The Pursuit

By Pastor Greg Ball, January 08, 2023

Philippians 1:6

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

What are your goals for 2023?

Do you want to grow in your faith?

Do you want to have a better marriage?

Do you want to improve your diet and exercise?

Do you want to learn more of the Bible.

Do you want to experience more of the power of the Holy Spirit?

You will determine the outcome of 2023 by either implementing the principals of the Bible or ignoring them.

Philippians 3:12-14

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul was saying past accomplishments are not going to deceive me into thinking “I’ve arrived” and and past failures are not going to cause me to give up on what Christ has called me to be!

God has rescued us for more than just giving us a home in heaven.

He saved you because he loves you.

He saved you because he’s full of grace and mercy.

He saved you so you could have abundant Life.

Today I want to encourage you to forget the things behind you and reach ahead.

Forgetting is intentionally choosing to not focus on or give attention to.

Reaching is to stretch, to extend oneself in pursuit –

The only way to forget the past is to grab a hold of the future.

Are you apprehending the reason you have been apprehended?

7 Principles for a great year

1. Start the year with a passionate pursuit of God.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:12-14 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

This is a picture of a well worn path.

One of the main reasons God's blessing has remained on our church is that we have always initiated seasons of pursuing God through fasting and prayer.

Purging, Cleansing and positioning

DIET changes the way you look. A FAST changes the way you see.”

Fasting is refraining from food for spiritual purposes.

  1. Fasting is a WEAPON to crucify your flesh.

  2. Fasting is a HAMMER to break your strongholds.

  3. Fasting is a MEDICINE to heal your body.

  4. Fasting is a DECONTAMINANT to remove distractions and stimulants from your life.

  5. Fasting is a KEY to open spiritual doors.

2. Set a time of daily prayer and worship!

Psalm 5:1-3 Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditation. 2 Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. 3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.

3. Read through the Bible this year!

Psalm 119:9-16 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander

from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. 12 Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes. 13 With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. 16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

4. Determine to be more generous in 2023

Proverbs 11:24

There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.

5. Mend broken relationships

Matthew 6:14 (The Message)

"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part.

1 Peter 4:8

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

6. Re-define your dream and implement a strategy

Philippians 3:12

“I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

“The reason you have been rescued & apprehended is to apprehend God’s Dream for your life”

Proverbs 29:18

without vision people perish.

Get a clear vision of God’s preferable future for your life.

How to bring strategy to God’s dream for your life:

. Clarity – write it down (Habakkuk 2:2,3)

. Discipline – manage time and habits in order to accomplish your dream.

. Focus – identify and eliminate the distractions.

. Action – do something daily/ weekly that moves you toward the dream

. Partnerships – no one can accomplish a big vision alone.

7. Leave the past behind!

Without the grace of God there is no hope of a preferable future.

The future we desire is in Christ Jesus.

I bring all my failures and all my success to the foot the cross and I count them as loss that I may know him in the power of his resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

This is the key to our best year ever!