Summary: This is the third of four on an Olympic theme. It was delivered at an outdoor Bandshell event in three parts. I used many sources including several on Sermon Central.

Go for the Gold

1st Part: Get in the Game

Keep Going

Hebrews 12:1

12 We have around us many people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up.

Olympic history is filled with stories of athletes who gave all they had and then some in an attempt to capture the gold. It’s this willingness to go the extra distance and put out the extra effort that the writer of Hebrews refers to when encouraging you to RUN WITH PERSEVERANCE the race God has marked out for you. There is a major difference between the Summer Olympics and in the Olympics of Life. In God’s Olympics anyone who finishes wins the Gold!

You can’t keep going until you get started!

These are simple words and yet they are so profound. No one in all of history has ever won a race that they did not run. That sounds so logical and yet it is not quite true.

In the ancient Greek games the rich would have their servants compete in the chariot races in their name. If the servant won the master would gain the crown.

There really is something messed up about a system like that. And let me tell you that it will not work in the spiritual realm. You’re not going to become a spiritual champion because somebody ran the race for you. You’re not going to make it to heaven because your mom or dad or grandparent or spouse ran a great race and became a world-class Christian. You actually have to get in the race and get started.

And when I say that you have to get in the game I’m not merely talking about just deciding to believe in Jesus.

It is possible to be an athlete and yet not compete. Some athletes want to wear the uniform put they don’t want to put out the effort to run the race. They will never win because they will never try.

So what are you waiting for?

The game clock is running right now. Unfortunately it’s not like they Olympics today with the clocks boldly proclaiming the time. In real life we don’t know what the game clock says.

How much time do you have left? What are you doing with the time you have? Do you realize how valuable your time is?

To realize the value of a year, ask a student who has just failed the exam needed to pass a course of study. To realize the value of a month, ask a mother who has just given birth to a premature baby. To realize the value of an hour, ask lovers who only have one left before they are separated. To realize the value of a minute, ask a student who just missed the bus. To realize the value of a second, ask a driver who has just avoided an accident. To realize the value of a millisecond, ask a silver medallist who had to settle for second place in the Olympics.

In a lifetime the average American will spend:

Six months sitting at stoplights

Eight months opening junk mail

One year looking for misplaced objects

2 years unsuccessfully returning phone calls

4 years doing housework

5 years waiting in line

6 years eating

13 years watching television

(Davon Huss – SermonCentral)

What are you going to do with the time you have left? Don’t worry about how you may have miss spent your time up to this point. It’s not too late to get in the game today.

You have to commit the time and you have to put out the effort!

DAVE jumps up and says: “Hey Rick, you’re right about it taking time and effort to make finish the race and I have something that will help everyone really understand! Do you mind? [Rick – no go right ahead]

Ok… I want all the kids in kindergarten all the way through the fifth grade to come up in front of the side walk for a special activity and treat…

2nd Part: Don’t Throw In The Towel

Hebrews 12:1

12 We have around us many people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up.

Don’t give up.

Keep on keeping on. Don’t quit. Don’t throw in the towel. We know all of the clichés. But there is great truth here.

To be a world-class athlete you can’t quit. To be a Spiritual Champion you can’t quit! Quitters never win and winners never quit.

Did you here about the guy in the 2000 Olympics who won the gold medal in 400-meter hurdles even though he quit half way through the race? No? You didn’t? That’s because it never happened! You don’t bring home the gold by quitting in the middle of the competition.

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