"Lord Help Me To Keep On Keeping On"
Job 17:9 "The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger".
Psalm 1:1-3 "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.(vs2) But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.(vs3) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
The Pulpit commentary pages 301-302; a homily excerpt on Job 17:9 "Steady progress in virtue is marked by increasing strength of character and conviction. The righteous man waxes "stronger and stronger". Holy principles gain a firmer hold upon his convictions. His life settles into a definiteness and stability of habit. He has greater power to resist evil; he has greater power over his own heart; he exerts a greater power over others around him. He is not moved from his integrity either by the fierce onslaughts of temptation or by the severities of trial. His life is pledged to a course of obedient living--- to purity ,truth, goodness. More and more he is established in his goings. He rises to greater brightness as the sun to greater strength. He gathers strength even from his afflictions. Deeper and deeper principles of holy living strike their firm roots into his whole spirit. He pursues his chosen and holy way undeterred by the many forms of temptation that assail him. In his righteousness he can" hold on his way" and with "clean hands" he waxes "stronger and stronger" day by day".-RG
Progress means an advance; growth; development; improvement or to get better. (2) a moving forward or going ahead.
Perseverance means a sticking to a purpose or aim; never giving up what one has set out to do.(2) Refusing to be discouraged by obstacles or difficulties, but continuing steadily with courage and patience. syn. tenacity, diligence. Theologically perseverance means the continuance in a state of grace leading finally to eternal salvation.
I. To Keep On Keeping On There Must Be The Presence of Steadfastness, A Vision And A Goal With Determined Straightforwardness. --- Phi. 3:7-14 "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.(vs8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.(vs9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:(vs10)That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;(vs11) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.(vs12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.(vs13) Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,(vs14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
II. To Keep On Keeping On: To Reach The Goal of Winning The Prize Necessitates There Be Found In Me:
A. A coming to a place of Ongoing Spiritual Growth-- Heb. 6:1-2 "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (vs2) Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."
B. An Adding to My Faith-- 2 Peter 1:5-8 "And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;(vs6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;(vs7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.(vs8) For if these things be in you , and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
C. A coming to a place of Spiritual Maturity-- 1 Cor. 13: 11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
D. A Partaking of the Deeper Mature Truths of the Word of God-- Heb.5: 12-14"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.(vs13) For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (vs14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
E. A being Persuaded of God's Keeping Power--2 Tim.1:12 "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
F.A Continuance of Striving after the Fullness of Christ-- Eph. 4:11-13 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (vs12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (vs13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"
G. A Remembrance of those that have gone before me as well as the Preservation in my mind of the example of the Perseverance of our Lord Jesus Christ -- Heb. 12:1-3 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (vs2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (vs3) For consider him that endured such contraction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."