March 8, 2019

Lasting Success - John 7:33-34

One of the richest, and you know, as I grew up, one of the most famous athletes who ever lived was a world champion millionaire boxer named Mohammad Ali. You know, no doubt Ali was a boxing phenomenon. The guy was quick as lightning, but one day he said about himself, you know, "I'm the greatest. I'm the greatest."

Family Discussions:

  1. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" What does that mean to you when Jesus said that?
  2. What activity or what kind of thinking are you involved in that could get between you and God?

Episode Transcription:

00:13 Hey today I want to share with you the most interesting, in fact, for me the most memorable, Sports Illustrated article I ever read. The Scripture today comes from John chapter seven, verse 33 and 34, and it says this, "Jesus said, 'I am with you only for a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me, and where I am, you cannot come."

00:42 You know, there are literally a zillion ways to try to get to God. You can follow Mohammad. You can follow Joseph Smith. You can follow the New Age thing. You can follow any number of men and women who claim to have a shortcut to God, and they end up just like that cut short. You know, you can get so much that you don't even need God. You can get so famous and successful that you might think you sort of are a God, and you see it every day.

01:13 One of the richest, and you know, as I grew up, one of the most famous athletes who ever lived was a world champion millionaire boxer named Mohammad Ali. You know, no doubt Ali was a boxing phenomenon. The guy was quick as lightning, but one day he said about himself, you know, "I'm the greatest. I'm the greatest." Just a few years later, Sports Illustrated did a cover story about this great boxer, and it was probably no more than 15 years after he quit boxing. The writer visited Ali's farm one cold winter day and candidly traced the champs rise and his fall. In the story, the two went out behind the house to Ali's training barn, which was full of his trophies and life-size posters of himself, pictures with Ali's arms thrust high overhead in victory. As the writer and the champ toured the old barn, pigeons overhead in the rafters had left dropping streaked across the posters and the trophies and the boxing gloves that were hung there that he had won the trophies in. One by one, Ali turned them towards the wall in shame and in disgust. He walked outside, and he spoke softly in his self pity. He said, "I had the world, and it wasn't nothing. I had the world, and it wasn't nothing." And then he said, "Look now." Outside, there were no children. There were no swings. There were no slides. There was just emptiness and quietness.

02:42 You know, one time, years ago, the Beatles' owned pop music. They made their self-proclaimed fame obvious. One day they said, "We'll be more popular than Jesus." John Lennon died young, and then the group scattered.

02:57 The questions for today are, you know, Jesus said, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" What does that mean to you when Jesus said that? And then, man, here's when it gets personable. What activity or what kind of thinking are you involved in that could get between you and God? The thought for the day is, man, home is the best place to remind each other that there's no other way to God. There's no other way to success than Jesus Christ himself.

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