Summary: Quitters never win and winners never quit. How to be a winner
RUN WITH NIKE
No this is not an ad for Michael Jordan and NIKE However Madison Ave and the advertisers there have convinced us some how that if we where this product while running or competing in some event we will win just because we wear their product. Is there something magical about NIKE? Can wearing their logo somehow transform us all into Michael Jordan on the basketball court or Derek Jeter or Mike Piazza on the baseball diamond? Can it make us like A.J. Foyt or Bobby Labonte in the racecar? I am not sure it can because I wear Wal-Mart specials.
But I am certain of this; we can have victory in the race we run called LIFE. Christians have something to help gain victory. Look at 1 John 5:4-5 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Faith is the thing that gets us through the challenges of this life, Faith that God is able to do what He says he will do no matter what the situation. Wayne Watson has a song called "When God’s people Pray" in it he says, "When God’s people pray there is hope restored, sin forgiven, and miracles you cannot explain away." When God’s people pray there is faith renewed. However in 1 John 5:4-5 the word NIKE is in this passage, the word for VICTORY is NIKE however it is pronounced Nee Kay. The faith that we have is NIKE, it is victory. What the next passage 1 Cor. 9:24-27 has for us is
Ways to have Victory
I. Run to Win
a. Verse 24 1CO 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.
Paul is referring to games similar to our Olympic games. Life is like running in these games, different events require different skills. Paul is telling us to run as to win, not just finish, not just to say we’ve competed, but also to win.
b. For the Christian is to run by using the gifts God has given us to His glory
i. To use our talents to win people to Christ
ii. To use our gifts to edify/uplift/encourage each other
iii. To gain a prize not made by human hands, but by the hand of God.
iv. We have everything we need to have a successful ministry here in Shirley, the bad news is we are still holding on to it and not given it to the Lord.
c. This is what Paul lived for
Philippians 3:14 "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
d. This is what we are to live for
i. HEB 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
ii. We do not run for a prize that fades away, we run for a prize that lasts v. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
If we are to have VICTORY we have to put on our Faith, Our NIKE gear and run to win, but that is not the only WAY to have Victory.
WE must also SET A GOAL
It makes no sense to start something without having a goal. Steve Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective people has this as one of the habits. He calls it Begin with the End in mind. There is an old story of two men who were working in a field, another man came up to the first man and asked "what are you doing?" to which the first worker replied "Can’t you see I am laying bricks?" The man then went to the second worker and asked the same question "What are you doing?" The second worker replied "I am building a cathedral"
1. Focus on the end/goal
2. For Paul it was the crown of glory
3. For us it should be the same
a. Also to win souls for Jesus
b. Build the Body of Christ in our local congregation
Lastly we must Discipline ourselves to Finish
v. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.