Summary: In September of 1995, the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters suffered a rare defeat on the basketball court as they toured Europe with a team made up of several former professional basketball stars.
Pastor Dave Martin Cross Creek Community Church ~ Feb 6, 2005
Be a Winner for Christ!
In September of 1995, the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters suffered a rare defeat on the basketball court as they toured Europe with a team made up of several former professional basketball stars. The 91-85 defeat in Vienna, Austria, ended the team’s winning streak at twenty-four-years, that is years, not games! The team had won an astounding total of 8,829 straight exhibition games since their last defeat before that in January, 1971.
Today in the Word, January, 1998, p. 36
A prison inmate scratched on the wall of his cell his philosophy of life: "Born to lose." As a Christian we believe that we are born again to win.
• God’s Word often compares the Christian life to an athletic in a race.
• This morning let’s look at what it takes to be a winner for Jesus Christ.
• We all want to be a winner rather than a loser. Competitive by nature we want to come out on top!
Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
1. Determine to get into position to win.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles...
• Some Christians have opted out of the Christian race sitting on the bench.
• Others may be wandering around without direction for their lives.
• Some may be walking slowly but not engaged in running the race... we must be determined to win.
• Years ago I was involved in building and preparing cars to compete in demolition derbies. We would do practically anything we could in order to position ourselves to win the heat. Some of the tricks were to weld the spider gears in the rear end to make it true posi-traction. We would add special coolant to the radiator to help prevent overheating. We cut special holes through the floor board so if the linkage messes up we could shift the transmission by hand. We cut a hole through the hood and run a rope to the carburetor to pull if the gas pedal linkage goes bad. Place the battery inside the passenger compartment, modify fuel line with extra gas for a manual switch should the gas take get ruptured...
• Why did we do all these things? We desired to be a winner! We determined to get into position to win!
• In order to be a winner for Christ, we too must get into the position to win.
• Determine means to resolve, to decide, to choose. It starts in your mind – an attitude to win for Christ.
• We’re not in competition with each other but with the world, the fleshly nature and the devil.
• You may feel stuck in the snow, spinning your wheels and going nowhere for Christ
• In verse 1 God gives us a prescription to have our spider gears welded for better traction in life of faith.
Get into Position by Throwing Off...
• Everything that Hinders
o God tells us to throw off everything that hinders (A bulk or mass of something).
o Things that weigh you down, diverts your attention, saps your energy and enthusiasm for God.
o Your use of time? Your television viewing habits? Your emphasis on possessions? Money?
o These “things” may not necessarily be bad or sinful but hindrances to your Christian growth.
o The Internet is a wonderful invention (thanks to Al Gore) just don’t get dominated by it.
• Sin that Entangles
o The Greek seems to indicate a specific sin in an area where you are weak.
o Unbelief, a lack of trust will always allow sin to raise it’s ugly head.
o When we determine to be a winner for Christ we will take the necessary steps to run the race.
o The enemy knows your weakness, your vulnerability and that is where he will attack.
o Sin becomes exceedingly sinful. Habits, entangles, ambushes, smothering us.
o Choking out your assurance, confidence and testimony... producing despair & defeat.
o Feeling of being a loser, with no hope, outlook for life, all alone, a miserable failure.