RUNNING TO WIN A PRIZE

Studies in 1 Corinthians

GCC Message
1 CORINTHIANS 9:  24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Hebrews 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

2 Timothy 2: Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

 
I. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A RACE

·        It is a long distance race.
·        It is a journey of life and it takes long.
·        The path is like a two truck rail road.  

1.     My Christian walk (a faithful follower or disciple living , seeking to live a holy clean life)

2.     My Christian service (mission in life or calling)

 
II. WE ARE RUNNING FOR A PRIZE
  • Prize: golden or silver medals, graduation gown, wedding day, a winners’ cup for a team, swearing in ceremony
  • A prize comes at the end of the journey
  • Jesus is preparing Mansions for those who serve. John 14.

III. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE PRIZE?

Before you begin any journey it is important to consider what it will take.

Self-Control.

·        I must forego short lived pleasures for the sake of my target.
·        An athlete cannot eat all the foods he wants. He cannot smoke or indulge in alcohol.
·        A businessman must grow his capital, he has to keep investing.
·        If you want a great marriage you cannot play around with other women, you have to stick to one wife.
·        You cannot get a degree if you watch TV every night up to 1am.

Purposeful or Focus. Concentration.
  • You cannot allow the enemy to take your attention from the finishing line.
  • It is an intentional exercise of your will to stay focused on where you are going.

Discipline.
Paul said: 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control.

 You are the greatest enemy to your future. Do not always say the Devil made me do it. It is you. 

Ø It is you who stays up to 1am watching TV instead of reading or praying,

Ø It is you who decides to get yourself into your boyfriend’s house at 11pm.

Ø It is you who decides to buy a car using your capital.

Ø Success comes from saying NO to some of those pleasures.

·        Endurance.

“2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross”

·        We must Run according to the rules.

2 Tim 2:5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

 You cannot live a Christian life the way you want; we must use the Book of rules; the Bible. Not my way or yours, it has to be His way.

·        Keep in your lane.

Remember it is a two track journey.

Your life and your calling.  One track is the same for all of us but the second is specific for each of us.

If God called you to be a politician be faithful, treat God’s people well and do not dare be corrupt.  And if you were called to be a preacher do not try to be a politician.
 
IV. CALLED TO WIN

1.     Reality of the journey.  Difficult.

·        Some people slip off the path.
·        Some are injured in the race.
·        There is satanic opposition. ( spiritual warfare and persecution)


2.     Do Not Give up.

The Important factor in a journey is finishing and also finishing well.

 
JESUS FINISHED AND MANY OTHERS DID. THEY ARE CHEERING US ON.

Hebrews 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

3.     It all begins with the First Step.

§  Every race has a starting line or a beginning point.
§  The Christian race begins on the day you realize that you are a sinner who needs a Savior.
§  You are a human being who needs God to guide your life.
§  You are helpless without God.  This is what we call salvation.


NOTES TO USE IN DESCRIBING THE MARATHON AND THE OLYMPICS
Marathon is a word known worldwide through its link to the race (26 miles and 385 yards) in the Olympic Games. Many also know that its origin honors the Greek runner who raced to Athens to announce to the anxious Athenians that they had defeated the Persians at Marathon.
  • The modern Athens Marathon commemorates the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield at the site of the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C.
  • Legend has it that Pheidippides delivered the momentous message "Niki!" ("Victory"), then collapsed and died. He run 2
Through the 12 centuries of the Olympic Games, many wonderful athletes competed in the stadium and the hippodrome of ancient Olympia's sacred area, moving the crowds with their great achievements. Although mortal, their Olympic victories immortalized them. Of the best athletes who left their mark on the sacred valley of Olympia, some surpassed all limits and became legends by winning in successive Olympic Games and remaining at the forefront of their sport for more than a decade.

 All free male Greek citizens were entitled to participate in the ancient Olympic Games, regardless of their social status.

According to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. They were dedicated to the Olympian gods and were staged on the ancient plains of Olympia. 

Victory Ceremonies

The Olympic victor received his first awards immediately after the competition. Following the announcement of the winner's name by the herald, a Hellanodikis (Greek judge) would place a palm branch in his hands, while the spectators cheered and threw flowers to him. Red ribbons were tied on his head and hands as a mark of victory.
The official award ceremony would take place on the last day of the Games, at the elevated vestibule of the temple of Zeus. In a loud voice, the herald would announce the name of the Olympic winner, his father's name, and his homeland. Then, the Hellanodikis placed the sacred olive tree wreath, or kotinos, on the winner's head.  http://www.olympic.org/ancient-olympic-games?tab=history

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

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