Faithlife
Faithlife

Ready, Set, Go!

Ready, Set, Go - two part series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Introduction
Play video
Running to Win the Prize - Bible Theater 1 Corinthians - video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPmxXTfWOvg
I don’t know if you have ever run a marathon race. Most of us haven’t. Most of us haven’t even watched a marathon race. Most of us have no idea what it takes to prepare for a marathon race. When I was in high school, I was a cross country runner. I was actually one of the top cross country runners in my school. Like a marathon runner it meant daily exercising and daily running. It meant building up endurance. It meant not only physically preparing yourself. It meant mentally preparing yourself. In the last Boston marathon 97% of those who started the race finished. The runners were from 18 - over 80 years old. Of the 9, 80 years or older 7 completed the race. The first place runner did it in 2:09.37. The last place runner took 4:44.14. Ten days before the marathon, Shaw’s ankle had swelled so badly she couldn’t walk. An MRI revealed severe tendonitis. Her doctor didn’t even try to talk her out of running Boston. He put her on steroids to reduce the swelling and told her to stay off her feet till then. “I was hoping by some miracle that I could run the race” and beat her 3:03:18 PR, set in 2011, she says. “And once I got there and was with all those other runners, I thought, ‘This is awesome. I’ll find another time to break 3:00.’” By Mile 9, however, Shaw was in pain. Medics wrapped her leg at Mile 13 and again at Mile 21, and encouraged her to drop out. But Shaw kept going, mostly walking, urged on by the crowd who, seeing her Team Nebraska shirt, shouted, “Go Huskers!” Shaw “ran-walked,” she says, running a few steps and then slowing. Downhill hurt more than uphill. She completed the race. Those who run marathon races run to win. Those who run marathons run to finish the race come hell or high water. They train and they train and they train. When they run they run looking to the goal of finishing well, of winning the prize.
How are you running the marathon of life? Listen to this.
1 Corinthians 9:23–27 NASB95
I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
I came across a 10 step plan to qualify for the Boston Marathon. When I read this plan it immediately jumped into my mind that this was also a 10 step plan for living life the way God wants us to live life.
Step 1 - Let go of your mental limits
When thinking about a goal like qualifying for the Boston Marathon, the first step is to discard the notion that it’s impossible.
This is what we think about living the Christian faith. We think that it is overwhelming and we can’t do it.
Matthew 19:23–26 NASB95
And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Step 2 - Nutrition if huge
Eating a junky diet is going to retard the effect of all the training you do.
Philippians 4:8 The Message
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
We need to feed on the word of God.
Step 3 - Start Now
One of the biggest mistakes made by first-time marathoners is when they fail to use a long term training program and instead try to cram for it like a college final.
It is never too late to get started on deepening your relationship with God!
1 Corinthians 9:24 NASB95
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Step 4 Find a plan and Follow it with precision and passion
In addition to committing to a long term training plan is the value of day-to-day discipline of carrying out each and every week
Hebrews 12:1 …run with endurance the race that is set before you.
The Spiritual Disciplines - RICHARD FOSTER’S LIST OF SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES (FROM CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE)
1. The inward disciplines of Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, Study.
2. The outward disciplines (inward realities resulting in outward lifestyles) Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, Service
3. The corporate disciplines of Confession, Worship, Guidance, Celebration
Step 5 Work towards the goal of being injury proof.
Building strength in the core, hip and hamstring muscles and practising good posture.
Hebrews 12:1 (NCV)
1 ... So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back.
1 Corinthians 9:24–25 NASB95
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Talk to a coach or personal trainer to learn the basic exercises to help you do this.
Philippians 4:9 NASB95
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Step 6 Stroke the fire within
You start a goal like training to qualify for the Boston marathon all fired up. Be sure to keep the fire. Keep passion fueled by reading running magazines, keep company with other runners, and imagine the satisfaction of being a part of the Boston marathon.
Step 7 - Be Patient
Balance your passion to achieve your goal with the patience to never get rattled when things appear to go poorly. Don’t let speed bumps derail your from your mission.
Hebrews 12:3 NASB95
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Step 8 - Seek out expert guidance
Seek out the best experts in all of the areas needed for preparing for the marathon and follow their advice
Hebrews 12:2 NASB95
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Step 9 Live like a clock
Balance your life and responsibilities so that you are able to carve out the key blocks of time you need to get in your training program.
In the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NASB95
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
Step 10 - Enjoy it
Don’t let running become another stress; let it be an escape from the stressful parts of our lives. Go for the goal of qualifying, but do it in a way that savours the process.
Hebrews 12:1–3 NASB95
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
play video
Running the Race- I am a Disciple video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWDa_7Q9ryI
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