Choosing Your Best Life Now

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Introduction:

What are some of your favorite hobbies. Have you ever noticed how much you’ve developed in your love for that hobbie?
video games
sports
cars
hunting
When we mature in an area we learn to differ what is good, better, and best.

Proposition: God wants us to Mature in our love.

In the early 2000’s Joel Osteen wrote a book that has been pretty popular amongst Christian cirlces. The name of that book is “Your Best Life Now.” Joel Osteen’s view on success and prosperity is not exactly our apporach to it. His views are more self-centered. I don’t believe that is Biblical.
I have titled my message: Choosing Your Best Life Now. - what does that mean? Lets find out what the Bible says about it.
Turn to Phil. 1:9
Paul’s attitude towards the Philippians - He loved them, but wanted to see them grow to maturity (vs. 6.)
What is maturity? It isn’t just:
A personality
an age
It isn’t just outward behavior.
Some of these things contribute, but maturity is more than these things. We will be talking about what biblical maturity is tonight.
Maturity is a goal we should all strive for as believers. We like things to come quickly in the Christian life. God often uses building blocks to cause us to be like Christ. (i.e. ) We like things now. Our Christian walk starts with the foundation of love, and matures through the Word of God.
Paul wanted them to Mature in their walk with God.

I. Abound in love (v. 9)

Paul’s desire starts with an attitude towards others - LOVE
This love is sacrificial
This means that love is not for the benefit of yourself, but is the exact opposite. True love, will often hurt you before it benefits. That is why is “sacrificial.”
Romans 12:1a KJV 1900
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1 KJV 1900
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Instead...
Love is focused on others
We must look towards others, and choose to love them. This is not a passive attitude, but a intential searching and choosing.
knowledge - We must know the truth
1 John 3:14 KJV 1900
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
This comes out of the love we have seen from Christ.
Christ is the foundation for this love. He is love. Without Christ, we wouldn’t know what true, sacrificial love is. He is our model.
Philippians 2:4–10 KJV 1900
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
So how do we mature in this love that God has given to us?
knowledge The knowledge that Paul has in mind is not just intellectual but experiential, acquired through acts of love.
knowledge The knowledge that Paul has in mind is not just intellectual but experiential, acquired through acts of love.
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Colossians 1:9 KJV 1900
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
all discernment The Greek term used here, aisthēsis, refers to the ability to make decisions for the benefit of others.
all discernment The Greek term used here, aisthēsis, refers to the ability to make decisions for the benefit of others.
all discernment The Greek term used here, aisthēsis, refers to the ability to make decisions for the benefit of others.
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Other definitions have the idea of differing. (go back to first illusration)
We see that this discernment has to be founded on love built up with knowledge and discnerment. How dow we get here? Hebrews has a little bit to say about this.
Hebrews 5:11–14 KJV 1900
Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:14 KJV 1900
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
We so easily like to stay on the milk of the word:
Its comfortable
Hebrews
Its easier
It’s less work.
excersise - to train. Discernment takes work, effort, and actualling trying
These same truths can be applied to life decisions that must be made. There might not be a clear path, but we must try our decisions
There is so much God wants to teach us, but we are fine with mediocrity. Luke-warm.
The emphasis of this passage is The Word of God!
“full age” - mature, perfect.
We must be “fully devoted” Christians. All in. I honestly believe that is why many teens today stray from their Christian roots. Either they weren’t saved to begin with, or they never desired God enough to move past the milk.

II. Approve what is excellent (v. 10a)

Why have discernment
Approve - Prove, test, examine
Romans 12:2 KJV 1900
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Excellent - things of more value - via str (v. 10b)
Are your choices excellent? There is a lot of muddy water to wade through in this life. You will face a whole lot of controversial isssues.
Alchohol
Movies
Music
Etertainment
College

III. Live a holy life (v. 10b)

Job
I’m not here to give specific guidance on each of these issues, but we must focus on the root.
If we don’t have discernment, and we don’t desire what is excellent, we will stumble so quickly. And it will tell yourself, you are lacking mature love. God ultimately wants us to approve what is excellent because of this fact...

III. Live a Holy life. (v. 10b)

A sincere life - judged by sunlight, i.e. tested as genuine (fig.):—pure, sincere1 1 Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 1, p. 25)
Wax illustration.
1 Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 1, p. 25)
A blameless life - without offence.
The Greek word for “pure” (eilikrineis), the positive aspect, means to be sincere, with untainted motives. The result of the deep love already discussed, the term defines a life without hypocrisy and dedicated to others rather than self. The negative aspect is “blameless” (aproskopoi), descriptive of a life that does not offend others or cause them to stumble.
The Greek word for “pure” (eilikrineis), the positive aspect, means to be sincere, with untainted motives. The result of the deep love already discussed, the term defines a life without hypocrisy and dedicated to others rather than self. The negative aspect is “blameless” (aproskopoi), descriptive of a life that does not offend others or cause them to stumble.
Osborne, G. R. (2017). Philippians: Verse by Verse (p. 31). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Live a life that is above reproach. A life of character.
Romans 12:1 KJV 1900
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
God is working in our hearts to complete this.
Philippians 1:6 KJV 1900
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Paul is reviewing this truth here. God will continue to work in our hearts to make us like Him, and to...
The Day of Christ
Paul thought this was important because he mentions it twice (v. 6). Not sure if it refers to the Second Coming or the rapture.

IV. Filled with Fruit( (v. 11a)

This comes out of a relationship wiht Christ. A love that is aboundnig will see fruit.
John
John 15:5 KJV 1900
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Philippians 3:9 KJV 1900
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
I.e. the fruit of the spirit.
Galatians 5:22 KJV 1900
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5
How do we know the difference between good works and true fruit?
“ The difference between speiritual furit and human ‘religious activity’ is that the furit brings glory to Jesus Chrsit.” - Wiersebe.
We so often like to good things for our own benefit.
Sacrificial love - focused on others.

V. For the Glory of God (v. 11b)

This our end goal, our focus.
1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV 1900
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Ephesians 1:12 KJV 1900
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
We should desrire to give God the glory for everything in our lives. This, again, goes back to our foundation of love. Not focused on ourselves
Illustration - telescope. (Sam Fuller)
We must give the right opion of God to others.
c.f.
Col 1:9
Colossians 1:9 KJV 1900
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Hebrews 5:14 KJV 1900
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Conclusion:

Romans 12:2 KJV 1900
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ephesians 5:9 KJV 1900
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Ephesians 1:12 KJV 1900
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Ph
Philippians 3:9 KJV 1900
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
John 15:5 KJV 1900
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Philippians 2:3 KJV 1900
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Pie Chart illustation.
Do you love those things more than God. Are you in His Word? Are you Maturing?
1 Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 1, p. 25). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
1 Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 1, p. 25). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
1 Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 1, p. 25). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Taken from Sam Fuller message -
Philippians presents a model of Christ-like maturity
Mature love begins with sacrifice
The Philippians gave of what they had.
Mature love practices discernment
Objective: v. 10 (things that are excellent)
Mature love results in the glory of God.
We are focusing in on the glory of God through our lives (i.e. telescope).
We must labor and sacrifice to make the very best choices.
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