Summary: As you read this sermon you will be led to evaluate your aim in life.
This weekend the Olympics began in Beijing, China. The world will be focused on China for the next several weeks. There are thousands of world class athletes competing for medals. Their aim is to win a gold medal. They have focused their entire lives on this goal.
I would like to use the Olympic theme to communicate a spiritual truth today. I want to raise the question, what is your aim? There is much athletic imagery in the Bible. We find one such passage in I Corinthians 9. “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (vs. 24-27 NKJV) Paul discusses his aim.
Your aim has a tremendous impact upon the way you live your life. Your aim has an affect on what you do in life. Your aim has an affect on the contributions you make. Your aim affects where you go. Sometimes our aim can be off target . Will we admit it?
Joke: I heard about a duck hunter who had trouble admitting that his aim was off. Two friends were out duck hunting. One was always bragging about his shooting ability. About that time a duck flew over. He took aim and fired . The duck flew on unscathed. He paused a minute and said, "My friend, you are now witnessing a miracle. There files a dead duck."
I want to help you adjust your aim. Your aim will affect three areas of your life.
I. Your aim affects your mind-set. Look at verse 19. Paul said he made himself a servant. What was Paul’s mind-set? He so desired to serve and represent Jesus Christ that he made himself a servant in order to accomplish that end.
A. A servant gives up some of his rights. Paul said, “Though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all.” (vs. 19)
Illustration: I saw a church cartoon some time ago that illustrates this point. A nervous guest was sitting in a church pew while a long time member stood by them demanding their rights. The long time member proclaimed “I have been sitting in that seat for forty-two years.” That is an example of demanding rights instead of having a servant spirit.
Have you ever thought about the rights given up by missionaries.
• Missionaries give up the right to live near family.
• Missionaries give up the right to a salary that produces wealth.
• Missionaries give up the right to attend a church that offers services of which they are accustomed.
• Missionaries often give up quality health care to live in a less developed country.
• Missionaries often give up the comforts of home.
• Missionaries often must cope with diseases, never encountered in America.
A servant must overcome the temptation to be self serving. This is extremely difficult in our demanding world. We live in a consumer driven society. A consumer driven society is consumed with “me-ism.”
Illustration: I was reminded of this a few weeks ago. I carried my car to a quick change oil service at Daphne. I never got out of my car. I sat in the car while they changed the oil. They brought me the ticket and I paid without ever getting out of my car.
Illustration: I went to Hardees the other day, for a cinnamon biscuit and coffee. As I got into the drive through line there were 6-8 cars in front of me. At first that did not prove to be a problem. However, after I sat there a few minutes I found myself becoming impatient. I wanted instant service.
Illustration: Judy and I drove up to a bank window, not long ago. We had our dogs with us. The teller noticed the puppies in the back seat so she sent out a dog biscuit for each of them.
It is wonderful to live in a society where there are so many services available to us. However, as a Christian I must rise up to be the server. In a family, who is generally the most selfish member of the family. Not the husband (even though you wives may think so)! Not the school age children! The most selfish person in the family is the baby. The babies’ survival is dependent upon being self serving. The only way he meets his needs is to cry for attention. The only way he gets fed is to cry for feeding. The only way he gets a clean diaper is to cry for a clean diaper.