Summary: People who win a lot, teams that win a lot and people who succeed in life all have a lot in common. There are certain things they do and certain things they don’t do that somehow they all figure out. This is called the Winner’s code.
A. Today we are going to finish our sermon series “Winner’s Code.” People who win a lot, teams that win a lot and people who succeed in life all have a lot in common. There are certain things they do and certain things they don’t do that somehow they all figure out. This is called the Winner’s code.
B. We are reading in Hebrews chapter 12. This follows the Hall of Fame list in chapter 11. The writer is listing off all of these AVERAGE people who learned the ‘winner’s code.’
C. We have looked at five specific things over the past two weeks that winner’s do.
1. They lay aside things that hold them back. Not necessarily sinful things but also things that they realize will not help them get into the winner’s circle. There are things that maybe somebody else can do but will not work for you, and if you want to make it into God’s Hall of Fame you have to be willing to let them go.
2. We also looked playing by the rules. In sports cheaters eventually get caught. Sometimes they ‘kind of play by the rules’ or some play ‘dirty.’ A lot of talk still going around about that Steelers and Bengals game and for sure there were some things that happened that should not have happened. They may get away with it for a while but eventually they get caught and lose everything. Sin for a Christian is breaking the rules, and if we want to win the gold we have to obey God’s rules. We may get away with breaking His rules for a while but eventually our sins will find us out. God’s rules are not given to burden us but to help us succeed in life.
3. Then last week we looked at the importance of getting in the race and not sitting on the sidelines. It may be scary and it can be challenging but you will never cross the finish line if you don’t get in the race. God’s team is not like sports teams. With God we all get to play. We all get to pray for people. We all get to talk to people about God and open the Bible up to people to help them understand it.
4. We talked about the importance of making sure you are running ‘YOUR’ race, finding out what your purpose is and learning how to use your gifts and talents to help advance the Kingdom of God.
5. And last we talked about ‘running with endurance.’ That means YOU DON’T GIVE UP. Even if you get knocked down, you get up and keep running.
D. Today we are going to look at three more things that you will find all winners have learned, staying focused so you can finish strong, expecting opposition and believing you can do more.
Stay focused (This is the WHY?)
A. We are told something very interesting here. We are told that Jesus had to focus on the finish line to endure the cross. He had to STAY FOCUSED. When you read about His struggles in the garden this really brings out how He made it through. We are told that He was really struggling. He was praying, “Father if it be Your will, let this cup pass from Me.” Like, “I really do not want to go through with this. Isn’t there any other way. But then we read that He prayed, “But not My will but Yours be done.”
B. What got Him to that point of full surrender, so that He would be willing to go through with the horror of the crucifixion? We are told right here, “Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.”
C. What did He stay focused on? The finish line! Focus on the finish line. This is the “why” answer to everything we do. Why are we doing this? Jesus saw what would be gained if He went through with this. He stayed focused on the ‘why.’ It almost seems as if He was somewhat losing His focus in the garden and then as He prayed something happened. He got focused on the joy that would be His if He went through with this. This is the ‘why.’ He was focused on the joy that would be His when He successfully provided a way of salvation for all who would believe in Him. He saw the incredible benefit of what He was about to do.
D. So often people quit something they have started because they lose focus. They forget THE WHY they are doing this. They don’t see the benefits at the end. Winners do not lose focus. Winner’s keep their eyes on the finish line. This is a vital part of the winner’s code, staying focused. This is what helps us break through the barriers that will so often rise up to hinder us from pressing on.