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  • Becky Carriker

1/14/2024

EYES ON JESUS FOR THE WIN


The way we can know that we have authentically trusted in, relied upon, and put our hope in Jesus is whether or not this so-called “faith” continually transforms how we live.  


Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.   


Hebrews 11:32–39 (ESV) And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,


2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.


Life is a fight from start to finish. But it is a good fight 


Life is a race


1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.


Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 


Philippians 3:10–15 …that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 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. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.


The word translated “press on” doesn’t merely mean run but pursue, chase, hunt down! 


Paul is committed to forgetting what lies behind and will strain forward to lay hold of what lies ahead. 


Paul does not mean by this that we should totally erase from our minds all memory of the past. 


Phil. 3:4b-8 “If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials, I have more: 3:5 I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. 3:6 In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless. 3:7 But these assets I have come to regard as liabilities because of Christ. 3:8 More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things—indeed, I regard them as dung!—that I may gain Christ.” 


Forget it! Leave it behind! Turn from it and look to the future and all that God has in store for you in Jesus! 


Refuse to live in bondage to past failures. 


Renew your commitment to live in joyful expectation of future blessings. 


Some victories in the present are won by remembering former mercies. 


Psalm 77:11-12 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds”. 


Psalm 105:5 “Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered”.


Only look back for the sake of pressing forward. 


Preach the gospel of grace and forgiveness to yourself. 


Forgive them. 


Cry out to God that he would provide you with a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit 


Cry out to God that he would supply you with strength, through his Spirit, to fix your thoughts on Jesus and all that he has promised to be for you 


The key to forgetting the past is to set your mind on seizing the future! 


The prize is Christ! 


Christ is either our life or he will be our judge. 


Deuteronomy 30:19 “Today I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses. I am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now, choose life! Then you and your children may live.

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