Summary: Success is marked by different people at different times in your life, I received an article this week stating that a person making less then $25k a year believes that success is having an income of $100k, while those making $100k believe success is havin
Introduction: Have you ever won a prize? Maybe it was at a county fair or a sweepstakes. Maybe it was a door prize at a party, maybe it was a prize from McDonald’s monopoly or maybe you found a discarded lottery ticket – because after all Christians trust God not the Powerball!
There is a thrill when you when the prize – A few years ago I had the opportunity to win a prize. I went to the Clay County fair in North Florida and I went straight to the midway, the place of games and rides.
That was my first mistake – Soon I began to hear those familiar words. “A winner every time” Three throws for $1. Pop a balloon win a prize. Step right up; let me guess your weight or age - but there is also a let down when we lose the prize “A winner every time”
I began to size up the booths to see which one would give me the best chance to win a prize. There it was the booth that looked like an easy win; a simple game of tossing softballs into wooden baskets that were leaning at a 45 degree angle. You had had two chances to make it, and the cost was only $1 for two tosses.
I placed my money on the table, the man gave me two softballs. I tossed the first one; It bounced out. No problem I had another chance. Gain I tossed the ball, and again the same result.
I must have stood at the booth for 10 minutes – tossing balls at a basket with the same results.
Finally I walked away $15 poorer, but the saddest thing is I never won the prize.
The prize was there before me, I could see it, I was told I could win it and I greatly desired it, however I was never able to obtain it.
Sounds like many people I know today. Some one has told many of us there is a prize out there, and if we work hard enough, deny ourselves long enough, discipline our habits, save for a rainy day, then one day we will receive the prize. There is only one problem the prize keeps changing.
Success is marked by different people at different times in your life, I received an article this week stating that a person making less then $25k a year believes that success is having an income of $100k, while those making $100k believe success is having 250k income is a mark of success. Now part of the reason for this disparity is the lack of contentment we have in our culture, but another reason for this disparity is no one had defined the prize. However in the third chapter of Philippians, the apostle Paul defines the prize for each of us. As we come to the end of this series of messages regarding the New Year, I thought it would be appropriate for us to make sure we are seeking the right kind of prize in 2009.
Observations about the prize…
The prize is not determined by man’s standard of living.
The prize is not a game or a gamble but a pursuit.
Note the prize – Philippians 3:12-14,
12 I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Paul say forgetting what is behind me…I press on
Have you ever wondered what Paul had to forget?
First he to forget that at one time he was a persecutor of the church
Second, he had to forget his past life in regard to salvation – Listen to Philippians 3:4-6, 4If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. In the past, Paul’s salvation was connected to works of the flesh.
Finally he had to forget past life of following a prescribed set of rules and traditions, that lacked grace
If we are going to be focused in the New Year; let me suggest there are a few things we need to forget as well.
Let me suggest we forget our…
Regrets – I should have done this or that, I wished I would have said this or that. Life is full of regrets. Unfortunately regrets can lead to unhealthy guilt