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Faithlife

The Prize

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Scripture Reading:

Phil 3:14

14        I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

1 Cor 9:24

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.

(NIV)

In the words that one may have selected for this lesson, this morning could have been entitled; " Reaching For A Higher Goal" that title sounds very good, but what goal is it that you or I are striving to obtain? Is it that we are reaching for a higher goal that we maybe seen by others or are we reaching for a higher goal that we may gain status with those who live around us? Tell me what higher goal are you reaching for? Are you reaching for your goal or are you reaching for the goal that God has set for you? My belief is that many of you are reaching for the goal that God through Jesus Christ has set before us. And if that is the goal that you are reaching for, then in order for you set out to reach it we must be in shape.

My message today is; The Prize. In addition, if there is a prize we must have to run a race.

Many of us today as church folks are not in shape to run this race. We are over weight with sin fat. Our blood vessels are clogged with worldly cholesterol that hinders the spiritual blood from flowing the way it ought to flow. If we are going to run, then we as athletic do must go into strict training.

Look if you please; There are four training steps that one need to take and there are scriptures to support your effort;

Read notes from chart on page #2152 from Bible

1.                             

1Cor. 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 a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.

27                No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

2.

Phil. 3:13-14

13        Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

14        I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

3.

1 Timothy 4:7-10

7          Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

8          For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

9          This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance

10                (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

 

Are we in shape for the Lord? I have heard Church folks saying that they stop by the gym in the morning before they go to work. There are some that stop on their way from work. They stop there to get some toning of the physical body. They do this because they want to stay in shape, that their clothing fits properly; the old stomach is not hanging all out of shape. This is done to look so called good to them and to those around them.

But sometimes, if not all of the time the pastor have to in most cases beg folks to come to bible study for just one hour on Wednesday evening. When the question is ask, why do you not attend bible study. The answer is “Pastor I have to get up early every morning to get to work. But have you realized that it is the Lord who wake you up every morning to get to that job that you have.

4.

2 Timothy 4:7-8

7          I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

8                    Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Not only must one stay in shape for such race, but we ought to wear the right kind of clothing for this journey. Eph. Six tells us: Wear or put on the whole armor of God. The belt of truth around your waist. Put on the breastplate of righteousness; Fit the feet with readiness; Have your shield of faith in place; Put on the helmet of salvation so that you can keep the mind clear and sword of the Spirit.

Furthermore, one must eat the right kind of spiritual food. You need to go to the Chief Dietitian in order that we may eat the right kind of food. 

 Gal. 5:22-23

22        But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23        gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

(NIV)

Let if you will back-up to Philippians 3:14; This verse reads:            I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I press on; Means that you are running or you run after. You have entered yourself in a race and in this race if you are to "Reach A Higher Goal" or receive “The Prize” you must run with consistencies to reach the goal and receive your prize.

You are seeking after what you have set out to do eagerly; you are pursuing it with earnestly. You are endearing to acquire that which you set out do.

However, while one press on he or she must not give in or give up. As the writer of Hebrews tells using in chapter 12:1-3

1          Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

2          Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3          Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The writer is saying to us, that, there were folks before you who ran this same race and they made it. So therefore there’s no reason why you cannot make it, but you must laid a side all the things of the world that will so easily tangle you up. You must run with your eyes set on the one who is the author and finisher of your faith. And while you are running you must keep your mind set on whom it was that died for you so as not to become weary and grow faint hearted.

But you must lay a side all the things of the world that will so easily tangle you up. As I look at this statement, I cannot help but to think of the “Seven Deadly Sins”

 

Pride, Anger, Envy, Lust, Greed, just to name a few of them. Someone may ask the question why are they deadly? Because they can be so easily a part of you without you really paying very much attention to them.

 

The goal is the same thing as the mark. They both means that there is something in view, yet it is in the distant. In addition, you have set your eyes toward that mark, which is the calling of God in Jesus Christ. You are looking heavenward not allowing nothing and no body stop you or turn you around.

You are running toward the mark to reach your high goal. You are running to get the prize that the Master has promised that He will have waiting for you. This prize is not like a world prize. 1 Cor. 9:24 tells us;

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.

You and I both know and have heard that these world prizes will fade, they will tarnish, not only that, but they will completely get away from you. As a matter of fact there have been news of men that have played the game of football and basketball and have received a Super Bowl and the Championship Ring, but in the midst of all the chaos and trouble that comes upon them, they have dropped so low that they have taken there prize and either sold it or pawned it to get drugs for their body.

But this prize that we are reaching for is not a prize that is given to the fastest runner, nor is it one that is given to the strongest runner. It is not given to the best blocker. It is not given to the best shooter or batter, but Ecclesiastes 9:11 tells us;

11        The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,

Phil. 3:14

14        I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

2 Cor. 4:17-18

17        For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18        While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

(KJV)

2 Tim. 4:7-8

7          I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

8          Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Phil. 3:14

14        I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

(KJV)

Romans 8:28-30

28        And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

If you are going to get the Prize, you must run. Nevertheless, how can you run if you are weighted down with;

1 Cor. 6:9-10

9          Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders,

10        nor thieves,  nor the greedy,  nor drunkards,  nor slanderers,  nor swindlers

 

Wild living,  Lust,  Hatred,  Envy,  Cheating,  Lying,  Stealing

 

will inherit the kingdom of God.

(NIV)

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