Just One Thing
03 JANUARY 2021 | TRADITIONAL SERVICE
Rev Edmund de Souza
Scripture Passage: Philippians 3:10, 12-14 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (VIDEO)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Many people make New Year resolutions hoping to achieve or change something in their lives. Paul’s aspiration for himself was to know Christ and be more like Him. Whether we articulate it or not, we all have aspirations for the future e.g. improve family relationships, do better in career, grow closer to God. What is your aspiration this year? What is something that God has put in your heart to work towards?
Some lessons from Paul on how he hoped to achieve his aspiration:
1. Be focussed
V13 … one thing I do: forgetting what is behind… Paul, a tentmaker, preacher and teacher, was involved in many things but made knowing Christ his priority. He would not be distracted by many things and forget the most important thing he set out to achieve. We need to constantly remind ourselves of our vision and not let busyness distract us. There is power in being focussed. DL Moody was involved in many ministries until the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 (which destroyed one third of the city including his church and home). This led him to focus on evangelism. Millions came to his gospel meetings and he became known as the Father of modern campaign evangelism.
2. Forget the Past
Paul was a persecutor of the church and described himself as the worst sinner (1 Tim 1:15). He did not let his past weigh him down in his pursuit of God.
We need to let go of our past and not let it affect us. We all make mistakes, have regrets, relationships that hurt us, all of which may make us feel that we can never achieve anything. Like Paul, we need not dwell on our past bad situations but press on towards whatever God has put in our hearts.
3. Press On
To press on suggests intense endeavour, not letting up till one attains one’s goal. Paul gave his best to attain his goal. We need commitment and a focussed mind set to get closer to fulfilling our goal.
Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer, survived an accident at age 13 in which her left arm was bitten off by sharks. She made 2 promises after her accident – 1) not to mourn over her misfortune, 2) not to quit surfing. She Despite her setback, she would not let her misfortune press her down. Instead, she pressed on in her pursuit of surfing and went on to become a surfing champion and role model for young amputees.
May God give us grace to achieve what He has put in our hearts that all honour and glory go to Him.
(Sermon Notes by Woo Choi Yin)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. In Phil 3:10,12-14, Paul was aspiring to know Christ more. As we begin a New Year, do you have a resolution or aspiration for 2021? Do you think it is good to have some kind of resolution/aspiration for the year?
2. To help him accomplish his aspiration, Paul was focused, left the past behind and pressed on to the goal. Which of the following do you think will help you most in achieving your resolution/aspiration?
- Be focused – don't get distracted from your goal.
- Forget the Past – don't let past failures or setbacks hold you back.
- Press on – Persevere till you achieve it even if you stumble along the way.