SOME GOOD ADVICE FOR NEW YEAR

Bible Reading: Philippians 3:15-16

Having already admonished us to “GO ON” and to “GIVE OUR ALL,” Paul now teaches us to“GROW UP.” In order to be grownup and mature in this new year we need to do three things, two of which Paul has already addressed in this passage (vs. 12-14) and another that he addresses in our two verses today (vs. 15-16).

First, we need to live up to our present spiritual potential (vs. 15-16). We need to do all that we know to do, as well as all that we are capable of doing. By doing so, our service of Christ will be both commemorated and commended by Him (Mark 14:8-9).

Next, as we learned in Part 1, we need to be perpetually dissatisfied with our spiritual progress (12-13a). It is often said that “Satisfaction is the graveyard of progress.” When we’re through learning and growing we’re through. Mature Christians, like the Apostle Paul, realize that they will never arrive spiritually in this life. No matter how far they’ve come there is still farther for them to go. No matter what they know there is still much more for them to learn. 

Finally, and most importantly, to grow up in this new year we need a single spiritual purpose. Notice, Paul said, “…but this one thing I do…” (v.13). The “one thing” of which Paul spoke was his sole focus in life; namely, his conformity to Christ through his communion with Christ (see verses 7-11). 

Our single focus in this new year ought to be our imitation of Christ through our intimacy with Christ. In other words, we should live everyday of the new year wanting to become more Christlike by getting to know Christ better than we ever have before. Contrary to popular opinion, the mature pulpit is not filled with a man wanting a bigger church; nor is the mature pew filled with people wanting a better life. Instead, both the mature pulpit and pew are filled with those seeking conformity to Christ through intimacy with Him. 

“But how about all of those other important things in life,” you protest. Well, according to Jesus, they’ll take care of themselves if we’ll only “seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). If we’ll GO ON, GIVE OUR ALL, and GROW UP in this new year, God will take care of everything else.