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Summary: This message focuses on the disease of believing that we are just spectators - it encourages Christians to get in the game!

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This week, one of my favorite golf tournaments is being played - its called the Masters. Its a glorious tournament, filled with tradition and drama. The course is in Augusta Georgia and its a beautiful place, the fairways are lush, it has trees and hills, and the greens are like lightening. Its a very hard tournament and I love to watch it. I sometimes imagine what it would be like to be hitting a golf ball around Amen corner...

But, you know, as much as I like watching golf and the Masters, if you stopped me after church today and said, “I have a tee time, do you want to come play this afternoon.” I’d take you up on that! Because as much as I love the Masters - I’m just a spectator...

We’ve all watched sports. We all I think get a thrill at watching something. I love watching my son play baseball. I am really enjoying watching (and coaching) my other two in soccer. Its fun to see them make a certain play, or do something right... We yell, we encourage, we yell some more...

I think if we are not careful, in matters of a spiritual nature - we can become spectators too. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves out of the game and on the sidelines - but you know, I don’t find that anywhere in Scripture...

In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul says, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” Paul uses the image of the stadium, and the games that were popular in his day... He says, look down there - they are all running to win a prize - you run your race to win the prize...

I want you to notice something - it may sound silly at first, but bear with me... Paul does not say, “Cheer them on to win.” Paul does not say, “Cheer in such a way that your team wins” Paul does not even say, “Give enough money that your team wins...” Paul seems to suggest that you and I are in a race - and each of us is supposed to be running - so he says, “run to win!”

One of the things that I love about the apostle Paul is that he is pretty simple to understand. Paul isn’t a very complicated guy... His story is a little unique though, right? he was a jewish leader that persecuted Christians until one day he sees Christ - and everything changes. By the grace of God he is saved - and called - to share the same message that he has come to believe - that though he grace of God, you and I can come to know Christ and be saved...

But deep down, Paul I think saw himself as an athlete... He understood that his heavenly coach was in charge - he understood that he had a task, a mission, or a race if you will... And he knew that if he gave it all he had, then one day he would stand before God and God would award him...

You and I have that same mission. We are God’s ambassadors. we are called to share the truth that by God’s grace we have been saved and others can be too... We are in a race.

Far too many of us though, live as spectators - we would love to see someone come to Christ, we’ll rejoice and encourage - but you aren’t a spectator... You are a runner.


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