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Summary: Like a Political Primary race that is aimed at the White House, the Christian life is a race aimed at eternity with God.

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Reaching your final destination

Title: Primary Lessons

Text: I Corinthians 9:24-27, Hebrews 12:1-2

Thesis: Like a Political Primary race that is aimed at a term in the White House, the Christian life is a race aimed at eternity with God.

Introduction

On Thursday the front page of the Denver Post featured a “Campaign 2012 Analysis” with the headline “A race far from finish line.” The GOP Tracker noted that Mitt Romney currently has 94 delegates, Rick Santorum – 71; Newt Gingrich – 29 and Ron Paul – 8. The column weighed the two front-runners: “Still in front but potholes won’t go away” Mitt Romney and “Colorado supporters value his values Rick Santorum.

Dan Balz of the Washington Post states, “In the aftermath of Rick Santorum’s clean sweep of Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, Mitt Romney is still, in fact, the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But the lack of enthusiasm for his candidacy among conservatives foreshadows a potentially ugly road ahead to the national convention…” (However, his advisors are quick to point out that the Romney campaign did not spend any money in these three states, he did not spend much time campaigning in them and Missouri was essentially a beauty contest in which the delegates do not count (yet).)

In any case, the race is on and the finish line for winning the Presidency of the United States and the White House is November 6, 2012. November 6th is when the candidates cross the finish line.

Like a Political Primary race that is aimed at a term in the White House, the Christ life is a race aimed at eternity with God. Certainly as in a political primary a serious candidate runs to win… and I would hope that the person who is serious about his eternal destiny runs to win that eternal destiny.

And the followers of Christ who is serious about the Christian life, runs to win.

I. Run to Win

Do you not know that in a race everyone runs? You must run in such a way as to get the prize. All athletes practice strict self-control to win a prize that will fade away. But we do it for an eternal prize. I Corinthians 9:24-25

This verse begins with what appears to be a rhetorical question. It is asked in such a way as to suggest that this is something they already know. For the people who whom Paul was writing, it was common knowledge that runners compete to win when they run a race. Apparently, though it would seem that running to win would be understood, it apparently was not. (. It was a curious thing to me to read that on his way to running in the Primary race Newt Gingrich decided to just skip running through the states of Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota. It is common knowledge that if you wish to win a race you must run the race and finish the race.)

Over the years I have observed two extremes in the way Christians live out their faith… note I specified extremes. There is a healthy in between.

As Christians we really do straddle two worlds, so to speak. We live with one foot firmly planted in the present and the other firmly planted in the future. We may think of the present as temporal in nature and passing and the other as eternal in nature.

While truth us almost always found between extreme positions… the first extreme:

• The first extreme is to live in the present with little thought of the eternal. You might say these folks are so earthly minded they are no heavenly good.

Yesterday in the Denver Post there was an article on the op-ed page that asked the question, “How much is enough?” Among the many things the columnist wrote is that, “a certain amount of a finite resource should satisfy even the gluttons among us.” David Sirota, Embracing Enough, The Denver Post, 20120209)

Jesus told the story of the rich fool who laid up treasure on earth... and warned of the danger of neglecting the eternal.

It all began with a man asking Jesus to arbitrate a legal dispute he had with his brother over the disposition of their father’s estate. True to form, I often say, “Wherever there is a will, there will be a war.”

Jesus deferred instead told a story about a man who became greedy and pointed out that Real life is not measured by how much we own.” Luke 12:13-21 The story is about a farmer who came into a series of bumper crops and decided that he would build even bigger barns so he could accumulate even more and more wealth so that in time he could just kick back and as he said, “Eat, drink and be merry.!” But in the story Jesus said God said to the man, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get it all?”

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