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Summary: The Prize that we are all searching for in life... Jesus Christ.

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JN 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Introduction:

Have you had fun these last six weeks with our Hoedown Showdown? It’s alot of fun working together to try and win a prize isn’t it? I want you to know, throwing a pie in the Pastor’s face is a pretty cool prize...... I know growing up I never had that chance... of coarse my Pastor was always my Dad, so I’m not sure I would have taken the chance even if I would have had it......

I love competition, it brings out the great qualities in a team, it can be used to bring people together who may have never had the chance to bond together any other way. I’m thinking of our New Hope Softball team. Just as we’ve been working for a win during our Sunday School contest.... the New Hope Softball team has been working for a win on the softball field... in fact we’ve been working for that first win for what? Around three months... Guess What? Last Tuesday we won our first game... what a great feeling.

Working as a Team..... encouraging each other even when we don’t see the wins all the time has been a great character strength of our Softball team.... and you guys who are here this morning because of first coming to the softball team.... what a priviledge it is to have you here with us this morning, This is my New Hope Church Team..... and I want to tell you, We Would absolutely love to have you on this team also.

We live in a world friends where people are always looking for the Prize, looking for that Win that will make them feel like they have found what they are looking for... there looking for fulfillment... that Joy that won’t leave.

Millions of people..... people we know... people in your family... maybe someone sitting next to you... maybe you... A multitude of people searching... looking ..... pursuing that “Prize” or that “Accomplishment” that will finally set them apart... make them happy.

Last night I watched the Florida Marlins win the World Championship in Baseball as they beat the favored Yankees....... The Florida Marlins manager, Jack McKeon has been in baseball for over 40 years... he is 62 years young and this is his first World Championship.... Don’t you think he’s a happy man today?

Being a World Champion is a sport doesn’t bring happiness... that’s been proven over and over again. If it did then Mike Tyson would be one happy camper don’t you think? Instead it ruined him.


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