Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

Aim Higher and Hit the Bullseye
of a Closer Walk with God

Summary: Is anyone reading this satisfied that you’ve attained a sufficient level of christian living, so that you don’t need any further improvement? I‘m not being sarcastic or patronizing. I posed that question to make you think very seriously. If you are satisfied with where you are, then this message will not appeal to you. If you’re not satisfied, then I trust this message is precisely for you and will help you to aim higher, to take dead aim at a closer walk with the Lord.

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1 Thessalonians 1:5  Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.

•• We should be desiring to do what they did in the aftermath of Pentecost — healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out demons.
• But sadly, in the typical evangelical church today, there is very little manifestation of Holy Spirit power.
•• Is this power somewhere far away? No! It’s within you, in the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
• Read in the Bible about this power; pray for it! Aim higher!

Philippians 3:10  I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

2 Peter 3:18  Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

•• “The people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32, KJV).
 
•• Paul “knew” Christ (2 Timothy 1:12), but He wanted to know him more (Philippians 3:10).
 
•• Pursue your relationship with Him. Aim for the highest! Don’t be content just to know about Jesus; aim to know Him personally and closely.

Genesis 17:1  When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.”

•• God told Abraham what His standard was for him — a blameless walk. Yet many Christians today offer the sad excuse, “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
 
•• Our conduct is under our control. We choose what we say and do.
 
•• Give yourself a no-holds-barred self-evaluation. Are there areas where you fall short of blamelessness in thought, word, or deed? Aim higher, with God’s help and grace.
“Aim for perfection,” wrote the apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 13:11), in a verse we will examine below.

Colossians 1:28-29  We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

•• Think outwardly this time; think about those other people whose lives you are part of — your family, your friends...
 
•• Is your effect upon them positive? neutral? or negative?
 
•• Are their lives being bettered by your godly input?
 
•• Do your motives stop simply at living in peace with others?... at having rewarding friendships with them?... at sharing enjoyable activities together?...
• These things are fine, but they are not enough.
•• Our motives in all our human relationships should include a desire to present everyone perfect in Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:11  Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection.

•• Aim higher in character... aim higher in love... in relationships with God and with other people... in ministry. Aim higher!
 
•• Don’t be put off by those who sarcastically accuse us of “Christian perfectionism.” “Aim for perfection” is something the BIBLE says, not something I thought up.
 
•• Aim higher! Don’t compromise! Be the best you can be for God!

If God has touched your heart in this message, you might enjoy hearing the uplifting, beloved hymn "Just a Closer Walk with Thee."

Related sermons by Pastor Jim Feeney include Don't Aim Too Low and Take Aim at the Right Targets.

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©1992, 2015, James H. Feeney.
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Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.