This sermon – Finishing Well – was originally preached 2013.09.01 by Sam Troyer.
Scriptures used: Hebrews 12:12-17, Philippians, Romans 12, 1 Peter 2, Mathew 5:9, Acts 13:42, James 4.
We are running a race. We are on the track. We have been asked to run with perseverance. The race that we are asked to run is a marathon, not a sprint. As we near the end of the race we tend to get tired. Our knees and arms get weak. The writer of Hebrews addresses these things in our text.
Pursue Peace with All Men
If we are going to finish well we need to pursue peace with everyone. As long as it is possible we are told in another scripture, we should live at peace with everyone. We often do not finish well because of conflict in our lives. Conflict makes running well extremely difficult. It takes effort to pursue peace. The effort is definitely worth it.
We, as a body of believers, are Christians. The Prince of Peace is living in our hearts. The Holy Spirit is a part of our lives. He gives us peace. The effect of righteousness is peace. Pursue righteousness and you are pursing peace. If we are going to make peace in our lives we need some tools. Humility is one of the biggest things we need to diffuse relationships and situations, humility, love, and peace help that process along. This is a call for peace with all men. People who irritate us. Our neighbors. Our coworkers. Our bosses. Our enemies. Action is often required. Don’t fight. Don’t quarrel. Don’t stir the “pot.” Don’t seek revenge. Forgive people. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t gossip. Follow the example of our savior – Jesus is the perfect example of “pursuing peace.” Jesus was a peacemaker. Sometimes we need to make a stand in some areas. Peace at the cost of doing wrong should not be an option.
Holiness doesn’t just grow. Sin grows. Holiness must be cultivated. If we are not holy we will not see God. God lives in “the holy place” and if we are pursuing holiness we will be going there to find Him. Without holiness we will not see God. God’s discipline is for our good, to push us on towards holiness.
What is holiness?
- If we are struggling with purity we are struggling with holiness.
- When we think of Christ and coming closer to him we should find excitement in that.
- The love that we have for Christ.
- We must be set apart for God.
- Beautiful, attractive, sparkling, glowing.
How are we going to promote holiness?
- Be hard on self. We often get in our own way when it comes to being more holy.
- Be obedient to God. Yield to God’s will.
- It takes time and effort to be holy.
Pursue grace in your own life, but pursue it for your brothers and sisters in Christ as well. There are those who are missing the grace of God – we must look out for them as well. How can we miss out on the grace of God? God’s grace is there for each of us. God’s grace must be received and desired. Continuing in the grace of God means that once we receive it in salvation we must continue in it.
What are some evidences of failing to pursue grace?
- Bitter roots in our lives and hearts.
- Immorality can also be evidence of failing to pursue grace.
- Our carnality shows how involved we are in seeking God’s grace.
What are some causes of failing to pursue grace?
- Ignorance of God’s grace.
- We often get so wrapped up in our lives we neglect to pursue God’s grace.
- Pride causes us to fail in our pursuit of grace.
Approach the throne of grace! We do not have a high priest who doesn’t understand. We can approach the throne with confidence and seek His help in our time of need. God is a loving Father who loves to give us his grace.
- Pursue Peace
- Pursue Holiness
- Pursue Grace
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