Jimmy Gross brought the message.

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to
have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those
things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for
the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus

It is now seven days into the New Year. Should we not take
an inventory and prepare for the future. 2008 is gone. We have to press toward
the prize. We have to set goals. I’m not talking about resolutions. We need to
set goals for our soul.

When we talk 10%, its not just money we should consider.
Its our time as well. Counting 3 hours of church a week still leaves us with
12 hours per week to use for the Lord. How much do we read and study the Bible?
How much time do we pray? How much do we witness? We need to do more of it than
we did in 2008.

Let’s consider Paul’s proposal. He has influenced millions. Do
we have regrets from 2008? We all came short. The devil got the stronghold in
some things. Move on. God never brings up our regrets. We should not
and reach unto the things that are before us. Without Jesus we’d be offering
sacrifices as they did in the Old Testament. What are our sacrifices? Sunday
morning? If 2008 could be replayed we might try to make adjustments, but we can’t—it
is gone. We have to confess last year’s blunders. Leave our failures with the
Lord and press toward our prize—heaven.

We can approach the future with
anticipation. We may see the return of Jesus. Paul was eager to see what was in
store. A Christian’s life begins with faith, not fear. Fear loses. Faith wins.
I’ve tried to draw a visual of heaven, but my mind cannot imagine the glory.
Heaven will be awesome. We should long for it.

Paul was determined to hold back
nothing from the Lord. He was a fully surrendered man. We all sin. Paul was
consistent in his walk. We should be. Jesus brings the rewards for the faithful
when he comes. The devil may put doubt in our mind; he’ll fight us till our
last breath. These rewards are far more valuable than any external reward in
this life; these are temporary.

Why did Jesus allow himself to be beat? He
loves us. We deserved it, but he took our place. We have a choice. Forget 2009.
Go forward. Reach for souls. Witness, pray and read. The future can’t get
better? Sure it can. The best is yet to come!