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Summary: This message is a message on dedicated christian living. 5 essentials for gold medal living; dissatisfaction, devotion, direction, determination & Discipline.

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Philippians 3:12-4:1

GOLD MEDAL LIVING.

I’m sure many of us here, at one time or another have watched the Olympics on Television. Some of us know who Katrina La-maydion is, but for those who may not know, she is one of Canada’s Gold Medal winners so far this year at the 2002 winter Olympics. Katrina won the gold medel, in the 500 Meter speed skating.

Just allow me to recall that race for a moment, maybe some of you can remember watching it. All these ladies who have been training vigorously for this very moment, were finally standing at the starting line, two skaters at a time trying to bet the clock and get the fastest time. You could see the look of determination on their faces, as they set their focus on the finish line just 500 meters away. I can remember the look on Katrina’s face, as she bent down into starting position, waiting for the signal to go. Her eyes were focused ahead, her muscles were all tensed, ready to press forward.

This morning I want to talk about “Gold Medal Living”, and through out my message we will be looking at 5 ESSENTIALS FOR GOLD MEDAL LIVING.

As we have briefly looked at these speed skaters in the Olympics, we realize and we can appreciate that when they reach the Olympics, they don’t just reach the finals, and are satisfied to stop there. They aren’t satisfied to finish there, they want to go on to better things.

The first essential to Gold Medal Living is Dissatisfaction.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

(Phil 3:12)

A Christian should never be satisfied with were he or she is at the present time, as Christians we should always be striving to be better, to be Holier, to win the race. Paul says that it is his goal to know Christ and to be like Christ. We should not let anything take our eyes of Christ, of our goal, we should never be content to stay where we are in our Spiritual walk, we need to strive to be better, no matter how far we are, there is always room for improvement. Therefore, dissatisfaction is an essential for Gold Medal Living. (Dissatisfaction that is in the sense of wanting to be all that Christ wants us to be.) Just as it is with athletes such as Katrina La-maydion, she was not satisfied with just being in the race, she was not satisfied to stay at the level where she was, she pressed on toward her goal. We as Christians ought to have that type of dissatisfaction, wanting to press on toward our goal, and just as Katrina La-maydion was rewarded at the end of her race, we too as Christians will be greatly rewarded in heaven. If these athletes can work so hard, for earthly rewards, how much more should we as Christians work, toward our heavenly reward.

There is a quote that says, “A ship in a harbour is safe but that is not what ships were built for.” We can apply that to our lives as Christians.

The second essential to Gold Medal Living is,

Devotion.

Again as we look at the life of an athlete, we can clearly see that they have to be devoted to their training. They have to be devoted, to remain in top condition, to be able to press on toward their goal. These athletes have to be very devoted to what they have set out to accomplish, that is, to be the best that they can be.

With such single mindedness of an athlete in training, we must lay aside everything harmful, and forsake anything that may distract us from becoming effective Christians. We need to be devoted to what we are doing. This type of devotion demands love. Matthew 22:37 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”.

So far we have looked at two essentials for Gold Medal Living. Dissatisfaction and Devotion, the next essential for Gold Medal Living is,

Direction.

When an athlete is at the starting line, all of her energy, and focus is in the direction that leads to the end of the track. When an athlete is running down the track, she don’t look back. If she turned to look back it would hinder her, it would cause her to slow down, and maybe even cause her to cross over in the way of another skater, and maybe even cause her to go of course.

The second part of Phil chapter 3 verse 13 says, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

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