Summary: This sermon compares the need for Motivation in order for Olympic athletes to win the Gold to our need for God’s Love to be our Motivation n Going for the Gold in Life.
Going for the Gold in Life
A. This weekend the Winter Olympics started. Some of the events include Figure Skating, Bobsleding, the Luge, Downhill Skiing, Speed skating, Cross Country skiing, snowboarding, etc.
One of the elements of the Olympics is hearing the stories of the Athletes: where they came from? What it took for them to get to the Olympics? How they train? Etc.
You see the grueling schedules for workouts. You learn about the Commitment, the Training necessary – but another Key factor for Olympic Athletes is MOTIVATION!
What motivates them to early on in life, leave their families & homes for Training? What motivates a Athlete to get up at 4AM and go workout at the Skating Rink for 2 hours before she goes to school? What motivates that Skier to take the risk on get back on the slope to ski down another mountain at 80 MPH after recovering for months from the last Accident?
MOTIVATION IS A KEY FOR AN ATHLETE TO WIN THE GOLD!
B. So it is with us too: If we are going to really achieve, succeed and live for the Gold in life – we must really contemplate our Motivation!
What Motivates you in life? Another person, a goal, to be the best compared to the rest, to be recognized and praised?
When you really think about it there are 3 sources of Motivation: Fear, Reward, and Love!
C. My Point today is this: God desires the very best for us in life – The Gold Medal of life – and His Motivation is primarily Love!
- He does call us to Fear Him, to consider His wrath.
- He does ask us to consider the Rewards of His blessings and the Kingdom as we seek to obey Him.
- But His Primary Motivation is Love – John 3:16
D. So as we study our passage today, God wants to teach us about His Love as Our Motivation in life?
Body: How can we make Love our Motivation in life?
A. We need to REFLECT on God’s Love for us.
1. Vs. 7, love comes from God
2. Vs. 8 & 16b God is love.
3. Vs. 9-10; This is how God showed His love to us – He sent His Son, Jesus into the world as an atoning sacrifice for OUR sins.
B. We need to RESPOND to God’s Love.
1. Vs. 13-15
2. How do we Respond to God’s Love?
a. Recognize our sins separate us from God
b. Recognize our need for God’s son to be our atoning sacrifice (vs.10), our Savior (14).
c. Acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God, by believing that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead.
d. Let Him live in us through the HS, vs. 13.
C. We need to RELY on God’s Love in our lives, vs.16
What does it mean to RELY on God’s love in our lives?
- It means to let His love live through us.
- It means to Love one another, vs. 11
- It means to love and not hate, vs. 19-21.
D. Let us consider some examples of Going for the Gold in Life as Love Motivates us!
1. Zacchaeus, Luke 19:1-10. He Reflected on Jesus’ love for him as Jesus accepted him, knew his name, and wanted to be with him – a tax collector. He Responded to Jesus’ love by being with Jesus. And he Relied on Jesus’ love for him, by let the Lord change his life, by demonstrating God’s love to others by giving back what he had cheated people. Zacchaeus was different, lived different, cared for people and right with Jesus as Lord - What made the difference? God’s love for Him!
2. The woman caught in Adultery, John 8:1-11.
3. Paul on the way to Damascus, Acts 9
4. Peter being restored after Denying Jesus, John 21
5. Myself: I always knew about Jesus and really knew that He died for my sins, was raised from the dead. But I really never REFLECTED on His Love for me – that He did everything because He loved me.
Once I truly Reflected on His love for me, I found that I needed to RESPOND to this Love and so in Feb. 1977 at 17, I Confessed my sins to Jesus, and by believing that He died for my sins and was raised from the dead, asked Him to be Lord of my life.
Because of His love for me, I found that I Loved Him and so I felt His Spirit guiding, correcting me, even convicting me of areas in my life that needed to be changed. Rather than seeing this as God’s limitations upon me, I saw them for what it was: His love and my desire to Rely on that Love for living right – for Obeying Him.