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Look Up To Heaven      Phil. 3:7-21      April 03, 2011


I grew up in the city but I pastored in the open farm lands of our country. In the corn fields It was obvious how the farmers had such nice straight rows of corn. I did not know how they did that but when I asked the men all laughed. They keep their eyes on a fence post or something off in the distance. Christians need to keep their eyes on heaven and the Lord. He will enable us to accomplish much for Him

1.   Look Up To Heaven In Order To . . Gain Knowledge of Christ. 3:7-11

       A.   Gain A . . Surpassing Knowledge of Christ 3:7-8

       7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that,

       I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

       Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ.

       B.   Gain A . . Sacrificial Knowledge of Christ 3:9-11

       9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in

       Christ the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 My goal is to know Him and the power of His

       resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 assuming that I will

       somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.

       Paul wanted to know Jesus in a way that surpassed any knowledge or expertise he had obtained. He considered worldly wisdom and accomplishments as filth. Paul was a wise man with much learning as is evident from his travels and writings. He was willing to sacrifice for Christ and proved that willingness over and over as he made personal sacrifices. The fourth chapter of First Corinthians give many accounts of the kind of suffering he bore for Christ and did not complain. Paul gives us an excellent example of one who kept his eyes on Jesus.

2.   Look Up To Heaven In Order To Obtain The . . Goal God has for Us. 3:12-16

       A.   Obtain The Goal of . . Maturing In The Faith. 3:12-13

       12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold

       of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have

       taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead,

       B.   Obtain The Goal of . . Maturity In The Faith. 3:14-16

       14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore, all who are

       mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this to you also.

       16 In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.

       All Christians need to posses a maturing faith that reaches toward maturity in Christ. Too many Christians

do not mature. It is almost like some become satisfied and just do their best to practice satisfaction. Did you ever hear the reasoning that it would be very interesting to have a computer analysis of each church member=s maturity and then place them in the Sunday School Class to match that ability ? It would be both humorous and sad to see some of us in the pre-school division rather than the class in which our age places us. Have you ever thought God may have a goal for your personal maturity? I suggest we all try to discover that and begin to reach toward it.

3.   Look Up To Heaven In Order To Gain A Likeness Of His . . Glorious Body. 3:17-21

       A.   To Gain A Likeness Seen As An . . Ally Not An Enemy of Christ. 3:17-19

       17 Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.

       18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

       19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on

       earthly things,

       B.   To Gain A Likeness Seen As One With An . . Adoration of Christ. 3:20-21

       20 but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

       21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power

       that enables Him to subject everything to Himself. HCSB 

       As a young person how many of us ever picked out someone we would like to resemble when we got older? As a child growing up in St. Louis I picked out a baseball player who was 6'- 4" and weight 210 lbs. I only reached 5'-11" but almost reached 210 a time or two. What about a goal of becoming more like Christ. Has anyone ever said you act like a Christian or you must know Jesus because He shines through you? Obviously we need more Christians with that kind of a goal. We will be on our way to remembering Jesus if we concentrate on being an ally rather than an enemy of Jesus. Enemies have a goal to fill their stomachs, they are focused on earthly things, they glory in their sin, and their end is destruction. They obviously do not Look Up To Heaven. Amen? Amen!