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Summary: Michael Jordan said: “I play to win. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.” How does this philosophy apply to our Christian lives?

RELENTLESS - PLAYING TO WIN

(Consumed Youth Conference in Courtenay, BC)

INTRO TO SPEAKER: Director of the Revolution Master’s Commission, youth pastor for the past 14 years, married with 4 children.

ILLUSTRATION: How many of you have heard of Michael Jordan?

· He led his team to 6 NBA championships (named our son Caleb after him), was named the finals’ MVP every time, in 2001 a panel of sports experts named him the greatest athlete of the 20th century. But… he was cut from his high school basketball team?

· How did he ever get past that? He was RELENTLESS. He shot 300 baskets a day.

· His philosophy: “I play to win. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.”

· That’s a great picture of what it means to be RELENTLESS – playing to WIN.

· Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.

We all know how to be relentless, to go for things we want. If you excel in sports or music, that doesn’t happen by accident – you have to be relentless to be the best. Luke & Mike on guitars.

You have to PLAY TO WIN. My son Austin was Relentless at getting into trouble at age 2.

RELENTLESS: Steady and persistent; not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty; SYNONYMS: determined, ferocious, single-minded, and uncompromising.

KEY TEXT: “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I keep working toward the day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us up to heaven.” (Philippians 3:12-14).

God wants us to be RELENTLESS - to be steady and persistent, determined, single-minded, and uncompromising. We need to play to win. How do we do that?

1. Restless – “I’m not perfect yet, there’s more to achieve in the Christian life.”

2. Relentless – “I focus all my energies on one thing.” What are we relentless about?

a. Forget the past (past mistakes and failures, times you tried to serve God etc)

- I could have made excuses – single parent family, alcoholic dad, etc. - don’t be afraid to fail! “A mistake proves someone stopped talking long enough to do something!” Let’s get relentless & risk and attempt great things!

- Micah 7:8 – “When I fall, I will ARISE!” Get back up again…

b. Look forward to what lies ahead (your dreams & destiny in God). “We ain’t seen nothing yet – God’s glory, power, signs & wonders!”

c. Strain – to stretch out toward, to extend or thrust, reach after something

- we say we want to know God more, but it won’t happen by accident as we’re sitting around watching TV with a big bowl of popcorn on our belly

EXAMPLES OF THOSE WHO WERE RELENTLESS TO GET TO JESUS:

1. “Get outta my way!” - woman with issue of blood (Matt. 9:20-22)

2. Persistent Gentile woman’s faith – “Have mercy on me, O Lord, son of David. My daughter is severely possessed!” – the disciples said, “Send her away!” She won’t take no for an answer, second time she worshipped, “Lord, help me!” Jesus said, “No!” She was relentless (Matt. 15:21-28)

3. The paralyzed man – his four friends’ had relentless faith (Mark 2:1-5)

4. Blind Bart – they told him to shut up, but he cried out all the more relentlessly. He heard Jesus call for him, and threw aside his cloak. Just like Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to do. (Luke 18:35-43)

Do you remember the story of someone in the Gospel’s who didn’t have relentless faith? No!

CLOSING TEXT: We need to be relentless – but relentless about what?

“Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord… (For my determined purpose is) that I may know Him (that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him.” (Philippians 3:8,10, Amplified).

· Will you pay the PRICE (be relentless) to receive the PRIZE (knowing Jesus more, seeing His power and glory come and transform our nation, for REVIVAL!)

· God wants us to be RELENTLESS - to be steady and persistent, determined, single-minded, and uncompromising. We need to play to win.

· Aren’t you glad that Jesus was relentless in His pursuit of us? He relentlessly endured the suffering, shame, rejection and pain of the cross – to redeem us and love us!

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