Summary: God wants us to win at life and has made this possible through Jesus Christ.

July 26 Sermon for CATM - Destined to Win

You were made to win. You are destined to win. God has given you everything you need in Christ in order to excel, to succeed at life, and for all eternity.

This message is entitled “Destined to win”, and I hope that by the time we finish here today that God gives you a new vision for your life, a new passion to serve Him with all your being, and a grateful acceptance of all the potential that exists in you because you belong to Jesus Christ.

If you have not yet received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, my prayer is that today God will move in your heart and perform the miracle of giving you saving faith today;

so that you can know that you know that you know that your life is both safe in God’s hands, and so you know that you are here for a purpose far bigger than yourself, a purpose that God intends to engage your whole life with.

I’ve spent the last 3 weeks serving as a chaplain at the Pan Am games, in the Multi-Faith Centre at the Athletes Village at the foot of Bayview avenue.

So I’ve been spending a lot of time both with athletes who are pushing themselves in many cases to the limits of human endurance, and with an awesome team of chaplains from the Americas, most of whom, unlike me when I started, have a significant amount of ministry experience working closely with athletes.

What do chaplains do? They help to lead Athletes to Jesus and to motivate those who already belong to Him to give Jesus their absolute best, to be mindful that their whole lives are an act of worship and adoration, and that in their sport they can feel God’s deep pleasure as they give their everything.

So as chaplains we’ve been working together to encourage athletes - many of whom come from poor neighbourhoods in poor cities in poor countries.

These athletes bear the weight of the hopes of their families, friends and countries, and they are here to find out how they rank in the world of athletes.

They are the best of the best in their cities. And they’ve come here to find out where exactly they stand on the globe.

Many of the Pan Am sports are qualifiers for the Olympics next year in Rio De Janeiro. Barb and I hope to join the chaplaincy team over there next year to, again, serve the athletes as they push to discover their abilities and their ranking in the world.

And as I’ve served at the games, some Scriptures have come to have new meaning to me, and I hope they will have an impact on you as you consider what God is saying to your heart today.

In 1st Timothy, Paul is writing to a young disciple of his who has been serving as a leader in his church. Timothy has not been at it for too long, and he’s had some troubles.

He’s been misunderstood, and he’s been underappreciated for what he is: a strong young leader in Ephesus, where Paul had planted one of the first churches. [I’m glad we don’t take for granted the young leaders we have in our congregation.

Faith and James are two of our strongest leaders, both of them youthful, both of them full of the Spirit of God. And I’m so glad that we have others, perhaps not quite so young, who are passionate about growing and serving God with their whole selves. If you’re wondering, yes...I mean you.]

Paul’s had to tell Timothy something that I would echo to James and Faith and to any other young person here serious in their pursuit of God: “12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

And to them and to all others who would seek to glorify God with their whole lives in service to Him and to people, I would also echo the rest of what Paul says: “13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress”. 1 Timothy 4

A bit later on Paul writes to the same young leader Timothy in his second letter an important summary statement that is the heart of why we are destined to win : “7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Tim 1:7

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