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Soldier On (Closed Captioned)

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Pastor Dave - Zion Philippians 3:12-21 Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: Have you ever had one of those days when it seems like you just woke up again and you had the same breakfast that you'd eaten every day for a long time. Taken the same route to work. Sat behind the same desk. Done the same things day after day after day and it just dawned on you that maybe this is not what you want to do. That you don't want to work. And that you would rather just be at home doing nothing. Or maybe even going about your life and all of a sudden something slaps you in the face. Like you open that first card that says: Happy 50th Birthday and you think it's over for you. And everything up until this point doesn't matter. Or maybe there's actually some horrible accident that comes into your life. Someone you deeply love and care about is tremendously ill or hurt. And you just sit there for a moment and say: I don't wanna deal with this anymore. I am tired of this. I am tired of this life. I am tired of my job; I am tired of it all. Human nature sometimes finds us in those places. Finds us sitting there in self-pity; sitting there in despair as if nothing in the world would ever make us happy. And maybe the point is ... that nothing IN the world is ever going to give us lasting happiness. Because in this world, there is sin, and in this world we will always be disappointed. Disappointed with the job that we thought was going to fulfill us and make us happy that has just ground us down to nothing. Disappointed that the people in our lives who don't appreciate us and what we do for them each and every day. Or just the fact that random evil comes into our lives and severely tests us. And tests our faith. How easy it would be for us to just sit back in that despair and say: I'm done! I have had it. I'm not doing ... a thing. a thing. And you'd be acting like little children. Because that's how little children cope sometimes. They get to the point that they don't know what to do and they have this huge explosion and they shut down! That's why, for us, as people maturing in our lives and maturing in our faith, we need to hear what the Apostle Paul says. He says and speaks to us that we need to keep hearing God's message of comfort. We need to keep hearing God's Word in our lives. We need to keep renewing our faith by the power of the Holy Spirit and we need to press on. Because that's what mature people do. That is what mature Christians do. When they're sitting there in that despair, they turn to God and admit that they are in it. And they pray for God's strength to come and comfort them with His Word and the knowledge of His grace in them. That knowledge that He is the one who loves us and has saved us. As the Psalmist reminded us: He is not going to abandon us. His love endures forever. He is not going to abandon us in the grave but eternal life is ours. Jesus Christ came into the world to give that life to us. To give that life to ALL sinners who couldn't earn it for themselves. Jesus Christ as the Son of God came to this world. And He kept that Law that no one else could keep. And even though He lived in the midst of all of the sin and power of Satan, He did not sin! He did not do the things that God had commanded Him not to be done. And He did everything that the Lord had said should be done ... including His work of our salvation. Carrying OUR infirmities. Taking up OUR diseases, OUR sins and carrying that burden to the cross of Christ where He offered Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of humanity. He was raised by the power of God to live eternally and now sits at that right-hand of God and we know that that is the culmination of our faith as well. That is what we're pressing on to. That is the goal of our faith: To be removed from this world to the joys of heaven. Because Christ has opened the door for us. But the Apostle Paul also reminds us that there are going to be things in our lives that could easily sidetrack us. That could easily stop us from living our life of faith ... to living like Christ did in obedience to God. And the Apostle Paul could understand that. Remember he is writing this Letter from prison. Writing this Letter, awaiting to know whether he is going to live or whether he is going to die for preaching the Gospel. He understands what it's like not to have control over his life. But he realizes first and foremost that it was the Lord who had come to him and called him to be His messenger. It was the Lord who had sent him out. It was the Lord who gave him the strength and the ability to preach and proclaim. And it was the Lord who had sat with him in prison and would be with him and see it through. Whether he lived or whether he died, it was all about Christ and all about living for Him. Putting into practice ... that faith. And the Apostle was torn about it. Yes, he said, I would prefer to die and be with Christ. What glory is there! What awaits us in the joys of heaven. But he also understood it was important for the Church for him to be there, to lead and encourage them to grow in their faith. To have their joy complete. That tore him apart. But he said, No matter what ... Whether I live or whether I die, it is all about Christ. And THAT is the example that he wants for us as well. As the children of God: Whether we live or whether we die, it IS about Christ! But how often don't we live as Paul said like those people who are enemies of God? Enemies of the cross of Christ. Where it's all about what I can get. That selfishness. That's all about me and what I need in my life and what MY goals are. But that is what is first and foremost in my life. Not what God has done FOR me. That He has loved me and called me to be His own. That He is with me each and every day. That I don't glory in Christ as much as I should because I glory in my own shame. And we see it all around us: people posting just wicked behavior, and pictures that shouldn't be taken in the first place. And that's their glory. That's what they're promoting. And the Apostle Paul says: Promote Christ. Glory in Him. He is your Lord. He is your Master. He is the one who has saved you. Live for Him. Wake up in the morning thinking: How am I going to be an example for Christ today? How am I going to be able to share the Gospel with someone? How am I today going to be showing the love of God to the people that I live with? To the people that I work with? And I'm praying for our missionaries. Praying that God's Word would continue to spread across the world. Praying, that God would allow His Gospel message to go into places where it has been blocked in the past. To live for Christ. Because we know that THAT is what He did for us. He lived and He died and He lives eternally for us. And in thanks and praise for all He has done we continue to live out our life in Christ-like behavior. Because we are pressing on to the goal. We are fighting for one thing. And that one thing is to keep our faith growing and alive so that we will rest securely [with heaven] in heaven with Christ. So that IS what our faith is all about. That is why Christ has redeemed us. To be His own and and to be with Him. And in our life it is so easy for us, even in our faith life, to sit back and think: I've had enough. I've done enough. I'm bored with this. It's such a reminder to us how easily sin can creep in and rob us of the joy of our salvation. Putting other things that are more of a priority in our life in place of our studying God's Word. Convincing us that we don't have enough time; we don't have enough resources; or it's just okay not to ... put God first. It's okay to shove Him back for awhile. You know, these young people with the families. God can sit back there. You look tired. It's time for yourself. God can wait over there. Until all of a sudden, we have a pregnancy where things aren't going well and we gotta drag God right back by our side 'cuz that's where He needs to be. Or all of a sudden we're on our deathbed and the God that we've put back and ignored, we want right there at our side every moment so that it's a quick and easy passage to that eternal life. How easy it is for us to just put God someplace else. But the Apostle Paul reminds us today to put Him in your life; to make Him a part of your daily living. To keep the goal of heaven before you and your eternal life that nothing robs you of that joy. Nothing takes that security from you. And as much as the storms and trials of this life will assault us and assail us, we stand with Christ. Because we know that He has won for us eternal life. That He has given to us that strength of the Holy Spirit to live in faith. To work with the Holy Spirit in our life. To keep our eyes focused on truly what is lasting. Because when our sight and our mind gets taken off of those heavenly blessings, it's only gonna be disappointed. Because then we're putting all of our strength and our hope in a sinful world that's gonna fall apart and pass away. And that's not the foundation we have. We have a sure foundation in Jesus Christ. An everlasting love of God through His Son who has given to us eternal life. That is what is ours. Press on. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding, keep your hearts and your minds and especially your lives, in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 48 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 46
Posted by: hischild on Sep 25, 2011

Pressing on through the storms of life, we keep our eyes on Jesus who has secured heaven for us.

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