EVERYONE RUNS, ONE WINS. RUN TO WIN!

EVERYONE RUNS, ONE WINS. RUN TO WIN!

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
[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. [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. [26] Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. [27] No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Perseverance, persistence, the prize! The Christian life was never promised as an easy way to live; instead, Paul constantly reminds us that we must have a purpose and a plan because times will be difficult and Satan will attack. But we never persevere without the promise of a prize—a promise God will keep.

Matthew 9:35-38 NIV
[35] Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. [36] When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. [37] Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. [38] Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

1 – WHAT DOES YOUR WORK SHOW?

1 Corinthians 3:10-17 NIV
[10] By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. [11] For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. [12] If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, [13] their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. [14] If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. [15] If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. [16] Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? [17] If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

Note: 3:12, If anyone builds. Reference is to those whose position in the church is that of “builders.” gold, silver, costly stones. Precious, durable work that stands the test of divine judgment; symbolic of pure Christian doctrine and living. Wood, hay or straw. Worthless work that will not stand the test; symbolic of someone’s teaching and life that merely confuses or actually misleads people. Two sure ways to destroy a building are to tamper with the foundation and to build with inferior materials. The church must be built on Christ, not on any other person or principle.

Christ will evaluate each person’s contribution to the life of the church, and judgment day will reveal the sincerity of each person’s work. God will determine whether or not a person has been faithful to Jesus’ instructions. Good work will be rewarded; unfaithful or inferior work will be discounted. “The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames” means that unfaithful workers will be saved, but only by the skin of their teeth. All their accomplishments will count for nothing.

2 – ARE YOU PRODUCING GROWING RESULTS?

Matthew 13:31-32 NIV
[31] He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. [32] Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” The mustard seed was the smallest seed a farmer used. Jesus used this parable to show that the Kingdom has small beginnings but will grow and produce great results.

Matthew 13:36-43 NIV
[36] Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” [37] He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. [38] The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, [39] and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. [40] “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. [41] The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. [42] They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [43] Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

At the end of the world, angels will separate the evil from the good. There are true and false believers in churches today, but we should be cautious in our judgments because only Christ is qualified to make the final separation. If you start judging, you may damage some of the good “plants.” It’s more important to judge your own response to God than to analyze others’ responses.

James 1:2-8 NIV
[2] Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, [3] because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. [4] Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. [5] If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. [6] But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. [7] That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. [8] Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James doesn’t say if trouble comes your way but when it does. He assumes that we will have troubles and that it is possible to profit from them. The point is not to pretend to be happy when we face pain but to have a positive outlook (“consider it an opportunity for great joy”) because of what troubles can produce in our life. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. Tough times can teach us perseverance. For other passages dealing with perseverance (also called patience and steadfastness), see Romans 2:7; Romans 5:3-5; Romans 8:24-25; 2 Corinthians 6:3-7; 2 Peter 1:2-9.

We can’t really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It is easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. Thank God for promising to be with you in rough times. Ask him to help you solve your problems or to give you the strength to endure them. Then be patient. God will not leave you alone with your problems; he will stay close and help you grow.

Romans 5:1-5 NIV
[1] Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, [2] through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. [3] Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; [4] perseverance, character; and character, hope. [5] And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to you.

ROMANS 10:17  “MEMORY VERSE”

3 – WHAT STOPS YOU FINISHING THE RACE?

  • FEAR OF Sacrifice
  • Loss of Job
  • Finding a Job

SATAN tries to deposit doubt and break trust in God’s Word.

DID GOD REALLY SAY?

Genesis 3:1-5 NIV
[1] Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ” [2] The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, [3] but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” [4] “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. [5] “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Today Satan uses false teachers to say:

“Did God’s Word really say you have to be baptized everyone of you…?”

Acts 2:36-39 NIV
[36] “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” [37] When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” [38] Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [39] The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

“The Promise is still open today”

APOSTLE PAUL WAS BAPTIZED

Acts 22:16 NIV
[16] And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

What can stop you from finishing the faithful race to eternal life?

  • SELFISHNESS
  • GREED vs GENEROUS
  • PEOPLE
  • DOUBT
  • LAZY
  • Pride
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • False doctrine
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Unforgiveness
  • Bitterness
  • Unbelief
  • And the like…

Judges 6:11-14 NIV
[11] The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. [12] When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. ” [13] “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” [14] The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

Fight the devil and pray!

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