turn our channels back to the "Philippians" channel.

We are looking at Philippians 3:12-14

(Verse 12) "Not that I have already obtained all this, of have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."

(Verse 13) "Brothers, 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,"

(Verse 14) "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

In the first half of Chapter 3, we were reminded that we are declared righteous

not because of religious activities, but as a result of a relationship with the

Redeemer. Paul made it very clear that the seven items on his spiritual resume,

though pretty impressive, were really rubbish

compared with knowing Christ.

Here are the 7 "items":

1. Ritual
2. Relationship
3. Respectability
4. Race
5. Religion
6. Reputation
7. Righteousness

As we look at the second half of Philippians 3,

we will see that Paul balances these seven items with seven essentials for running

and winning the Christian race.

The 7 Essential for running this race of life are:

1.) Dissatisfaction (Phil. 3:12a)
2.) Devotion (Phil. 3:12b)
3.) Direction (Phil. 3:13)
4.) Determination(Phil. 3:14)
5.) Discipline (Phil. 3:15-16)
6.) Discipleship (Phil. 3:17-19)
7.) Delight (Phil. 3:20-4:1)

We will look at the first 4 this week.

1.) Dissatisfaction: The first essential to a solid spiritual life may surprise you.

In order to run the race and keep moving forward,

we must be dissatisfied with where we are right now.

Paul had some incredible experiences –

**He met Jesus on the road to Damascus

**He was caught up into the third heaven and heard
“inexpressible things”

(2 Corinthians 12:4),

**He wrote a number of letters, preached incredible sermons

and yet, after walking with Christ for about 25 years,

he was not satisfied with the status of his spiritual life.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect…”

If you want to really grow,

the first step is to admit how far you still have to go.


Do we want to stay in the "greenhouse", where someone else feeds us?

Some of us do not go outside of our greenhouse,

our comfort zone with the perfect

temperature. We do not go outside of our greenhouse

and plant ourselves

in the fertile soil of the world where many need to hear about our Savior.

In that "outside world" we may have wind, rain, storms, hot, cold, and tornadoes...

but our roots are solidly intertwined with our foundation, our belief system,

our world view and our love for God and we survive and prosper and grow!!

In fact, we are multiplied and parts of us are planted in new growths and new

works for God! That would be what I would call mentoring...

2.) Devotion: The tendency for some of us is to just give up when we realize

how far we have
tripped up.

Paul didn’t do that.

His dissatisfaction led him to become more devoted:

One of Charles Spurgeon’s mottos was this:
“I hold and am held.”

The Lord had seized Paul and now Paul was determined

to serve His Savior for the rest of his life.

Are you giving maximum effort in your spiritual life,

or are you a Christian on cruise control?

Turn your dissatisfaction into devotion!

3.) Direction: In the spiritual life, direction makes all the difference!

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead..."

One thing...One thing...

Paul had a single-minded focus.

What "one thing" do you do?

Too many of us are too involved in too many things.

Yes, we have many obligations with our families and jobs.

But we are speaking of spiritual things.

What "one thing" do you determine in your heart that you will never lose

your single-minded focus on regarding your love for the Lord?

In order for Paul to have that tremendous focus...

He had to forget what was in his past.

Paul had plenty of reasons to feel guilty.

After all, he had persecuted Christians.

(Acts 22:4)

Some of you are so tied to the troubles of your past,

that you are not moving in any direction anywhere in the present.

We do not allow our past to control our present.

We may not be able to wipe out all of the memories,

but we can break the power of the past by allowing God to fill our

minds with His Word and our worship to Him.

Remember what happened to Lot's wife when she looked back.

(Genesis 19:26)

You cannot run forward by looking backward.

In a Daily Bread devotional called “Seeing or Remembering,” there’s a story about a man who was slowly losing his memory. The doctor told him that surgery might reverse this condition and restore his memory but a nerve might be severed in the process, causing total blindness. The surgeon asked the patient: “What would you rather have, your sight or your memory?” The man pondered the question for a few minutes and then replied, “My sight, because I would rather see where I’m going than remember where I’ve been.”

Do you see where you’re going or are you tripped up by the trash of your past?

4.) Determination: Paul not only turns his dissatisfaction into devotion

and is headed in the right direction;

he also demonstrates determination in
verse 14:

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

"Press On" ~ bearing down to win...

Apparently there’s a tombstone at the foot of one of those majestic

mountains in the Alps to honor the memory of a man who fell to his death

while attempting to climb to the top.
See full size image

Underneath the individual’s name the epitaph reads,
“He died climbing.”

That’s what should be said of each of us.

We’re to pursue the prize with dogged determination,

so that when we die, we’re already on the way up!

How many of us surround ourselves with people who are determined?

How many of us surround ourselves with people whose direction is forward

and not backward?

How many of us surround ourselves with people who are devoted to God?

How many of us surround ourselves with people who are dissatisfied with

the way they are running their race and want to strive to do better and have

a hunger for the things of God?

When we do this, then we can step out of our greenhouse and plant ourselves

in the worldly soil and win souls to Christ. Amen.

Until next week,

Debbie G.

>Sermon "Pressing On When The Pressure's On" by Brian Bill

Christmas Story

Here it is the Christmas Story!
Sorry, it's late, YouTube didn't want to upload for me yesterday!

Merry Christmas from Pastor Bob and Debbie

The video below was labored over by my husband for many hours.

He recorded voices of 3 of our grandchildren, 3 children at our church...

and several children at the Home School Music Classes that he teaches

on Thursdays!

I am so happy with how it turned out...

I did NOTHING to help, except giving some "armchair quarterbacking"!

Thank you, my dear, for your labor of love!

(Please turn off my Playlist on the lower left hand side to hear the video :D...)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Hello Everyone!

No...this is not the Christmas video my sweet husband is working on for Christmas

Day, but I just found this on GodTube and wanted to share it with you!!

Please turn off my Play List on the left sidebar to enjoy the video!

So funny...except for the tree catching on fire...not funny...

See you on Christmas Day!!

Debbie G.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Please Check In On Christmas Day!

Hello Everyone!

Please stay tuned until Christmas Day!!!

We (mainly my sweet husband...) are working on a special video!!

Then, that Friday the 26th, we will resume with our study on the wonderful Book of Joy ~


How are you doing with your joy?

How are you doing with being content in whatever circumstance you find yourself in?

Let's try our best to have an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness for even our every

breath as we countdown to the JOYous celebration of our Savior and Redeemer!!

May the God of Peace be with you, Amen.

Debbie G.

P.S. Plz turn off my Playlist to view and hear these Christmas cards! Thank you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Philippians 3:10-11

Hello Everyone!

This Ken Davis video is a "shout out" to my girls....when he talks about not being

able "to move"
during the church service!! (Please turn off the music on my Playlist

on the left side bar ~ click the top left hand square.)

hmmmm....I wonder who would EVER tell their girls that.....let's see.......??????

Oh well, moving (pun intended) right along>>>>>>>>

Our Scripture verses for this week:

Verse 10 ~ "I want to know Christ and the poser of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like His in his death,

Verse 11 ~ and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."


Here is a man who you would think would KNOW Christ...

But he is saying that he wants to know Christ....

This gives us all hope that are all in the same boat...

All of us, mature or babies in Christ...

should have the ever growing desire to know Him.

Below is a derivative of a sermon from Charles Spurgeon.

He was a British Reformed Baptist preacher.

Born on June 19, 1834 and died on January 31, 1892.

He was called the "Prince of Preachers"

Possibly, no other author, Christian or otherwise, has more material in print than

C.H. Spurgeon. For more info on this man who drew thousands with his sermons,

click on this link.

I have read some of his sermons and they are lonnnnggggg...

But he had some great things to say.

I have whittled down some of what he had to say, please believe me...

but I felt I had to use his example for knowing God in his sermon ~

"Do You Know Him?"

Here goes...

"Imagine for a moment that you are living in the age of the Roman emperors.

You have been captured by Roman soldiers and dragged from your native country;

you have been sold for a slave, stripped, whipped, branded, imprisoned, and

treated with shameful cruelty.

At last you are appointed to die in the amphitheater,

to make holiday for a tyrant. The people assemble with delight.

There they are, tens of thousands of them, gazing down from the living sides of the

Colosseum. You stand alone, armed only with a single dagger-a poor defense

against gigantic beasts. A door is drawn up by machinery

and there forth rushes a huge lion;

you must slay him or be torn to pieces.

You are absolutely certain that the conflict is too stern for you,

and that the sure result must and will be that those terrible teeth will grind your

bones and drip with your blood. You tremble; your joints are loosed;

you are paralyzed with fear... But what is this ?

O wonder of mercy! A deliverer appears.

A great unknown leaps from among the gazing multitude,

and confronts the savage monster. He quails (to show fear) not

at the roaring of the devourer,

but dashes upon him with terrible fury,

till, like a whipped cur, (a dog in poor condition)

the lion slinks towards his den, dragging himself along in pain and fear.

The hero lifts you up, smiles into your bloodless face,

whispers comfort in your ear, and bids you be of good courage, for you are free.

Do you not think that there would arise at once in your heart a desire to know your

deliverer? As the guards conducted you into the open street, and you breathed the

cool, fresh air, would not the first question be, 'Who was my deliverer, that I may

fall at his feet and bless him?'

You are not, however, informed, but instead of it,

you are gently led away to a noble mansion house

where your many wounds are

washed and healed with salve of rarest power.

You are clothed in sumptuous apparel;

you are made to sit down at a feast;

(you) eat and are satisfied;

you rest upon the softest down.

The next morning you are attended by servants who guard you from evil and

minister to your good.

Day after day, week after week, your wants are supplied.

You live like a courtier.(a person who attends a royal court)

There is nothing that you can ask which you do not receive.

I am sure that your curiosity would grow more and more intense till it would ripen

into an insatiable craving. You would scarcely neglect an opportunity of asking the

servants, 'Tell me, who does all this, who is my noble benefactor, for I must know

him?' 'Well, but' they would say, 'is it not enough for you that you are delivered

from the lion?' 'Nay,' say you, 'it is for that very reason that I pant to know him.'

'Your wants are richly supplied...

If your garment is worn out, there is another.

Long before hunger oppresses you, the table is well loaded.

What more do you want?'

But your reply is, 'It is because I have no wants, that, therefore, my soul longs and

yearns even to hungering and to thirsting, that I may know my generous loving


But you are informed that this wondrous being has not only done for you what you

have seen, but a thousand deeds of love which you did not see, which were higher

and greater still as proofs of his affection.

You are told that he was wounded, and imprisoned, and scourged for your sake,

for he had a love (for) you so great, that death itself could not overcome it:

you are informed that he is every moment occupied in your interests,

because he has sworn by himself that where he is there you shall be;

his honors you shall share, and of his happiness you shall be the crown.

...the love-tokens which he gives me, they stay me for awhile with the assurance of

his affection but they only impel me onward with the more unconquerable desire

that I may know him. I must know him;

I cannot live without knowing him.

His goodness makes me thirst, and pant, and faint, and even die, that I may know

him.” (The words in parenthesis are mine.)

Shewww.....!!! What a wonderful description of how Paul must have felt....

Paul's unquenchable thirst to know His Savior better each day!!

Verse 10..."and the power of His resurrection..."

This verse reminds me of Romans 8:11 ~

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

(King James Version) ~ I don't know about you, but I could use some of that

quickening of my
mortal body....

Can we even wrap our minds around the FACT that the same Spirit that

raised Christ from the dead...dwells in us???? ~ Zowee...

Now on to the last part of verse 10...

"...and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like His in his death,"


"Many Christians want the first half of 3:10 , 'to really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead,' but show little interest in the second half: to 'learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death.' But these go hand in hand, as saints throughout the ages can attest" (see note Romans 8:17). (Wilmington's Bible handbook. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers)

Fellowship = "koininia" (Greek) = a deep communion of suffering that every

believer shares with Christ, Who is able to comfort suffering Christians because

He has already experiences the same suffering and more!!

A "seasoned" believer knows that the deepest moments of spiritual fellowship

with the living Christ are the direct result of intense suffering.

Suffering drives us to Christ ~ bonds us to Christ.

I remember my first husband's mother, my first mother-in-law, Marilyn.

She told me once that when she married her husband, (my first father-in-law

was an only child) her (Marilyn's) mother-in-law did not approve

of Marilyn and did not want her son to marry Marilyn.

Some time after the wedding, Marilyn became very sick...very sick...

her mother-in-law came and took care of her...

After that, everything was AOK between them...

They bonded during that suffering.

They drew closer together.

That reminded me of Andrae' Crouch's famous song that goes like this...

Through it all, through it all,

(Oh,) I’ve learned to trust in Jesus;

I’ve learned to trust in God.

Through it all, through it all,

I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

I thank God for the mountains

And I thank Him for the valleys;

I thank Him for the storms He brought me through;

For if I’d never had a problem,

I wouldn’t know that He could solve them;

I’d never know what faith in God could do.

Please enjoy this last video..

By the resurrection power of Your love...

And the fellowship of His sufferings...

That we may know Him,

Debbie G.