Summary: A look at excellence as a Christian. How to win in the race of Christianity.
STRIVING TO WIN
The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events.
The race is run over a grueling course covering 26 miles, 385 yards. In order to run in that prestigious race, you must have either won a sanctioned marathon elsewhere, or have met a qualifying time in a sanctioned marathon.
Have you ever watched the marathon? Have you ever seen the condition of the people who finish the race. Many of them collapse after crossing the finish line. Some never make it to the finish line. This year, over 20,000 people entered and finished the race.
Very few of the people who run the race, win any monetary reward at all, for their countless hours of training and preparation. They simply run for the reward of running and for the prestiege that goes with having competed in such a race.
My friends, the Bible says that you and I are also entered in a race and that we are called to run the race, to win. We are called to give our all, to run the race to the absolute best of our abilities.
The Greeks had two great athletic festivals. One of them you are all familiar with. Its is the … (Let them answer). Right! The Olympic games. The second great athletic festival was called the Isthmian games. The Isthmian games were held at Corinth, so the people Paul was writing to were very familiar with the games.
In order to enter the games, contestants had to provide proof that they had trained rigorously for a minimum 10 months before the games. The last month of training they did in Corinth, where they were involved in supervised daily workouts.
In this passage Paul says that these people trained this way so they could win a perishable crown. They worked that hard for simple bragging rights.
At the same time, the Bible says that you and I are also entered in a race. When you invite Jesus Christ into your heart, you are entered into the race. On that day, at the moment you tell Jesus you want Him to be the Boss in your life, your name is entered into the Lambs Book of Life. Your name is registered in the offical race book, and nothing can change that. But Paul says, “Don’t settle for being entered, don’t settle for being in the race, run the race in such a way that you will win.
My friend, winning in the Christian life, making the most of the opportunity God has given you, is possible.
This morning I would like us to look at how we go about winning the race set before us, and second, I would like us to look at why we should put forth the effort required to win. First, how do you go about winning this race.
I. HOW DO YOU WIN AS A CHRISTIAN?
You win as a Christian by:
1. Making it a Priority
Verse 1 says that we are to run the race with endurance. In others words, you have to make it a priority.
** Me running in college. One day I stopped running, and started walking on the way back. I never ran again. Why not? It was not important to me.
Nothing of vaule comes without sacrifice.
- For most, good grades take effort. It is a priority.
- For most, success in business takes effort. College. Long hours. Hard work. It is a priority.
- Staying in shape takes effort. It is a priority.
> Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
2. Getting rid of the Weights
You know the sins. Quit making excuses for them & get rid of them.
Many of you heard or read about 27-year-old Aron Ralston who had his right arm pinned by an 800-pound boulder in a climbing accident. He had gone hiking in Bluejohn Canyon. He was an experienced climber, for he had already climbed over 49 other peaks in Colorado which were over 14,000 feet. He thought about what it would be like to die on the mountain and have his family find his body, or perhaps never know his fate. Ralston, a former engineer for Intel and an avid outrdoorsman, thought about his options. After 5 days of being pinned, and having run out of food and water, he decided to apply a tourniquet and amputate his arm below the elbow with his pocket knife. He did, then rigged anchors and arappelled to the canyon floor with his one good arm. He walked downstream until he was spotted by a Utah Public Safety Helecopter. Because he wanted to live he was willing to cut away everything that was holding him back.