Summary: If our lives are going to count for God, we need to live with our eyes on the prize.
God has a plan for our lives. We all have a “race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). We are called to “Get In The Game.” But how can I make sure I am running the race that God has marked out for me? George W. Truett defined true success as “Knowing God’s will and being in the center of it.” That’s what I want us to deal with over the next few Sundays, as we enter this new year.
First, the Bible says God’s will is for all to come to know Him in personal relationship. “(God) desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 2:4 (NASB)
So if I am going to “Get In The Game” and walk in God’s will for my life, I need to be sure I’ve entered into a personal relationship with Him through trusting Christ as my Savior and Lord.
Second, the Bible says God’s will is for all to come to know Him in personal relationship. Once I’ve been saved, I can’t be satisfied with just my knowing Christ. I must seek to make Him known to others. “(God) wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned.” - 1 Timothy 2:4 (The Message)
This is why our church has adopted as our mission statement: “To know Christ and make Him known.” God calls His children to give our lives to the spread of the Good News, so that as many others as possible might come to know Christ as their Savior. This is why everything we do at FBC is designed to equip and empower us to better know Christ and make Him known.
We know Christ better through worship, fellowship and discipleship. We make Christ known through ministry and evangelism. That is why the activities of our church are designed around these five purposes: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism. We want to lead people through Five Circles of Involvement that correspond to these five purposes. The first three correspond to better knowing Christ. These involvements can enable you to be a growing Christian.
1. From the city to the celebration circle through involvement in a Sunday worship service. Primary focus: seeking God’s face together. This promotes growth in worship.
2. From the celebration circle to the community circle through involvement in a Sunday morning Bible Fellowship. The primary focus: studying God’s Word together. This promotes growth in fellowship, which is always centered around God’s truth (Acts 2:42; 1 John 1:3; 7).
3. From the community circle to the commitment circle through involvement in a Growth Group. The primary focus: sharing God’s life together. This promotes growth in discipleship.
The last two Circles of Involvement correspond to making Christ known. These involvements can enable you to be a glowing Christian.
4. From the commitment circle to the communion circle of the church.
“ In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership (Greek – “koinonia” - “fellowship” or “communion”) in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:4-5 (NIV)
The primary focus: serving in God’s work together. This promotes growth in ministry.
5. From the communion circle to the commission circle by joining with other believers in reaching our city for Christ. Primary focus: showing God’s love together. This promotes growth in evangelism.
Jesus calls us to “Get In The Game,” to be concerned with what God is concerned with: the work of calling a lost world unto Himself. This is the work of the church. Which is why, if we are going to “Get in the game” for God, we will want to be involved in the life of His church.
How about you? As we enter this new year, is it time for you to “step up your game?” As we look to this passage we will consider four things that need to be true of us if we are going to “Get In The Game” for God. We can know we’ve “Got Game” if we: Go for the gold; Aim for excellence; Make the commitment; & Expect God to work.
Let’s talk today about “going for the gold.” In verse 38, Jesus says every believer will account for their life. On that day, some will stand before Him with heads held high and others with their heads hung low.
“Children, stay one in your hearts with Christ. Then when he returns, we will have confidence and won’t have to hide in shame.” - 1 John 2:28 (CEV)
Some believers will be rewarded and some will not. Paul was confident he would be rewarded. He looked forward to “getting the gold!”
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me - the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me