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Summary: A great paradox in the Christian walk is the more we lose, the more God wins.

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Sermon Study 230 – CHOOSE TO LOSE

(1) CHOSE TO LOSE – YOU WILL FIND

Mat 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

ILLUST: One evening a woman was driving home when she noticed a huge truck behind her that was driving uncomfortably close. She stepped on the gas to gain some distance from the truck, but when she sped up the truck did too. The faster she drove, the faster drove the truck. Now scared, she exited the freeway. But the truck stayed with her. The woman then turned up a main street, hoping to lose her pursuer in traffic. But the truck ran a red light and continued the chase. Reaching the point of panic, the woman whipped her car into a service station and bolted out of her auto screaming for help. The truck driver sprang from his truck and ran toward her car. Yanking the back door open, the driver pulled out a man hidden in the backseat. The woman was running from the wrong person. From his high vantage point, the truck driver had spotted a would-be rapist in the woman’s car. The chase was not his effort to harm her but to save her even at the cost of his own safety. Likewise, many people run from God’s provision of atonement on the cross, fearing what He might do to them. But His plans are for good not evil--to rescue us from the hidden sins that endanger our lives.

(2) CHOOSE TO BE LAST – YOU WILL BE FIRST

Mark 9:35b "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

ILLUSTR: Millionaire for four hours…

(3) CHOOSE TO SERVE – YOU WILL BE GREAT

Mat 20:26b Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

ILLUST: Bill George, honored professor at Bible College – became a servant to me by proving groceries to a struggling freshman,…

(4) CHOOSE TO BE LESS – YOU WILL GAIN SUCCESS

John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less.

ILLUST: The less of me the more of Him. The more of Him the best for me!!!

(5) CHOOSE HUMILITY – YOU WILL BE LIFTED

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

ILLUST: Open Arms Church winning one of the “Most Impacting Compassionate Ministry Award” – never did we seek this acclaim – never do we promote ourselves to be noticed – God has taken this humility and lifted it up…

(6) CHOOSE TO GIVE – YOU WILL RECEIVE

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ’It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"

ILLUST: A wealthy English family once invited friends to spend some time at their beautiful estate. The happy gathering was almost plunged into a terrible tragedy on the first day. When the children went swimming, one of them got into deep water and was drowning. Fortunately, the gardener heard the others screaming and plunged into the pool to rescue the helpless victim. That youngster was Winston Churchill. His parents, deeply grateful to the gardener, asked what they could do to reward him. He hesitated, then said, "I wish my son could go to college someday and become a doctor." "We’ll pay his way," replied Churchill’s parents. Years later when Sir Winston was prime minister of England, he was stricken with pneumonia. Greatly concerned, the king summoned the best physician who could be found to the bedside of the ailing leader. That doctor was Sir Alexander Fleming, the developer of penicillin. He was also the son of that gardener who had saved Winston from drowning as a boy! Later Churchill said, "Rarely, has one man owed his life twice to the same person."

(7) CHOOSE TO DENY SELF – YOU WILL FOLLOW JESUS

Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

ILLUST: Denying TV – My giving up of TV resulted in gaining better family life – better thoughts – better time with God

CONCLUSION: Paul lost himself, was last, served others, became less, was humble, gave much, and denied himself – and at the end of it all he said, (Acts 20:24) “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

(2 Tim 4:7-8) “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

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