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The Crown: How to Excel in Your Faith - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
November 26, 2021 2:00 am

The Crown: How to Excel in Your Faith - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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November 26, 2021 2:00 am

The apostle Paul often likened the Christian faith to a footrace, encouraging believers to run so as to win a prize. In the message "The Crown: How to Excel in Your Faith," Skip shares how you can thrive as you follow Christ.

This teaching is from the series Now Streaming.




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Christianity is far more than a decision to follow Christ, it must become a determination to walk with Jesus, not just the Savior but as Lord augmented otherwise. If you planted in your mileage on the following no matter what no matter how easy or how hard it is to become a pew potatoes apostle Paul suffered greatly for the gospel with something first and to keep living for Jesus today on connect with Skip Heitzigs, Skip shares about that important motivation can help you press on any race of before we begin want to let you know about an amazing opportunity you have to visit the sites with the prophets and he's in the Bible heard from God.

I will invite you to join me on a tour of Israel in 2022. I've been there a number of times and visiting the places where the events of the Bible and folded it just doesn't get all register by November 30 using promo code connect Israel to receive $150 off the tour price get all the tour information and inspiration. a that you Skip now, here's a resource that helps you and I to God's truths with indirect son McDowell about the tactics. This is the book I've been waiting for.

I enthusiastically recommend tactics Skip right thing to comment on how Jesus spoke out for truth we might think that Jesus never raised his voice would never call anybody out. However, there was a side of Jesus that was contentious. The Jesus that took tables in the temple, and overturned them and took out a whip and throw people out of the temple that Jesus equipped to defend the gospel and guard against false teachings. With thanks for the house six message series to the continued with skip.

I think this teaching series on Thursday to keep the Bible teaching ministry on $35 or more today and send you a book by Gregory Coble called tactics game plan for communicating the truth about Christianity with confidence and grace to give this a connect the or call 819 team team first Corinthians chapter Skip Heitzigs. It gets into today's message member was Paul that I poured the goal I'm looking at that school bus I'm looking at that support pillar and a Celica LOL get to heaven I press I press I I use my energy is a fun fact 80% of all those people who join a gym will quit within five months, but usually we join gems like what January. That's right, that's a New Year's resolution that's typical my good shape and lose weight workout and you join the gym 80% of people who join a gym will quit in five much one ally because it's hard that's what writers is what comes out of it just half to do that day in and day out.

Did you know that according to Jesus Christ. A large percentage of those people who claim to follow Jesus Christ will also quit the gym.

Jesus said in the parable of the seller.

Matthew 13 seed fell on stony places represents those who hear the word and immediately receive it with joy, but he has no root in himself, but endures only for a little while for when tribulation or persecution arise because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

What happened it's hard that's what happened.

It is difficult, it is inconvenient, which leads me to say this Christianity is far more than a decision to follow Christ, it must become a determination to walk with Jesus, not just the Savior but as Lord augmented to my otherwise if you don't planted in your mind like I'm in a follow no matter what hard no matter how easy or how hard it is you're going to become a pew potato at the church equivalent of a couch potato. You're beginning to become a viewer not a doer just to watch people run the race going on. Glad they're doing it.

Christianity is not a spectator sport yet again on the track get in the arena. The Bible never says lounge in the spirit.

Nowhere in the New Testament is essay veg, e.g., in the spirit kickback in the spiritus is walking in the spirit run the race that is set before you looking under Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. I wonder what would happen if we put as much dedication into our spiritual life as we doing to our golf game if we put as much energy into our walk with the Lord as we do fishing or you could name any hobby any activity that we do minimally ask you this. What would ever motivate a guy like Paul the apostle who was an academic and could have a pretty slouch life or whatever motivate him to travel long distances in discomfort.

Go to cities preach get beat up, get thrown in jail, then get up and do it all over again. Why, for that matter what. Whatever motivate somebody like David living stone to go to medical school become a doctor, then hightail it to Africa in the jungles under extreme conditions and life-threatening conditions to serve the Lord or people like E. Stanley Jones to do it in India. It's this idea.

No pain, no gain eyes on the prize.

No pain, no gain, or my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies, which is now an old movie 1981.

Chariots of fire member chariots of fire so it's about Eric Liddell who ran but there's get a buddy name Harold Abrams and there's a scene in the movie were were Harold Abrams just suffered his first defeat. He got beat in a race and he was so mad at himself, and that it is competitive for losing so he goes over the bleachers and he sits in the bleachers and he just by himself writing just pouting heads down is kicking the seats and his girlfriend comes over to them to encourage them Andy. He turns to her and says in his Scottish brogue. If I can't win. I won't run and she turns to him and smiled and says sweetheart, if you don't out of the account when and now is enough encouragement for him to sort of get it in his head that he had to keep putting out the energy and the agony to win and he went on to win gold medal in the 1924 Olympics. Great story, so no pain no gain eyes on the prize. No pain, no gain.

We give you third motto that is a decision say no to say yes, every athlete knows that he has or she has to make some decisions about their career and about their workout and the meticulous 25 to show you this.

Everyone who competes for the prize is was the next work, temperate in all things that are simply a word that means self-control.

He who competes you agonizes as an athlete exercises self-control in all things.

So athletic training in fall involves far more than just a passionate energy to win eyes on the prize.

It also includes rigid denial, the ability to say no and ethics are incredibly disciplined right, they learn to say no to staying up late. They've learned to say no to sleeping into long, they learn to say no to eating certain kind of foods they learn to say no to hot fudge sundae's is after all the hot fudge sundae. But if you want to win the race. There something wrong. The Hartford Sunday. I suppose an Olympic athlete on the day of the race who wake up and have half a gallon of ice cream but it's dumb if you want to win the race right so you learn to say no. There's nothing wrong with good food. There's nothing wrong with good fun unless it keeps you from winning. So here's the principle I set it so many times, but it's a good principal a good thing becomes a bad thing. If it keeps you from the best thing that's what an athlete learns can be a good fit for them. This what a lot of astute wrong with doing that is not the issue is not is it wrong in and of itself, is it wrong for me now if I want to win. So a good thing becomes a bad thing. If it keeps you from the best thing half our troubles. I think come from saying yes to quickly and no not soon enough.

So we say no, so that we can say yes now to take it on verse 27 is sort of part of that mentality.

Paul writes but I discipline my body watch this and I bring it into subjection. Literally, I make my body my slave I tell my body what to do. My body doesn't tell me what to do. I tell my body what to do. You know most people are slaves to their body, which is to be frank, most people are slaves, their body, their bodies tell their minds what to do. Their body decides when to eat their body decides what to eat their body decides how much to eat their body decides when to go to sleep their body decides when to wake up and when to sit down because it's been up to God it up now wants to sit out your body decides all that, not an athlete and athletes mind tells his or her body. What the body is not the master, the body is the slave if the if an athlete says well I can listen to my body. Not a good know my body is can listen to me. So my body wants to rest him and make a run.

My body wants eat ice cream but I'm an avid or a balanced meal. My body wants this but I'm going to make it do that now. Here's the question I'm leaving to our there things in your life. Is there anything in your life that you need to say no to so that you can say yes to something else. Someone else what things are okay, but if you said no to them you in a spiritual sense could win whether certain activities are there certain requests that you get are the certain hobbies. Nothing wrong with any of those things, but may be, possibly, it could be that in making some of the decisions you made and saying yes to somebody thank you spread yourself out so thin your family suffering your walk with God is suffering could be saying no to spending money on certain items. Could it be saying no to wasting time on social media have some people that's all they do their glue that stupid little screen forever all day long, your phone, leaving tell you how how long your honor and you probably get embarrassed every time it really four hours could be saying no to certain forms of entertainment. Look at this is just setting boundaries. That's all. Setting spiritual boundaries. The Bible has a word for this call self-control little wordless right now and back part of the fruit of the Spirit.

For the Spirit is love, Joy, peace, long-suffering self control saying no so that I can say yes, Wilbur Chapman, spiritual leader from yesteryear wrote this, the rule that governs my life. Is this anything that dims my vision of Christ or takes away my taste for Bible study or cramps.

My prayer life for makes Christian work difficult is wrong for me and I must as a Christian turn away from them say it's wrong. It's wrong for me. I'm saying no so that I might learn to say yes so we have 33-3 principles eyes on the prize. No pain, no gain, say, notice, ASME give you 1/4 and final one play the long game belonging so the event that Paul is speaking about effects are running the race probably wasn't the 50 yard probably wasn't 100 yard probably more like he's thinking the marathon the 26 point whatever mile run. The long haul. Since you're running your race throughout your whole life. Now I'm in a take you down to verse 27 because he talks about running with Denise quickly switches metaphors midstream watch this verse 26 therefore I run so you still on track. Run the race. I wronged us, not with uncertainty stop there, they was talking about to run aimlessly or without certainty is to run not aligned to the skull class member.

It was about that square pillar that was at the end of the stadium so go around looking like run appear anything and fall downstairs but if if I'm in a stadium and way at the other end of that 182 m track is that Taylor, the athlete will always keep his eyes on that square pillar so that he doesn't run aimlessly or in the wrong direction.

He's looking at that while he runs pulses. That's how I live my life delivered single-mindedly on a goal and I press toward the mark. I press toward I'm I'm I'm at. I run with certainty not aimlessly, but after that.

Now he changes settings from the runner to the boxer, watch what he does.

Thus I fight, not as one who beats the air which means shadowboxing, but I discipline my body bring it into subjection less when I preach to others, I myself should be disqualified if the second analogy after running his boxing and did you know that boxing was one of the major competitions in the Greek games both in the Olympics and in the Corinthian Isthmian games was a violent sport. In ancient times.

Boxers wore gloves, leather gloves that covered the form for pretty long honking gloves cover the form when it came to the hand.

The glove stopped and the boxer would wrap the knuckles in leather strips but the fingers would be totally exposed clenched into a fist and usually a boxing match resulted in great injury or death most boxers in the Olympics left the arena with either broken teeth, swollen ears deviated septum's or sustained injuries to the skull picking what person in their right mind would enter a competition like that, why never said the boxers are in the right mind. I'm not saying they're not either, but I never said they were, but only a boxer was stepping into the ring and believes he's gonna win the match right. That's what he comes with by the way, in an ancient times there were no rounds today we have 12 rounds or three minutes in the Olympics you one when the guys knocked out or gives up.

They just kept fighting and the only time they would take a break is by mutual consent.

Otherwise, it would just fight till it's over. It ain't over till it's over and you know that Paul pictured himself not just as a runner but as a fighter second Timothy chapter 4 I have fought the good fight.

He wrote to Timothy and said in first Timothy six fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life. And let's be real. Paul bore the marks of a fighter on his body marks of persecution on his body was stoned at Lister. He was beaten at Philippi, he was jailed in Jerusalem and in Rome he bore the marks as if he was a boxer on his body. No, I want to show you two things because there's two things he wants number one, Paul wants to strike a decisive blow on the enemy. Verse 26 he says, thus I fight, not as one who beats the air. Now that's I got shadowboxing, does this dance around many big editors you can tell, you can tell I'm not a negative.

He's just he's boxing the air right he's kinda going through his moves, but there's nobody there. That's what he means by Pete Geertz. I'm not a guy who wants to sit around and dance and shadowbox.

I want to make sure that I strike a blow to my opponent on a hit hard that he could be referring to himself. Some scholars believe he's saying this about himself. I rustle myself down and I discipline myself so hard that that I win my goal or he could be referring to the common enemy of our souls. The devil he could simply be saying you know what I want to give the devil a blackeye I want to strike a decisive blow.

I want to take the devil off.

You know I get so happy when I know the devil is not happy when it when it will lead to freedom celebration and I know the people of come to Christ and there's people worshiping Jesus with all their heart and the freedom of the spirit. I know that makes the devil so mad and it makes me so happy to go to bed at night on he lost another one for another few hundred or another few thousand, and is knowing that he's mad makes me happy. Paul said I want to strike a decisive blow, not as one who beats the second thing he wants here is to be able to stay in the fight. Stay on the racetrack or stay in the ring when he said I discipline my body make it my slave less when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified now in the ancient Olympics.

If you lose the race. I mentioned this before you get publicly scorned, publicly humiliated but if you withdraw from the race that say you run a few feet music on pulling out or are you get disqualified from the race. You get whipped. So Paul is saying I'm playing the long game. I'm thinking long term. I want to do anything that will take me out the racetrack on what to do. Anything that keeps me out of the boxing ring.

I want to make sure I am going to be effective for the glory of God and make sure that I can serve Jesus Christ. My whole want to finish well want to finish strong. Back in 1968, the summer Olympics were held in Mexico City. It was 7:00 PM one evening for the event.

The marathon event 26 point whatever miles all the contestants across the finish line did come into the arena. Suddenly, the crowd noticed because they heard a siren, they noticed a vehicle coming through a siren as the last runner came staggering into the arena. He was wearing the colors of Tanzania his country. His name was John Stephen quarry and he was the last contestant in the 26 mile marathon. As he came into the arena. The crowd stood to their feet and began to applaud the loser. The man in last place and here's what they noticed he had been badly injured, they noticed he was bloodied and banded. She had fallen in the race early on, but he kept running, and though he came in the last places he just sort of stumbled and staggered over the finish line. They they cheered him like he was the winner.

While after it was all done somebody in the field said why didn't you just drop out you were injured so long ago, but you got back up and continue to run. Why and he said simply. This. My country did not send me 7000 miles to start the race. They send me 7000 miles to finish the race. That's a winner. I finished the race, what are you willing to do what are you willing to give up to finish the race with joy like Paul's only one life will soon be passed only what's done for Christ concludes his message is now screen to Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way to help others to the Lord through fulfillment and happiness in life comes from one thing only.

That is pursuing God himself. I'd like to ask you to join us in getting that life-changing message to a world that desperately needs to hear it when you give a gift, you keep these Bible teachings coming to you and many others. Here's how you can get involved in the work connect with Skip is doing across the globe, call 800-922-1888 to give today 800-922-1888 or visit That's

Your generosity will keep this biblical encouragement coming your way and help change many lives around the globe. Now before we go. Did you know you can watch Skip's messages from the comfort of your home with your local device or Apple TV. Just search for his channel and watch thousands of powerful Bible teachings and live services like more information on the broadcast page join us next Monday. Skip tracing shares about the whole Jesus brought into the world and the whole castle with Skip presentation of connection communications to God's unchanging truth

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