Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This is the last of a series of four on an Olympic theme. I used many sources including several on Sermon Central

Go for the Gold

Last Sunday Matt Emmons was focusing on staying calm when he should have been focusing on the right target. Can you imagine? Here is the moment when everything counts and this young man fires at the wrong target with his final shot.

He was leading by three points and only needed to get near the bull’s-eye to win – which he did – on the wrong target. Matt Emmons dropped from 1st to 8th position.

Can you imagine how hard it was to fall asleep that night! He will pick up his gun, aim, and fire at that target for the rest of his life.

Former pitcher Emmons once pitched a perfect game for his high school baseball team in Pemberton, N.J., and says pitching and shooting require similar skills. "With pitching, you picture where you want the ball to end up, and then you let it happen, you throw the ball," he says. "Hopefully it goes where you were picturing it to go. Shooting is a similar thing. You picture how you want that bullet to go, where you want to see it go in the target and what it’s gonna look like. And then you allow your body to do it. It’s really similar that way."

If you want to win Gold you have to narrow your vision and focus on the right goal

This must be your all-consuming fire and passion. That goal – the right goal – and nothing more. It is exactly the same in the spiritual realm. Spiritual champions are Jesus focused. They think of him first in the morning, he is on their minds during the day as they work. He is part of their life while they play and he is the last thought of the day. Spiritual

Champions are focused on following Jesus.

Here is how Paul tells us to do it in Hebrews 12:2-3

Go for the Gold

Hebrews 12:2

2 Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.

Hebrews 12:3

3 Think about Jesus’ example. He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and stop trying.

Jesus is the Author of Your Faith

Hebrews 12:2

2 Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect…

Jesus is the Author of your Faith

The term archçgos, is translated as “author” in many versions. It’s also translated as “captain”. The word literally means “pioneer”, leader” or “champion.”

There is something special about those who go first. When you were 10 the first one to jump from the high diving board was something about you.

In the movie “Alien” there is something special about the person who went first into that dark and scary hallway – they were nuts!

In the days of Lewis and Clark there was something special about those who went on an expedition to find the Pacific Ocean.

Pioneers are heroes. They go first and blaze a trail for others to follow. Their way is hard so that others who come after them have an easier path.

Jesus is out Divine hero of faith

The term was used for both human and divine heroes, founders of schools or those who cut a path forward for their followers. It was a term that was used to describe those who did great things to benefit others.

Jesus is the Perfecter of Your Faith

Hebrews 12:2

2 Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect…

“For whom … and through whom are all things” was a phrase Stoics used to describe the supreme God, but the idea fit Jewish thought about God and divine Wisdom and was widely used by Diaspora Jewish writers, including Paul (1 Cor 8:6).

The Septuagint uses the author’s term for “perfect” for the consecration of a priest; some contemporary Jewish texts also speak of a righteous person’s life crowned with martyrdom as being “perfected” thereby.

The idea is completion. Something started and then finished.

I would like it to a house that has been built and roughed in but isn’t finished yet. The floors have to be laid, the trim has to be nailed up. The electrical outlets have to be installed. In short – the house has to be finished or completed.

Jesus is the finisher of our faith. He authored it and he finishes it. He is the alpha and omega. Beginning and end. First and last. Author and perfector. Architect and finish carpenter.

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