Sermon Illustrations

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

The year Pete Rose was about to break Ty Cobb's all-time hits record in spring training, he was being interviewed. One reporter blurted out, "Pete, you only need 78 hits to break the record. How many at-bats do you think you'll need to get the 78 hits?" Without hesitation, Pete just stared at the reporter and very matter-of- factly said, "78." The reporter yelled back, "Ah, come on Pete, you don't expect to get 78 hits in 78 at-bats do you?" Mr. Rose calmly shared his philosophy with the throngs of reporters who were anxiously awaiting his reply to this seemingly boastful claim. "Every time I step up to the plate, I expect to get a hit! If I don't expect to get a hit, I have no right to step in the batter's box in the first place! If I go up just hoping to get a hit," he continued, "then I probably don't have a prayer to get a hit. It is a positive expectation that has gotten me all of the hits in the first place."

Pete, for all his faults and failure, made a choice to hustle, hit, and win. History records that, even with his shortcoming, he accomplished his goal because he kept his eyes on the prize. That is exactly what Paul is telling us, what Jesus showed us, and what our God expects of us. But let's break down this thought and ask, "If I am to keep my eyes on the prize and press on, what does it mean for me?"

I began today with a story of Pete Rose, now let's consider as Paul Harvey says, "the rest of the story." Just after baseball's investigation began, Pete Rose was asked if his troubles would affect his election to the Hall of Fame. "4,256 hits. 2,200 runs. That's all I did," Rose said on that sunny...

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