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September 7, 2021 2:00 am
Paul pictured the believer as an athlete competing in a footrace pushing toward the finish line. In the message "Put On Your Running Shoes," Skip shares how you can have the dedication and collaboration needed to do well in the race of the Christian life.
This teaching is from the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Can you imagine a runner trying to go forward one direction while the canal fall flat. You can run the Christian race, always thinking about your past so he says getting those in the Bible. Forget doesn't mean you lose your memory doesn't mean failure to recall it actually means.
Don't let it influence get about, forget about it means don't let that pass influence your presence will encourage believers to stand for. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain today on connect with Skip Heitzigs, Skip shares what it truly means to give you all as you pursue Christ. Now we want to tell you about a resource that shines light on the rapidly shifting landscape of the Middle East and why this impacts you the beating heart of Bible prophecy is the land of Israel and the Middle East. Joel Rosenberg has his finger on the pulse of the world shaking changes happening right now and he unveils them in his new nonfiction book enemies and allies inside inside his enemies and allies from multiple New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg takes you on an unforgettable journey inside the turbulent Middle East behind closed doors to hear from the very kings and crown princes, presidents and prime ministers who are leading the charge.
Enemies and allies includes exclusive never before published quotes insight and analysis from the authors conversations with some of the world's most controversial leaders your hardcover copy enemies and allies. Thanks for your generous gift of $35 or more today to give call 892 to 1888.com. Philippians chapter 3 Skip six to view athletes are good in multiple sports and Beth discovered the concentrate on one thing Nehemiah in the Old Testament understood the Sprint when he came to Jerusalem he came to do one thing to build a wall. There was a lot of other things that required his attention, but he didn't care. He focused on one thing he was tempted to meet with different people who wanted to voice their concerns, meet with enemies who want to have private meetings with them. And here is his response. I am doing a great work.
I cannot stop to come down and meet with you to which they probably thought how Road I need to meet with Nehemiah need to talk to Nehemiah. BMI said no I'm about one thing about is building this will one of the greatest problems we all have in life is that we tend to spread ourselves so thin and we fail to be effective at one thing he Stanley Jones, the great missionary theologian said your capacity to say no will determine your capacity to say yes to greater things.
I discovered that no is a holy word skip. Can you do this no, why not because I'm doing that. One thing so picture this college class in a business college professor wants to teach time management to his students so he goes up to the lectern on a class day Mrs. class would have a quiz. He reaches down gets a gallon largemouth Mason jar sets it on the lectern.
Then he takes about a dozen fist size rocks and places them inside the gallon Mason jar, filling all the way up to the top students watch the professor then said students is this jar full and they said yes. He said really. He reached down and took a little bucket of pebbles and began to pour the gravel. The gravel pebbles over the rocks. The rocks, the pebbles found the spaces between the large rocks that filled all the way up to the top and then asked him again is the jar full what they were catching on by now, they said no so good. He reached out again.
This time he took sand and poured the sand over the pebbles and over the large rocks all the way up to the brim, and it held quite a bit and he asked again. He goes class is the jar follow me all in unison said no and he said good. This time he reached down and took some water in the picture and poured the water till it went all the way up to the top. Now, he said, do you understand what my point is in this little analogy and one very energetic student said yes, that no matter how full your schedule as you can always fit more in. He said no that is not the point of this exercise. The point is this if you don't put the big rocks in first you'll never get them in at all. He was teaching them, time management, and the priority of putting first things first.
So for Paul the apostle Jesus Christ and his will for his life was the big rocks that came first, to place those first everything else takes a backseat. So my question is what things do you need to say no to so that you can say yes to what he has for you because the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. So when her needs dissatisfaction winter needs concentration.
1/3 essential is that a winter needs direction back again to verse 13 brother and I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing. And here it is forgetting those things which are behind and reaching where forward moving forward to those things which are ahead, over the years you've heard me quote a book called a long obedience in the same direction. It's become a Christian classic. I just love the title a long obedience in the same direction. I thought that just epitomizes the Christian life. However, I might add, by saying you need not just a long obedience in the same direction. You need a long obedience in the right direction. As you can go a long distance in the wrong direction a few years ago 2013 January is 67-year-old Belgian woman by the name of Sabine Monroe drove to Brussels, Belgium 90 miles away to pick up her friend. She entered the GPS coordinates in her little unit and then she drove and drove and drove all the way to Croatia. A thousand miles away, crossing five international borders, stopping for gas, stopping to rest, stopping for gas and she drove and drove, then she got to Zagreb, Croatia, the capital and she thought, you know, I think I should turn around she been going a long time in the wrong direction. You need to make sure you're traveling on the right road in the right direction. So Paul is reaching forward or reaching ahead to what he calls later on the upward call, or the heavenward call not to do that effectively notice what he says, forgetting those things which are behind two to run effectively into the future you need to let go of your past, you need to let go of. Can you imagine a runner trying to go forward one direction while looking out the holder with snap fall flat. You can't run the Christian race, always thinking about your past and so he says, forgetting those things in the Bible. Forget doesn't mean to lose your memory. It doesn't mean failure to recall it actually means. Don't let it influence you. Mrs. forget about it and forget about it. It means don't let that pass influence your present.
Here's an example. God says in the Bible their sins and their iniquities. I will remember no that does not mean that God is a bad memory that is he a memory lapse. It simply means that he no longer is influenced by their past in dealing with them in the present. He doesn't hold their sins against them any longer. So your past is your past all the kings horses and all the kings men can't put your past back together again you fall and you blown it. You made mistakes okay leave it, learn from it and go forward, forgetting those things which are behind, there's one person in the Bible that epitomizes this better than anybody else. Is Joseph. Joseph had been maltreated by his brothers. They were jealous.
They sold them to the Midianites the Midianites to come to Egypt.
He was falsely accused.
He spent time in jail. You know the story eventually becomes the second most powerful man in Egypt and the day comes when his brothers meet him face-to-face the day when Joseph could've looked at them and thought you guys have been waiting for a long time for this day and now you're going to get yours. No Joseph had forgotten the past and he said to them, but as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good. In order to bring it about as it is this day to save many people alive if you want to be miserable. Live your life. Looking back over your shoulder if you want to live well. Look forward reach forward. Forget the past. So you need dissatisfaction concentration you need direction.
1/4 essential is dedication verse 12. You'll notice what he says but I've already attained your Marty perfected, but I notice the word I what I press I press on, I press on, that I may lay hold of Christ or that which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me.
Verse 14 I progress toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. The idea of press means I exert myself. I worked up a sweat so think of the Olympics when the camera zooms into the face of the runner, sweat pouring down his or her face their grooming work. My daughter is a girl and of you can see depressing Mandeville working hard there exerting themselves every fiber of their body every bit of their strength, but there's something else I want you to see how this fits the word he uses for press twice. I press I press is the same word he uses back in verse six, so look at verse six for a moment.
He's describing his previous life is going to the Little litany of his pedigree.
In verse six he says concerning zeal, persecuting the church see that the word persecuting is the exact same word as I press I press is the word geocode ordeal Conda and so here is translated. I persecuted the church now is saying I press what is saying is this the same energy that I once put into ruining the church. I now put into running the church the same level of energy I had before I was an unbeliever at all the stuff I was into. I expend now in the right direction.
No one becomes a winning athlete by attending lectures from the coach or looking at YouTube videos. At some point you gotta actually get on the tact track and train and exert press to be a winning effort. I wonder if our lives would be different if we put as much dedication into our spiritual life as we put into golfing, fishing, shopping, social media, I would've would be any different at all. If owner would be the same pulsing all of the energy. I once put into that I now put into this. I press I press and what is he press for.
He says the prize. Verse 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus. Now in the amazing race they got a million bucks for the prize in the Olympics 2000 years ago. You know they got for winning the race.
They got a plant stuck on their head. Now they got a piece of IV and IV branch made in the little crown. Michael was a little laurel wreath crown. They put the crown on the head and every went awesome. Good job Sia by your plan go home. What kind of apprised we get to full price. The price of knowing our life purpose. Verse 12 he says that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. I am pursuing, says Paul. The reason for which Christ once pursued me.
I want to know why I was saved on the Damascus road and fully realize in my life. The reason that I'm on this earth is the idea to lay hold of that for which is laid hold of me.
So it's been said, the two greatest days of your life or the day you were born and the day you discovered what you were born for.
There's a real prize into knowing why I exist on this earth. What is God's plan for my life.
The second prize is the prize of knowing eternal joy. Verse 14 he calls it the upward call, or the heaven word call in Christ Jesus.
He's called to glory. One day you're going across the ultimate finish line by death or by rapture and you're going to be met. Thereby, your coach, Jesus who will receive you into his eternal home. It's a good price. The price of knowing wine here on the earth. And the prize of eternal joy in heaven. So you need dissatisfaction concentration direction dedication. Finally, you need collaboration collaboration. Look at verse 15 therefore lead us, and emphasize a few words here, as many are as mature have this mind and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule led us to be of the same mind so he's writing to the Philippians including them in the running.
Now us. We us us know we don't exactly know what Paul was referring to when he says like there's people who think otherwise. Gotta reveal this to them. It could be that he was talking to them about Judaizers perfectionist who said you can buy your own works become morally perfect. Or, on the other hand, some commentators think there were Christians were grown apathetically sort of gotten off the racetrack there in the bleachers is a got fall enough times and is gonna let go and let God neck and exert any energy to mosey my life through. Maybe 10 church from time to time and hope I go to heaven.
So Paul says if they think otherwise. I trust that God is big enough to reveal that to them. But the point I want to make is the usage of the word us and we us and us, and here's the truth runners do better with other runners.
You can run alone and you can train alone but you will always do better, you will up your game so to speak. When you have other runners who were there to inspire you and encourage you train you. By the way they run hold you accountable, pick it up you can do a little bit better and that you'll always do better with other runners. Now some believers have gotten off the track altogether.
The thinking as you know, to try to not get the Christian life. I stumbled I've fallen so now I listen to be a spectator from the side of the truck watching you guys run and not only will I watch you guys run, but if you don't run very well criticize what you run because I'm really good at observing how people ought to live. I can do that myself and I won't well make sure you know that you didn't do right so that's how Americans do sports. By the way once more.
Sven said sports like baseball, football, basketball and hockey. Develop your muscles. That's why Americans have the strongest eyes in the world I would get it. Watching were good at being a spectator and where the dude who says that guy strikes out.
You're a loser. While we eat our popcorn and the batter gets struck out what he's on the field buckaroo you're not so put on your running shoes get in the race or for some of you get back on the track and stay on track and just keep going but I found just keep going over I'm disqualified just get up and keep going on to close with the most fascinating illustration. By the way, a true story. Did you know that the world's longest and toughest race is an ultramarathon that is 543.7 mile running 543.7 mile is the ultramarathon that begins in Sydney, Australia and ends in Melbourne Australia.
So in 19 8350 world-class athletes converge on Sydney to begin this race there in shape and they get the gear on that you can look at it with these guys are super for our clocks into the crowd walks a 61-year-old toothless potato farmer Shepherd potato farmer 61 years old. Nolte overalls galoshes over his workboots and he comes walking up and people that OKs a local guy to watch the race on. He wants to run the race.
He walked up the table demands a number they look to them like you got be kidding right you will make a mile.
The given number 64 and the gun goes off know his name was Cliff Young, Cliff Young, here's the back story broke on a farm, 2000 acre farm was in charge as a young guy of watching out an keeping in check 2000 sheep on 2000 acres on that farm. They do not have four-wheel-drive vehicles. They didn't even have horses when storms came in.
Cliff would go out there and run to her those sheep. It sometimes took in 2 to 3 days of runaround out there to get them all where they need to be. So the race begins.
Cliff Young starts a race gun goes off. Now when he begins everybody starts laughing because this is how they describe.
He looked like he had this leisurely odd shuffle Tarzana this is Cliff Young running 500 miles in galoshes over workboots. This leisurely odd shuffle. That's how they describe okay five days, 15 hours, four minutes later, Cliff Young shuffled across the finish line in first place. He won the race now.
He didn't want to buy a few seconds he didn't want to buy a few minutes the nearest runner behind him was nine hours and 56 minutes behind almost 10 hours behind Pray tell, how did he win this race well to run this ultramarathon.
The runners had been conditioned to run 18 hours 18 hours symbols can run 18 minutes they would run 18 straight hours and then go to sleep for six hours. Do that for five days, 18, 618, 618 six that's on the train when nobody told Cliff Young so he ran straight without sleeping for five days, 15 hours and four minutes and cross the finish line in first place became a national hero. Interestingly, professional runners began to study and experiment with cliffs shuffle.
How did he do that. I think the weirdest thing ever. He won doing that and so they started studying at many long-distance runners now have adopted it for its aerodynamic and energy efficiency. Figure what's my point victory comes by endurance. Hebrews chapter 12, let us lay aside every weight, and send that easily beset us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. The Christian life is not 100 yard dash is not even a marathon baby. It's an ultramarathon in a volume God is this, I took it. Keep doing that you have impresses with Nike and all this technical stuff is just data. Just keep going that wraps up Skip message from the series technical ritual to Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way as you help connect others to the gospel. The Bible is full of promises by a promise keeping God that our goal is to share all those promises. With friends like you to encourage and strengthen you in your faith. That's why we make these Bible teachings available to you, but we rely on listener support to make that possible. So if this ministry has blessed you.
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