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Summary: A sermon that compares athletic training with training for the Christian life.

Training

1Timothy chapter 3 verse.16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.MT 5:1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying:

MT 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

MT 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

MT 5:5 Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

MT 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

MT 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

MT 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

MT 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

MT 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

LK 9:59 He said to another man, "Follow me."

But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

LK 9:60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

LK 9:61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

LK 9:62 Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

LK 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

This week we have been inundated with news of the Olympics

The brilliant opening ceremony and already some outstanding performances.

Some athletes have great results.

Putting aside the drugs cheats – how does a naturally talented person get to the top.

The normal life of the athlete is all about training – Physical and mental.

Great success is great to see that is why people pay huge amounts of money to queue up and see these athletes perform.

Take Emil Zatopek for example a great athlete of over 50 years ago.Emil Zátopek

(1922-2000)One of the greatest runners of the 20th Century, Emil Zátopek achieved legendary status when he won the 5,000, the 10,000 and the marathon at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.

"The Locomotive" or the "Bouncing Czech" as he came to be known, dominated long distance running from 1948 until 1954 when he won a remarkable 38 consecutive 10,000 meter races, including 11 in 1949 alone. He set 18 world records over various distances including every record from 5K to 30K, and won four Olympic gold medals and one silver.

Outstanding success

I am sure you will agree.

That is going back fifty years.

But as we discussed last week we too are to be in training –

What kind of result might we expect to see if we get to be where we are meant to be with the Lord?

To discus Emil Zatopek we have had to go back 52 years.

Lets go back 2000 years to look at an incident in the life of the followers of Jesus

LK 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."

LK 10:18 He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Jesus had spent much time with these followers and now was the time when he would send them out.

Out they went – filled with God’s Holy Spirit and came back rejoicing.

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