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2008.08.12 (13:06:51)
Sermon Date:  Aug 03, 2008 
Speaker Name:  Rev. Billy Chung 
Scripture:  1 Corinthians 9:24-27 
Passage:  24Do 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.

25Everyone 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. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, 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. 
Life, according to Paul, is like a race. When Paul wrote these words to the Corinthian Christians, he assumed that they all knew about the games. The Isthmian games were held every 2 years about 10 miles outside the city of Corinth. Athletes and spectators from all over the area came to these games. Athletes would compete in races, discus throwing, wrestling, boxing, gymnastics. Winners would receive lifetime exemptions from paying taxes and military service. They would also receive a free education and have a statue of themselves built on the road that led to the games. However, they considered the greatest prize was the celery wreath awarded to each winner.


3 Aspect of Christian maturity


1. Passionate heart for God


How does the winner run? He runs hard. He runs with all of his heart. He runs with passion. He doesn't coast.


With All Our Might


When Jonathan Edwards was a student at Yale 270 years ago he wrote 70 resolutions to help him live with passion. One of them catches the spirit of verse 24. He wrote: "Resolved: to live with all of my might while I do live.


What is the prize? Here are some hints. In verse 25 it says, "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." I t’s not celery. A hint is that it is a crown that will last forever.


Verse 24: "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 seize it." Run to win the prize.

One Christian said, “I have but one passion. It is He, He only.”


2. Continual Focus On Christ


We Must Compete for the Prize—Be Focused

Focus produces passion.


If not nourished and nurtured, our hearts become cold to Christ and spiritually dysfunctional leaving us with a Christianity that is hollow, habitual, and even hypocritical. Spiritual experience that was once an inward joy can even become a burden.”


Don’t look at your circumstances; look to Jesus. Circumstances can change like the wind. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

As you fix your eyes upon Jesus, He is perfecting your faith?

How does He develop your faith?

You become like what you focus on. That is why pets start looking like their owners. They love them, spend time with them and look at them. Slowly, they start looking like them.


Time together. Intimacy is developed only when there is time spent in sharing things in common. The sharing of dreams. , thoughts, and desires deepens and ignites the power of a relationship. It is true with our relationship to God as well.

Some of the happiest moments of your life were probably spent with people. Do people say to their friends, “let's talk for 10 minutes and have the best conversation we've ever had”? No, people don't say that. The best moments of our lives are the result of spending lots of time with our family members and friends. Quantity of time spent with God will lead to improved quality.


As you begin the day…..

  1. Make a commitment to God to rely on His strength, wisdom, and power rather than your own.

  2. Tell God about your concerns for that day.

  3. Ask God to spend the day with you. P75

              You have to go to work; why not work with Jesus rather than trying to do it yourself?

       4. Before going to sleep, review your day. Confess sins and also reflect upon and thank God for the ways that He blessed you that day.


What Paul is saying here is that there are impulses that we have to control if we are going to run like a winner and receive the crown of righteousness. The impulses we have to control are the impulses to do things that will weaken our zeal for God: our earnestness in prayer, our hunger for Scripture, our longing to love, our passion for holiness.

the Christian takes note of all the impulses and all the habits and practices of his life that weaken his zeal for God and his joy of faith, and he sets about to take control of them and put them out of his life.


TV, sports, food, the opposite gender, friends, money, whatever might be neutral or even good at times, when we have passion for those things, it distracts us from our passion for God


Everyone dies but few people truly live.


Whoever saves his life (lives for himself) will lose it but whoever loses his life for God and the gospel will save it.


3. Training


When the Apostle Paul urged Timothy to train himself to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7), he used a word from the athletic world of that time. Paul knew that training in godliness, or the pursuit of holiness, or any other spiritual pursuit would require that same total of commitment.


Keeping the faith is hard; that is why Paul compares it to a race and a fight. Both boxers and runners endure a lot of pain. Both have to train for a long time. You cannot succeed without training in running, boxing, or being a Christian.


Christians are supposed to pursue godliness; this involves training. P12


There is an immense difference between training to do something and trying to do something.


Christianity without discipleship is not Christianity.


Trying hard is sometimes not enough. For example, you could try really hard to run the marathon in 2 hours, but would fail unless you had trained for it. In the same way, you have to train to be like Jesus.



Everyone meditates on some topic and what you meditate on will shape your feelings, actions, and

destiny.


Types of training:

Worshiping

Bible meditation/study

Bible reading

Bible memorization

praying

Reviewing blessings

Reading Christian books

Praying with other Christians

Fasting

Giving


Michael Phelps 

  trains 365 days a year two to five hours a day in the pool.

now after winning a record eight medals (Six golds and two bronzes ) in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, he might become the best swimmer of all time


When Bowman told Phelps that he had Olympic potential, the twelve-year-old gave up his other sports, which were soccer, lacrosse, and baseball, in order to bring all his energy to daily pool practice. He began winning every competitive event he entered. At the U.S. spring nationals, he became the youngest male swimmer to set a world record. The event that marked this accomplishment was the 200-meter butterfly. He was just fifteen years and nine months old at the time.


His key to success is training.

On some days, he swims over 13 miles.
He wrote down on a piece of paper what he would like to accomplish in his life. He looks at that piece of paper every day.








1 Corinthians 9:24-27

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.


Philippians 3:15-20

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

15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

18 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.

20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,




Sermon Date Subject Scripture Speaker Name
Nov 16, 2008 The Secret To Success - Being Filled With the Holy Spirit - Ephesians 5:18 Rev. Billy Chung
Nov 02, 2008 Wise guys - Ephesians 5:15-20 Rev. Billy Chung
Oct 05, 2008 Seeking joy and God's honor by serving 1 Peter 4:10,11 Rev. Billy Chung
Sep 21, 2008 Prayer Part 6 - Prayer that God answers 1 John 5:14,15 Rev. Billy Chung
Sep 14, 2008 Prayer part 5 - Supplication (Praying for fellow soldiers) Ephesians 6:10-22 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 17, 2008 Prayer part 1 - Adoration Psalm 73 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 24, 2008 Prayer part 2 - Casting Your Burdens Upon God 1 Peter 5:6,7 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 31, 2008 Prayer part 3 - Come Home Luke 15:11-32 Rev. Billy Chung
Sep 07, 2008 Prayer part 4 - Expressing Thanks Luke 17:11-19 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 10, 2008 A Church That Pleases God Matthew 25:31-46 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 03, 2008 Running The Race 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Rev. Billy Chung
Jul 27, 2008 Open My Eyes Mark 10:46-52 Rev. Billy Chung
Jul 20, 2008 The Lord's Supper Matthew 26:26-29 Rev. Billy Chung
Jul 13, 2008 May God bless you. Numbers 6:22-27 Rev. Billy Chung
Jul 06, 2008 Serving God Acts 13:36 Rev. Billy Chung
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