Sheldon Phillips 11th January 2015 (John 15:9-11, Philippians 3:7-9, Philippians 3:12-14, Luke 12:13-21, Matthew 22:37)

Sheldon Phillips, January 11, 2015
Part of the Storybook series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

Recap the last two weeks
Introduce himself. Am I a success? How to live a successful life. Not about making lots of money. Who tells you when you're being successful? How do we know that we've made it? Facebook likes? When you get the job you've wanted? Having the marriage you've always wanted? We're all searching for significance, a life of meaning.
Half-time huddle: how was that? Stragetising. Sometimes in our life we have a half-time moment, how did that go? How do we finish up? What does God say we base our successful life on?
Matthew 7. Creating a successful life. Way to evaluate we are a success.
1. We evaluate on how we feel
2. What we have done
3. What we have.
Jesus wants our lives to be firm and strong, built up. God's heart is for us, not against us. God who loves us and wants the best for us.
"Do what feels good, whatever makes you happy". People have based their whole life/purpose on this. But life has ups and downs - if your life based on this, then your happiness is based on circumstances. Happiness is a by-product of the goal, not the goal itself. When we pursue God in our life, he brings everything to us. We build our relationship with God, the bible calls it joy.
John 15:9-11. Remain in my love ... that your joy may be complete. When you obey God's commands, there's something called joy that enters in. Chase our relationship with God, then get joy. Not a one-time thing, joy is not a feeling of happiness, not just a mountaintop, but also when facing hard times and trial. Not dependant on our feelings, but dependant on our relationship with Jesus Christ!
A lot of time in our lives, we want to know that we're doing OK. We say "What have I achieved?" On the basis on this, we decide if we've had a successful life.
Phil 3:7-9. Paul telling them that he "made it". He now considers this a loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus. If anyone had a reason for success, it was Paul. But he says all these achievements are not worth anything compared to the privilege of knowing Christ. It can't begin with our effort. Our efforts can't impress God. God has already made you a success by bringing you from death into life. It's not of ourselves, but from God.
Knowing that God has done everything for us, means that our past can't disqualify us from knowing God. He knew our past and still chose us.
vs 12-14. Press onwards toward the goal. Called for a purpose. Everyone born for a God-purpose. A custom fit-out purpose for each one of us. Rom 12:4 Good pleasing and perfect will.
Doesn't mean that we just sit back - we need to work. God invests in us, then he says "now go, run!". God is at work is in you. Our work is empowered by God, and is worthwhile and yields positive results. Picture of runner, stretching and straining towards the goal. Trust God that he's got it!
We sometimes view our success by our possessions. Some people get fulfilment by the things that they have.
Luke 12:13-21. Jesus isn't saying material things are bad, but when it becomes the thing that you need to make you feel good, that runs our lives, then we become unbalanced. Become rich toward God, be generous toward God. Seek God first, and he will add everything to our life. Not about prosperity doctrine, but God uses us to make an impact. This world runs on money, if we want to reach out eg Christmas, then it takes money to do it! Maybe a season where God teaches us to be content with what we have, but to have a heart that is rich toward God.
Matthew 22:37. What is the most important commandment. Love The Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, strength, and love your neighbour as you love yourself.


About Sheldon Phillips: Youth pastor of C3 Langford
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John 15:9-11

9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (KJV)

Philippians 3:7-9

7But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (KJV)

Philippians 3:12-14

12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (KJV)

Luke 12:13-21

13And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (KJV)

Matthew 22:37

37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (KJV)

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