Sat, Jun 9, 2012 at 6:00pm to Fri, Jun 15 at 6:00pm EDT

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Philippians 3:12-16 NLT

Philippians 3:12-16 NLT

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

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Ephesians 6:16 NLT

Ephesians 6:16 NLT

In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.

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2 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV

2 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV

lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

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Notes

1. There are three main thoughts we want you to learn throughout this summer-long journey: A. Move forward. B. Put up your shield of trust. C. Know arrows are coming at you to keep you from moving forward in life.

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Notes

2. Choosing the arrow of sorrow will cause you to blame others. One who uses their shield with God, will take responsibility and follow authority. A. You may have had a dysfunctional family or relationship, but you will have to face the fact that dysfunctions of tomorrow will be based on your decisions of today—not the decisions of your past. B. The responsibility of your past lies with forgiveness and education of what to do or not to do. C. Take steps to get out of dysfunction. You can press forward with God! D. Refer to Genesis 27:1-46 NIV for the story of Jacob and Esau.

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Notes

3. Esau refused to shield progress with his “right now” thinking. This held him back him from pressing on. This thinking will keep you from your inheritance and keep you immature. Here is a picture of Esau’ short-sighted thinking. A. Esau was allowing the arrows of life to shape him. B. Jacob was shaping his life by pressing forward. C. Esau acted like a child and would treat his birthright as common, not holy. He gave it to Jacob for some dinner. D. Isaac and Esau seemed to refuse to listen to Rebekah’s word that the older would serve the younger. E. Isaac refused to allow life to be shaped differently (press on) and created a storm to fight against what God said. F. Jacob is mindful of the Word of God (that he will have the older birthright blessing).

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Genesis 25:28-34 NIV

Genesis 25:28-34 NIV

Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright." "Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?" But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

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Notes

4. Not taking things seriously, is a sure sign that your shield is down. A. Having a “what is the big deal?” attitude, will catch up with you. B. God has made you to shape life—not the arrows of life to shape you. You are made in His image! C. Esau despised his birthright.

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Genesis 25:34 NIV

Genesis 25:34 NIV

Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

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Notes

5. Pressing forward can make you a target. A. God will ask you to do something that you will struggle with. B. You may feel that it is not fair of Him to ask (Abraham and Isaac). C. You may even be asked to honor someone who is far less qualified in your eyes, just to see where your heart is. Example today: Jacob being the younger and Esau the older is to submit. D. Many people will miss the grace or plan of God because they will be bitter with the plan of God instead of pressing forward.

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Hebrews 12:15-17 NIV

Hebrews 12:15-17 NIV

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.

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Notes

6. Jacob was robbed of the blessing Esau should have willingly offered. This story could have played out so differently if Esau didn’t carry the arrow around in his heart . . .

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Genesis 27:28-30 NIV

Genesis 27:28-30 NIV

May God give you heaven's dew and earth's richness— an abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed." After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father's presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting.

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Notes

7. Consider the action one has with an arrow he has not shielded. Esau didn’t have a good attitude.

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Genesis 27:40-41 NIV

Genesis 27:40-41 NIV

You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck." Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob."

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Notes

8. Moving forward in life is more about your heart condition than it is about your position. A. The willing and obedient get excited when others are moving ahead with God. B. If others receive their position righteously – praise be to God for their reward! C. If others received their position un-righteously – praise be to God who is the Justifier and will make things right.

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Notes

6. Lessons to be learned to help you press forward and have life take on a new shape. A. When authority asks me to do something—do I have a willing and obedient heart? B. Do I let God be the Justifier or do I take matters into my own hands? C. Is there a root of bitterness in my heart from a hurt that has occurred to me (an arrow)? D. Do I have a “what is the big deal?” attitude or do I have a heart of respect toward God’s ways? E. Jacob’s life took on a new shape by pressing forward. F. Esau allowed an arrow to embitter his heart.

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Study Guide Tool

To help you prepare your heart for next weekend’s message, here is a daily Bible reading schedule specific to that message. Monday Philippians 3 Tuesday Ephesians 6 Wednesday John 21 Thursday Matthew 16 Friday Matthew 26 Saturday Invite a friend! Sunday Invite a friend!

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