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Message Text

Philippians 3:7-14

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:11-14

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

Message Notes

1. Contentment and straining will happen at the same time.

Paul had discovered that straining toward God’s purpose allowed him the space to be content with material possessions in his life.

Philippians 3:7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him,

Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.

2. There is a full proof way to pick the right shell every time.

Picking the right shell to turn over can be a long process. You need a full proof way to make sure it is the right one from the start.

Mark 8:36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

3. It’s the shell with this and that.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

In 1Kings 3 Solomon prays that God would give him wisdom to accomplish God’s will for him. God not only promised Solomon wisdom but all that he did’t ask for.

Connect Group Questions

  1. Do you ever feel like you’re in a tug-of-way with contentment and pressing on?
  2. Have you ever turned over a shell only to find out years later it wasn’t worth it?
  3. What areas of life was Paul content and what areas was he straining for?
  4. What is a simple adjustment you could make to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of you?
  5. Paul was chasing Christ and he didn’t worry about material possessions. What could be more calm about if you had absolute confidence that God would provide?
  6. What is your response when you hear that a life spent chasing God is a “this and that” life?