Philippians 3:13b – 14, “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.”
Thank you, our children worship team leading us such a touching praising and singing worship to the Lord Jesus! Boys and girls! Year 2020 has gone, you feel happy, sad, regretful, or excited? Well, remember the message Pastor gave you last Sunday – Forget what is behind. Good or bad, happy or sad – all let go! Now here comes the new year 2021! Pastor has a special encouragement to you all: “Reach Toward What is ahead!”
Let read the following verses together, which is from Philippians 3:13b – 14, “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.” Apostle Paul remind us that he only did one thing: in addition to forgetting what is behind, he reached toward what is ahead! In the new year to come, we are not going to fight without a solid goal. Instead, we have a clear, reachable goal to attack. If in the new year, you don’t have a clear goal to achieve, you will definitely fool around the whole new year and bust it!
Now the very important thing comes: what kind of goal should I set? Well, I want to set a goal to get my academic grade straight A, well this a good goal, but is there any goal better than this? Oh, yes, I want to be excellent in violin skills, it is also a good goal, any better one? Oh, yeah, how about doing service to win the President award? Those are all good goals. Now pastor would like you to see what the goal Apostle Paul set to win. Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Paul set a goal, which is very simple: to win the prize for God’s calling in Jesus. Paul just wants Jesus, Paul just wanted to get the job Jesus entrusted to him done successfully to please the Lord Jesus. Do you know what the glory Paul received from God? 2 Timothy 4:7-8 Paul said, “7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” Waah, what a precious, glorious award from God – the crown of righteousness awarded by the Lord Jesus!
God didn’t say we cannot make a goal which is set on worldly success: such as school academic, art, sports, human services, etc. But God did remind us that we should “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you, as well.”
Can we just follow Paul for setting his goal unto Jesus? Why not? Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” “Never be ashamed of the gospel!” – this should be a very powerful goal that definitely please our God!
So Boys and girls, how about for year 2021 let’s all set our goal for the gospel and God’s kingdom? We believe that we will not be ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. We love to share the gospel to others. You know Tabitha and Timothy they have been very passionate of sharing gospel to others even in this pandemic outbreak time they made internet-gospel in 5 minutes to tell people about Jesus. Now, Pastor show you a clip to see how Timothy did it. (watch timothy’s video)
Is it great? Share story about the gospel to others over the internet! Timothy can make it, you all can make it, just be creative!
Year 2020 even the pandemic outbreak so badly, God never allow His kingdom and gospel stop expanding, we used zoom and church on-line to run our children program so successfully that we are all connected together and continue learning the Bible truth and grow spiritually. Last year we have our Pre K sing and pray, our children Sunday classes and Awana all in zoom, Year 2021 we will continue all the good work God have made for us to expand the kingdom of God.
Boys and girls, Year 2021 our new goal will be God’s kingdom and gospel. Let’s read the verses Philippians 3:14 again, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Pastor set two goals for us to go on:
- Don’t be ashamed of gospel. Romans 1:16a, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”
- Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. “
Let’s bow our head and pray: “Our heavenly father, thank you for carrying us over the difficult year 2020 smoothly. Even though we are not able to have real meet, we didn’t stop sharing the gospel and telling people about the kingdom of God. The new year 2021, likely, we are still not have possibility to meet in our own church building in person at least for this season, Lord Jesus, we love you, no matter how, we have determined to share gospel without fear as our goal we are committed to reaching. In addition, we are committed to seeking your kingdom and your righteousness with all our best and give gory to the Lord. We believe that all our need for the world will be given to us abundantly. Sometime we are weak, Holy Spirit, please help us to make through all the difficulties to achieve the goals successfully. Jesus our Lord, we love you! In the Lord Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!