Sermons

Summary: Inspirational and motivational message from the 2010 Olympics

I. THIS VERSE CALLS TO MIND WHAT’S HAPPENING TONIGHT IN VANCOUVER, CANDADA

A. Closing Ceremonies – Anyone Watch Opening? Anyone Watch Olympic Events?

1. Four years of hard work is over - celebration – marking end of all events

2. Medals have been handed out

3. After the flag bearers of every participating nation enter

4. The athletes all enter – not each following in blocks behind their respective flag, but all mingled together – without national distinction

B. Sounds A Little Like Heaven – Doesn’t It?

1. Years of hard work is over, competition is over, sweat & exertion is over

2. Glorious celebration to mark the end of all events

3. The rewards have been meted out

4. Gathering of the nations, all mingled together without national distinction

II. PAUL – IMAGE OF AN ATHLETE, A COMPETATOR IN HIS WRITINGS

A. Emphasizing Importance Of “Pressing” and “Reaching re-read Phil 3:12-14

B. If I Could Attach Title = GUTS & GLORY – how bad do you want it?

1. As an athlete stretches, Paul is talking about spiritual stretching

a. stretching yourself physically = push yourself – flexibility, growth

b. stretching yourself spiritually

c. exercise / PT - Stretch just to the point of slight discomfort

d. hold it just long enough- eventually discomfort goes away,

e. muscle is more pliable / range of motion increased

f. “no pain, no gain!”

2. As an athlete sets specific goals, Paul talks about setting spiritual goals

a. goals = measurable, I can know when I’ve reached the goal

b. it gives me something to press toward

c. press toward it you must – it won’t come to you, you go to it

d. Paul put it this way – read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

III. TO GROW, TO EXCEL, TO PRESS TOWARD THE PRIZE

A. Paul Emphasizes Stepping Beyond Past Achievements

1. Yes, we celebrate what God has done in the past

2. But what is he doing in the present – each has a present-day testimony

a. it’s one thing to brag about what God has done in the past

b. it’s another thing to brag on what God is doing right now!

3. Olympic athletes after tonight will begin training next week for next Olympics

a. yes they may get their picture on a box of Cheerios or get some

b. commercial endorsements – but that’s all based on past

B. To Compete In Race Of Life, Can’t Stop Training Hard, Eating Right, Conditioning

1. The athlete who’s planning on competing, the sacrifice & focus never ends

a. working hard, training, stretching, faster, longer, quicker

b. eating, training, dreaming for that next chance to compete

c. it’s in their blood

2. Q: Christian, is it in your blood? – not sitting down, but pressing forward

a. “press on” = Greek conjunction of 2 words = to “run-afraid”

b. as you press or run toward a goal – it is a fearful thing

- fear of turning back must be greater than fear of pressing forward

- fear of shriveling up, entropy – deterioration

c. got to work hard just to prevent it from going backwards

d. too many want to change & life better but unwilling to expend the energy, effort, sacrifice

e. why? The answer is simple…It hurts! It involves sacrifice

C. No Guts, No Glory!

1. When I think of Guts & Glory & the Heroes of the faith, I could point out the

a. Billy Graham’s

b. Mother Theresa’s

2. But I really think of the people who never did get much of the spotlight

a. young person who never got faith support at home, came anyway

b. man who lost most precious thing in his life, rage of alcoholism, fought back and will finish the race

c. elderly person in so much pain, temptation to give up, battle on

3. Not star Gold-Medal athletes like Lindsey Vonn, Shawn White, Apolo Ohno who will get their fame and endorsements

4. But the ones who never gold-medaled, but battled to finish with dignity

IV. JUST LOOK AT THE STORIES OF GUTS & GLORY FROM THE PAST 2 WEEKS

A. US Cross-Country Skier - Kris Freeman

1. Ten yrs ago diagnosed diabetic – doctors, “he would never compete again”

2. Kris Freeman trained & made the Olympic team

3. During 30 KM race a week ago – everything ok – tucked in a group of 20 racers – just 11 seconds behind the leader

4. At half-way point – no Kris Freeman – he was “missing

5. "I got a twinge that something was wrong, and then a few minutes later I came to a standstill . . . No one was coming to help me, because my coaches weren¹t around, and people thought I just dropped out of the race, so they wanted to leave me alone."

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