What's the crown that you're working for in your life?
- What are you training for?
- What's your spiritual workout schedule? Do you have one? If you do, describe it.
00:04 If you wanted to be a truly great golfer, a great golfer, or if you ever wanted to be great at anything, I mean among the world's best, well, check this one out today and maybe you can. First Corinthians Chapter 9 Verse 24-27, it says this. "Don't you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in a game 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. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly. I do not fight like a man beating the air. 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.
01:09 The story goes of a man who wanted to be a great golfer and the story goes, I'm not sure it's true, but he went to Jack Nicholas and he said, "Mister Nicholas, I love the way you play the game. How do you play it so well? How do you win the greatest prize of all?" And he said, it's easy. Wake up with the sun. Go out and hit golf balls until your hands bleed, till you've got blisters on your hands and then go eat a little breakfast, then go back out on the range and hit till your hands are bleeding some more. And then eat lunch and then go hit golf balls until you can't hold the club any longer. Then go eat supper. And then after supper go hit golf balls until it's dark. And he said, do that for two years and you'll be among the greatest of golf.
01:49 You know what? That is the same kind of tenacity Paul was expressing when he used the phrase that I might win five times. He used that phrase in a span of four verses. What was he trying to win? What was he trying to win? What was he trying to win? You know what? I think he was trying to win souls. Paul placed evangelism over every aspect of life, he even set aside his own rights when it meant the salvation of another human being. I remember one time when much son Cooper was in ninth grade and every night that I was home, I would tuck him in bed, unless I did my other kids, and we'd memorize a Bible verse together and we'd pray together. And I looked at Cooper who was a young sprouting high school quarterback, the end of the big halls of the high school and I said "Cooper, I've got a vision for you, man. When you graduate from high school, one of your buddies is going to come up to you and he's gonna say Cooper because of you, I became a Christian." Well, he didn't want to hear that goal at night. He had other goals in mind, like all-state in football. His junior year in high school, I walked by his room and I saw something that I'll never forget. Cooper was down there leading his best friend, Jared to Christ. And you know what? I went upstairs and I waited and pretty soon here came this kid of mine up the stairs and he looked like Moses just come down the mountain of the 10 Commandments. His face was glistening. He said, "Dad." He said, "you'll never believe what just happened in my room tonight." And I said, "Cooper, what happened down there?"
03:16 He said, "dad, I just led Jared to Christ." And I said, "Cooper, that's awesome." He said, "dad, you remember a couple of years ago, you had that vision for me, you know, about leading one of my friends to Christ?" And I said, "yeah." He said, "that's the last thing I wanted to hear in ninth grade." But he said, "dad, that's all I want to do with the rest of my life." That kid just finished his Masters Degree in theology, up in Chicago and I said Cooper, I said, "man, is that more important than the state championship?" He said, yes! And I said "Is that more important than all-state and football?" And he said, "dad, it's the most important thing in the whole wide world." And that's why I believe he just got his degree in theology and he wants to live his whole life just for that cause. I believe that's what Paul's saying here when he says, "run for the prize, run in such a way that you may win."
04:03 I don't think he's talking about shooting holes in one. I think he's talking about taking people to heaven so that when you die, you'll see those people for eternity. So here's the questions today. What are you training for? And then secondly, what's your spiritual workout schedule? Do you have one? If you do, describe it. If you don't, go get one, and in the end you're going to have prize on this earth better than the prizes you could possibly get at some award ceremony or in some trophy case. And the lifeline today is this, what do you diligently work towards? What's your goal? What's the crown that you're working for in your life?