“AIM HIGHER”                                                     By Pastor Yau

Acts 28:11-16                                                    December 14, 2003

 

INTRODUCTION:

       The scripture quotation here is a page of the later life of the Apostle Paul.  He was escorted as a prisoner by Roman soldiers on the way to Rome to face serious charges and trial and eventually execution. Arriving at Rome, he was greatly encouraged by seeing many brothers came to welcome him all the way from distant places.  Many Bible scholars believed that the fact Paul was so powerful, even in prison, to spread the gospel to many, including some royal guards, was resulted from the courage he received from those brothers who came to see him when he was facing hopelessness.

       High achievers are no different from ordinary people except they refused to surrender to dreadful circumstances. Even in most terrible conditions, they focus on higher goal beyond the present problems.  God is looking for people who try to aim high or higher in their everyday life to be more useful and productive to Him and to others. The following are some suggestions for us to AIM HIGHER.

 

SETTING A NOBLE GOAL FOR YOUR LIFE: (1 Timothy 4:12)

       Timothy was the pastor of a difficult church with many serious problems ranging from doctrinal confusion to moral degradation to leadership conflicts, just to name a few.  Even in such hopeless situation, instead of being drawn under the current, Paul encouraged him to aim high, to become an example to the believers in Christian virtues.

       Way too many people, including some Christians, are easy prey to circumstances. They are easily overwhelmed by challenges and obstacles around them, become weak and lose hope for their lives.  Setting NOBLE or higher goals for your life is one of the ways, if not the best way, to bring yourself up and out of the troubles you may be facing.

 

INSTALL BETTER QUALITIES INTO YOUR LIFE: (Phil.4:8)

       We all know that we are products of our inner life qualities. Whatever is there on our inside, will show on our outside.  Many of the trashy acts, language and attitude we have are results of our trashy inner quality. 

       In Phil 4:8, Apostle Paul encouraged his readers and us, by implication, to meditate, or to mentally absorb, the good qualities of Christian virtues: things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, moral excellence and praise worthy, to name a few.  Men with these qualities are able to demonstrate the beauty of God’s grace in their lives.

 

BE BUILDERS AND ENCOURAGERS: (I Timothy 5:11)

       Influence is one thing we can never run away from. We either influence others, or influenced by others. Our words, attitudes and ways of life often times project silent influence on people around us, and vice versa.  Paul encouraged the Christians of his time, and us today, to be mindful of the need to BUILD each other up instead of bringing them down.  We are in the body of Christ. We have the responsibility to support, encourage and build each other up for the good of the body of Christ.  We need to do this by being observant and willing to see the needs in others and be ready to extend our good will and kindness to give help.  Paul said in Eph. 4:16 that we are here not just to look after our own interest, but the interest of others. Selfishness and self centered life has no place in true Christian life.

 

CONNECTED TO A HIGHER POWER: (Phil. 4:12-13)

       Most of us know the need to set higher goal, and are willing to do so.  The problem we face is HOW to do them.  The how part, or the humanly impossible, is our real problems: we just can’t do what we know we should do. (Romans 7:18-19)

       The Apostle Paul resolved to a higher power from above to help him conquer the environment, as well as his own weakness and needs, to achieve his goal.  He claimed, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

       Human nature can never accomplish spiritual goals, unless we are connected to the supernatural power from God.  Daily devotional in Bible reading and prayer, regular Bible study and worship, fellowship with genuine and mature Christians are some of the ways we receive that higher power to do all these things.  Apart from Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)

 

CONCLUSION:

     Author Rogner Arlander wrote of one of his life experiences. He was on a trip with friends to climb Mt. Rainier.  When they had arrived at mid level, his friends were ready to take a rest and go down but he insisted to go a little higher.  As he was getting to a higher place, he was surprised to see a man sitting on a rock.  When he got closer, the man said to him, “Well, I was ready to quit and go down, but since you are here, why don’t we go higher.” And they set off to go higher.

    Arlander later wrote what he had learned from this experience.  He said we all have our quitting point if we live our life all by ourselves.  But if we have people who have become our encouragers and company, we can go much higher.  How true it is.

      GO HIGHER and look to GOD for the power we need.