Summary: In this message we use 1 Corinthians 9:24 as the basis to be ready for what life with bring .Proper preparation through a relationship with Christ is the only way to be truly ready .
No one becomes a doctor without an extensive education and thorough training.
But still even after all that education and training no one really wants to be that doctor’s first patient.
Imagine going to a doctor for an operation and the doctor says I’ll see you first thing Monday morning, I can’t wait It’s you’re my first one.
Or what if you dropped your car off for a brake job and the mechanic said, I think I remember how I did the last one and popped the trunk .
The point is there are certain things in life that there is no substitution for experience .
Our Christian walk falls into this category, The moment we become Christians , when we make Jesus our Lord the training begins , but it’s the Christian experience that makes the difference.
Jesus’ entire ministry is bases upon making disciples and training them to be followers.
Matthew 28:19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Jesus had taught His disciples for 3 1/2 years, but what made the difference was their experience. It was only after they witnessed His miracles, after they had experienced His crucifixion and then experienced His resurrection were ready .
Today up in New York they are running the New York marathon. Its a 26 mile grueling road race.
To compete in a marathon runners must make a huge commitment.
That commitment involves hours of daily training for months and even years. It involves conditioning a disciplined behavior.
The Christian walk is just like that .
It all begins with a commitment, then daily training , Which requires dedication and devotion.
1Corinthians9:24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Have you ever heard the phrase drive it like you stole it, it means when you test drive a car you push it to its limits , drive it as hard as you can and don’t hold anything back.
Paul uses this same analogy, we should live like there is only one winner , only one who gets to go to heaven, live your life with a passion for Christ , holding nothing back .
1Corinthians9:25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
The commitment Olympic athletes make is extra ordinary, they must have a very strict regimen, very disciplined in their personal lives, living a clean life, day after day, even sacrificing time with family and friends.
And all this celebrated work, all this dedication, all this sacrifice for an award, for a prize that just doesn’t last .
But before each and every one of us is the greatest prize, a prize that will never fade away, a prize that never ends, and a prize that can never be taken away.
And look at our lack of passion and look how we prepare,
Oh well maybe I’ll get to church next Sunday, Maybe I’ll start read my bible tomorrow , I want to serve the Lord but just don’t have time .
If athletes trained like Christians, we would have the beer belly Olympics.
We put more passion into the things of our lives that don’t last , that don’t matter ,and in the end won’t benefit us. We are more concerned about what is going on in the virtual world of Facebook and instagram than the spiritual and supernatural world of heaven
Remember Martha and Mary? Martha invited Jesus to their house.
There was Martha running around, fixing food, wasting precious moments with the Lord , making all kinds of preparations, cleaning and making food, and she stops and realizes she’s the only one working and that Mary was sitting there listening and visiting with Jesus?
Luke 10: 40But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
There is only one thing necessary, the love for Christ, the experience of knowing the Lord, The salvation that comes only through a relationship with Jesus Christ. A salvation that cannot be taken away .