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

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (ESV)

Philippians 3:7-9

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— (ESV)

Philippians 3:12-14

12 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. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

Luke 12:13-21

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (ESV)

Matthew 22:37

37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (ESV)

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