SUNDAY 2ND MAY 2010 – PASTOR MARK BALLOSINGH
Philipians 3:7 & 8 – But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea 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,
Paul in the beginning of the scripture speaks about his past and where he was in the flesh to where he is in Christ. He reflects on where he was as a Pharisee and his elevation to an Apostle of Jesus. He acknowledges that all things which he has accomplished are nothing compared to the knowledge of Christ.
What is your status quo as a Believer? Are you totally surrendered and submitted in Christ Jesus?
Let us look at a Candle. What purpose does a candle serve if it is unlit? To stay in darkness defeats the purpose of a candle. In order to fulfill its’ purpose one must light the candle for it to shine. For the light to shine there is always a process and a price. The candle burns and melts and sacrifices itself for wick to burn and wax to melt but in the end its’ purpose is fulfilled.
In order to shine, you have to burn. Christ must increase and self decrease. Sitting at the doorstep of the church is a Spirit of laziness, compromise and self sufficiency. It is not based on going to church Sunday morning only and those who think their Salvation is based on how much good they do and how much secular knowledge they have about Christ. The more educated one becomes the more one becomes a fool, the more intellectual the more foolish one becomes. It is not the knowledge in man or earthly possessions that will save you but total submission to Almighty God. “I count all these things but lost for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ”
A lot of people are serving God in darkness. Submission and surrendering comes with a price. Matthew 19:16-26 speaks about a rich man seeking to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus answered – 21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Paul was devoted to win Christ. His devotion was driven by desire his desire was fuelled by his focus on winning the prize. Paul had 12 devotions and 12 desires.
DEVOTIONS OF PAUL:-
1) To worship God in Spirit and truth – In order to shine you have to be a worshipper. We must worship everyday not just on a Sunday morning. When our worship goes up like a sweet savor our blessings come down. Stop complaining and giving the devil the victory, bow down and worship the Lord. As you worship know that God will create in you an area where you can be fully sufficient in him. “As self decrease, Christ will increase” No pain. No gain
2) To rejoice in Christ – “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Phil 4:4). Things may not be going the way you want it but Rejoice knowing that Jesus is working on your behalf. Devil you can say what you want but I am stepping in the house of the Lord and I can rejoice. “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
3) Devoted to the point I have no confidence in the flesh – What I do I do not do it for self praise I do it to give Jesus the honour and the glory. “it’s not by might, it’s not by power but by the Spirit says the Lord”
4) Devoted to the thought that I have suffered the loss of all things – When you come to know Jesus and have an intimate relationship with him all the things which have weighed you down cast it overboard. Each day is a shedding and a lightening process…Stop carrying the burdens, leave them at the Cross, trade your sorrows for Joy, each day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.
5) Devoted to the thought that I have counted all these things as dung – The things of this world are no comparison to the Joy of Jesus Christ. We must stop focusing on accumulating material things, how much money is in our bank accounts and how much secular knowledge we have attained. When you are lying in a hospital bed and the doctor has given up on you the things of the world would not save you. We’ve got to burn and sacrifice the worldly treasures so the Light of Jesus Christ shines.
6) Devoted to the thought that there is no self righteousness – “there is no one righteous not even one Romans 3:10” But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away Isaiah 64:6. God looks at the heart (1 Samuel:16) he doesn’t see you are wearing brand name clothes to come to church. How do you respond to an unexpected situation? Does wickedness and bitterness manifest itself? If yes it is because you have not wholeheartedly surrendered to win Jesus Christ. “Don’t bury the hatchet and leave the handle showing”
7) Devoted to the follow after the knowledge of Christ – the more you saturate yourself in Christ and in the Word the more you become like Christ. When we lack knowledge of the Word we lack the Power to overcome the enemy.
8) Devoted to forgetting the past – Paul recounts his past how he killed Christians – Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless Phil 3:6 but even Paul who was Saul was forgiven. When you hold unto these past hurts you are bound to certain parameters and cannot shine the way God wants you to, when you commit and surrender to Christ he will cast your sins into the Sea of Forgetfulness.
9) Devoted towards the future – Paul demonstrates Faith as he is looking towards the future. You may have made some mistakes, bad decisions but look towards the future where Christ will cause you to shine. So when you can’t see what tomorrow holds And yesterday is through, Remember I know, the plans I have for you.
10) Devoted to press towards the prize – that I may win Christ. Paul was devoted towards winning Christ.
11) Devoted to striving to be an example. Paul was cautious in what he did to not offend others, to avoid people saying he backslid and returned like a dog to its’ vomit. To be an example one must know the rules, consider how your actions will affect your brother / sister. Shine to be an example in the knowledge of Christ.
12) Devoted to being Loyal to the Saviour & follow after the ways of Christ 100% – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him 2 Corinthians 5:21. Christ was selfless, dedicated and focused to his purpose. Stop making excuses to continue to fulfill your purpose to serve God. You need to convert your devotion to things of the World and multiply it to your devotion to God.
We as believers need to have a desire that fuels our devotion and allow our light to shine. There may be something in our life that we need to give up, a relationship, financial gains, a job whatever it is but know in the end Jesus who works from inside will cause the light to shine. No pain, no Gain.
DESIRES OF PAUL:-
1) To win Christ
2) To know Christ
3) To know his Power
4) To be found in Him
5) To know his righteousness
6) To fellowship in his suffering
7) To conform and understand his death – But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you Romans 8:11
8) To be in the First Resurrection
9) To be perfected in Christ
10) To be one with those around him, his Brethren
11) To be changed in body and be fashioned unto his glorious body
12) To win the prize
As the day comes to a close, only the very elect will be saved but there will be a falling away from the church for those who do not want to burn & melt.
The best way to find your-self is to lose your-self in the service of Christ. In prayer it’s better to have no words but have a heart for God than to have all the words and no heart for God.