Jumping off the Fence

Background Story: Paul wrote the book of Philippians as a letter to the church of Philippi.

Read Philippians 3: 8-14

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. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

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. 13 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Big Idea: We cannot straddle the fence and follow Christ.

As a teen, we desire acceptance so it can be easy to be a different person depending on where you are or who you are with. It can feel like you’re straddling a fence balancing between two lives. But is this the life Jesus called us to?

In Luke 9:23-24, Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”

“Deny Themselves”: We live in a me-centered society focused on satisfying our dreams, our desires, and creating our happiness. But in Matthew 6:33, Jesus says to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” As we seek Him (His kingdom, His heart, His purposes), we find the joy, fulfillment and satisfaction we were looking for.

“Take Up Their Cross Daily”: We all have personal struggles and crosses we bear in our life in our pursuit of Christ. Each day in the Christian’s life, we come to Him with our burdens, our struggles, and our fears and say, “today I choose to follow you.” Personal surrender happens daily in the life of a believer.

“Lose Their Life”: 2 Corinthians 5:15 says, “And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Jesus gave His life for our redemption and our response to His sacrifice is to no longer live for ourselves but for Him.

Jesus is calling us to a life of radical heart surrender, not of fence balancing. In the Christian walk, we daily surrender our life, resources, plans, and future to His purposes. We turn from the life we knew where we called the shots, and we pursue a completely new path which is nowhere near that fence. This is a life of purpose, romance, calling, joy, and adventure… definitely not religious tradition. Today, quiet your heart and ask God to reveal where you might be living that fence balancing act. Come to God with repentance and jump off that fence for good. A life of great adventure with Him is ahead!

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