Summary: Intentionally plan to win!
PLAN TO WIN!
S: Church Purpose
Th: Plan to Win!
Pr: INTENTIONALLY PLAN TO WIN!
?: How? How do we win?
TS: We will find in our study the movement we must make in order to fulfill our plan to win.
The ____ movement is…
III. RUN HARD
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Be disciplined about living the Christian life – Christlikeness
• Be determined to win – don’t be willing to settle for anything less
• Be a winner – win people to Jesus
RMBC 06 January 08 AM
• A year ago, you were preparing for a very special event – which was? [Thoroughly Modern Millie]
• What did that involve? [acting, singing, dancing]
• What preparations had you made? [voice lessons, dance lessons, played lesser roles in three preceding musicals]
• Not too long ago, I was at your house for a special celebration involving you – which was? [bowled 300 game]
• More recently, you received another honor – which was? [super 7 athlete of the week]
• How did you get so good at bowling? [preparation, practice, etc.]
Give these kids a hand for helping us out today, for they have demonstrated the ability to be a winner.
The Scripture passage we are considering today speaks of being a winner.
And it was written by the apostle Paul.
We often refer to him, but only occasionally study him, so let me offer some background.
First I want to say that…
1. Paul was in.
Paul was in.
He was in the family of God now as a believer in Jesus.
He referred to himself as…
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God.
But he was not always a believer.
When we are first introduced to him, he is known as Saul.
He was born in Tarsus, which is a city in modern day Turkey.
He was born into the tribe of Benjamin.
He was very well-educated, trained as a Pharisee.
He trained under the famous rabbi, Gamaliel.
Though Jesus was very critical of the Pharisees, there were some things about them that were good.
They were the experts in the Hebrew Scriptures.
They were obedient and faithful to the Old Testament Law, and they were actually the religious conservatives of their day.
But they had no room for Jesus, that is for sure.
And as the fledgling church came to be, Saul was out on the forefront, leading the way to see that Christians were persecuted and put into jail.
In fact, it was Saul that is in charge the day that the godly deacon, Steven, was stoned to death.
Then Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus.
The Light of Christ was so intense and bright that Saul was blinded.
And when he regained his sight, he had absolute clarity about who he was.
He had been a man who was literally going down the wrong road in life, then in a flash of light, his entire life was not only turned around, but he gained a focus, a drive and torque that he never had before.
Saul became Paul…
…a servant, called as an apostle, and set apart for the Gospel of God.
Our theme verse for 2008 is found in I Corinthians 9.24…
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (NIV)
ILL Clip of race from Chariots of Fire
Let’s take a moment and watch a clip from the Chariots of Fire…
Note this – every runner we just saw ran for the prize.
As we said before, Paul was in.
He was in.
He had become a member of the church – the family of believers.
And to use his own analogy…
2. Paul was in the race.
For Paul’s listeners, the analogy of a race was something they would readily comprehend.
Not only was Corinth in Greece, the founder of the Olympic games, it was the location of the Isthmus games that were held every two years, featuring boxing, races and chariot races.
The idea of races and competition was very much a part of the psyche of the Corinthian.
So in application to his own self…
3. Paul was in the race to win.
He expresses what we all know when it comes to athletics.
The purpose of participation is to win.
You don’t enter the race with the purpose of coming in last.
I enjoy how Eugene Peterson translates this verse in The Message:
You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. (MSG)