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September 14, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Yesterday the race Jesus is makes a big something to remind yourself so many people started out pretty well but it will mend a set sink doesn't matter how old or how long you been a Christian at this point, you have to keep letting you have to keep the race going going out today on this additional fellowship in the work. Pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry a fellowship monitor located in Metairie, Louisiana pastor are now once again he shows us God's word. I will my question this morning is well. Good runners. What is it like to be a really good letter in your own life. The first thing is pretty obvious to us in this passage, they run with joy and I don't mean or happy boy. There's nothing worse than pseudo-happiness. He goes through some terrible languishing in our you say just keep smiling. Some there's a time to laugh.
By the way, but there's a time to cry is a time to celebrate this time to mourn, so you can't make it. Don't be phony and try to make it like it's everything's just great.
This not see the joy comes at the end for us. I mean if you think about this you if you fight your life. Life's final battle with a long bout of cancer and a lot of joy in that there is again you see, there is at the end just like where Jesus is my joy on the cross is bearing the sins of the world, but there is again you see is the same idea. If someone you love seems to be in perfect health and you're planning your life together and you're also happy about what it is and all of a sudden you get the phone call and find out a drunk driver across lanes and their dead.
There's nothing joyful about all praise the Lord's morning is her sorrow, but there's joy in the end you see the joy that they have is the joy that's when it's all over. I can even remember how many times I say these things over and over to you, but I'm determined to keep trying and that is that in of the worst thing that can happen to you can happen you and I read the end of the book and you win so important for you to understand.
You see, sometimes we have a lot of joy in our lives because the circumstances are wonderful and it's joyful but there are other times when it anguish.
It's difficult but don't worry about that because because you win in the end, the joy is yours forever. That's why it's such an important thing. Secondly they normally run with joy but the evidence discipline in their lives. Go with me to first Timothy chapter 4, first Timothy chapter 4 verse seven.
Paul is writing to young Timothy is trying to explain to him that if you're going to be a runner.
You have to have a certain amount of discipline in your life Mr. Scott convicting to us. I hope it does anyway. He says the Timothy verse seven but have nothing to do he said with worldly fables fit for only old women. I want to talk about that today so save myself that and you are all young women anyway.
Okay so when I got even apply to you soon. On the other hand, he says. Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness for bodily discipline is only of little profit but godliness is profitable for all things since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. People who run well have discipline in our life that were discipline in Hebrews. You know the word degree gorgeous gymnasium to say more ways for gymnasium.
That's where the discipline comes from very athletic word he said.
Bodily discipline is only for a little bit of profit. What amazes me is some of you have the capacity to be enormously disciplined in your physical life boy and renewed your you got it down. I mean, you only eat things that are really really good for you nothing but the best for you. You make sure you get a certain amount of cardio and every day you get it you really got it down and and there's nothing wrong with that it's profitable, but only a little bit and I don't want to burst your bubble, but no matter how disciplined you are physically and in your dead, you just dead. When a human healthy or not your day you see that and that's what Paul's perspective is there's nothing wrong with that it's profitable in its own little way. But what amazes me is we have this capacity to discipline ourselves every day doesn't matter how hot it is our training and see the runners out running.
I'm disciplining myself the question is do you discipline yourself to my spiritual point of view she that's the real ratio running. Are you discipline. The Scripture says we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ you feed on the word of God. You see, you have good nutrition you see is your life spiritually disciplined and so far so often it's not and we can run amok this way.
Think of somebody like Samson how probably swishy is one of the great judges of Israel. God supernaturally empowered him to become a judge of Israel how to turn out for him. Let me ask you, do you think he was discipline spiritually at all to think you try to deal with the sin that so easily entangles him or do you like the allow that. Send it easily entangles that Sampson you see we can we can be children of God. But we can run a very poor race of we don't have any discipline at all. Thirdly, then only run the adjoining evidence discipline they stick with it. Go with me to Philippians chapter 3 Philippians chapter 3. They press forward in verse 12 of Libyans recalls talking about himself and he says this, not that I've already obtained it or already become perfect as the English word is telling us in Greek it be better to call it mature and complete, is that I haven't completed you my complete is another way of saying I haven't finished the course, I would finish my ratio it doesn't timidly but not here.
He said now that I've already obtained or have already become complete but I press on, so that I may lay hold of that which I also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus brother and I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet but one thing I do. I forget what lies behind and I reach for for what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Also, if you're going to run the race is only one perspective you can have Ford I got a go forward or some of us are terrible at this. Some of us, and I have been counseling situations like this were people in the past.
The been so bad there, but the sin entanglement had the wrong priorities of the encumbrances they sat down in the race and any feel guilty, and then all they want to tell you is how badly they used to run the race in pulses with us is nonsense. You see I don't care how you used to run the race I only go I forget what lies behind. I only look at what's ahead. I can change anything is behind me. Have a great capacity being an element of change and what lies ahead of me.
Also, that's the way I see my life. I just keep running. You don't see somebody running in a race in the Olympics you know and as he turns a final been 400 m he turns around to look to see where one's coming know he's running your see he's going to the goal. You gotta run to the finish line.
You gotta run to the tape called pulse of that's what I do I stick with this. No matter what I notice I'm not running.
I don't compete with anyone else, I'm not running against you. What you will see in Scripture some running with you I am I race you have your race. How long is your race. I don't know how long is my race.
I don't know. I don't know that God knows that but I just gotta keep running and I'm also not running so I get to heaven. Notice verse 20 of chapter 3, the same same chapter in Philippians he said for our citizenship is in heaven. He says, from which also we eagerly wait for Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He didn't say our citizenship will one day be.
He said our citizenship is in heaven. You and I are citizens of heaven, now I don't run to get to heaven. I run because I'm going to heaven.
You see, it's a different thing.
The race that is set before me. So they stick with it and they keep this goal in mind. Go with me now to first Corinthians chapter 9 first Corinthians chapter 9. I want to reinforce this idea of keeping the goal in mind. Verse 24 first Corinthians chapter 9. Here Paul again with the race and minor metaphor.
He says do you not know that those who run in a race all run.
I think everyone course that I know that if I said or how many people know that if you want to ratio at the line… Okay then he says this, but only one receives the prize.
That's a typical physical race no matter who it is, even if it's a photo finish. Only one gets to receive the prize. Now he says all them run in such a way that you may win. See that's the difference we can all win every run in such a way were not competing against each other.
All who were running our own course. He said, and noticed the same elements everyone who come he said, who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things, then they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore run in such a way as not without aim.
He said I box in such a way but I don't beat the air. I discipline my body and make it my slave so that after I preach to others.
I don't want to be duped. I myself will not be disqualified. Pulses of these people exercise so much if someone self-control so much discipline at the end of it. Some gizmo little wreath and advantages. That's it. Your yesterdays news, but your race you get a wreath it's imperishable Jesus reward you forever. Well done good and faithful servant. You wreath makes a big difference. He said you have to run in such a way and he said notice, nobody is a champion. No one is a champion of racing without self-discipline. No one no one that said everyone exercises self-discipline is just the way this works. He said you have to to see have to keep the goal in mind something to remind yourself in Scripture with so many people have started out pretty well, and the like they were running well and then they sat down and stop and ended poorly lot started well, ended poorly.
Sampson, who I mentioned started well ended. Gideon started well, ended poorly. I like King Saul started well, ended poorly, King Uzziah started well was great in the middle and then ended poorly Dimas lipolysis love this world too much. Started well spent time with Paul and ended poorly see it doesn't matter how old you are, how long you been a Christian you have to keep running at this point, you have to keep running.
You have to keep the race going, you can do that we live in a culture that sorta tells you in one way or another that when you become from a physical point of view a certain age, you lose value. You don't have any value. I and so we call in on the retirement years. The golden years. Whatever it is and basically that's a way of saying I don't really have anger offer anybody anymore so I'm just gonna wait until I die. But God never says that he never says that God says as long as you're alive you're in the race.
You see, as long as you're alive you're in the race. You just keep running. It's your race and by the way, I'll let you know when it's over.
You see, I'll let you know then when it's over, that's the point we don't ever want to slow down or stop us and we don't have billing left to do. That's not the way to work with us at all. One last element, and that's fine. In Philippians chapter 1 Philippians chapter 1, they run with joy.
They evidence discipline they stick to what they always keep the goal in mind and were going to see in Philippians 1. The final thing. Verse 27 Paul says in the church at Philippi, he says only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent that I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. The athleticism is in that word striving together. It's interesting that word striving after level English word athlete striving together. Soon after level is the prefixes soon. It means we do this together. This is teamwork. In other words were all running our own races but were all here to help each other run their 39 different one another's in the New Testament love one another. Forgive one another and encourage one another and exhort one another, admonish one another, forgiving one another one another one another one another to me because role running a race we have to strive together. You see, whenever whenever you have that conference too big. I need to tell you the reason you're not running well is your encumbrances your priorities wrong. Whenever I got a send it so easily entangles me.
You got to see you getting rid of that sin and get up let's go get we need to encourage one another.
Keep going keep going in this metaphor were all in it together were all doing this is one race where we all can win, but we have to strive together in order to do that.
So my question news morning is how you running a race meal and about how are you wanting your race. Do you want to join. You see, not because a race is joyful. As I said earlier, the race may or may not give a joy at the finish line always will see only missing a Mormon way. But you know I've said for a long time when you realize it or not the very best day of your life will be your last day of your child of God. No day will ever compare that leave you and here's why this is tragic you view it there as well. This is what I was created for. Absent from the body present with the Lord.
Unspeakable joy. Secondly, do you have spiritual discipline in your life's CDU feed on the word of God and even more importantly, James said this don't be a hearer only, but what doer of the word. If you don't practice the word of God. You're not running you sat down somewhere. You gotta keep running. You see that practice the work we have to be doers of the word of God present changes as that make matures us yelling. Paul said was interesting. He said of Thessalonian you need to pray without ceasing for some of you with your back on track. What I can do that. I wrecked my car you know I will be will do my work. I can't talk to anyone else because Bibles that somebody means he doesn't mean formal prayers, he means it mentally. I talked to got all the time all the time and because I spent my time in the word of God. He speaks to me all the time she Bill write the final temperature screensaver pressures a call that spiritual breathing. I inhale the word of God IXL my purse to him. That's a wonderful way to live. That's true spiritual discipline in your life. Thirdly, do you stick with it, are you not easily detoured not easily discouraged or this can happen so fast and I find temptation to fight this all the time.
Some days I wake up and I feel really invigorated in good and other days I wake up and say where one of my doing why this or why that start that pity party thing again one stop racing. Thirdly, do I keep the goal in mind. Stay focused on Christ.
You see, the point is I have no idea when my recent command I can't postpone until run better later that someday I may not have a later this may be, yet this may be my last day. That's the point I don't know when it ends.
He said not look I'll take care of that part. You just when you race.
Lastly, do I do I practice teamwork joy help other people. That's goal is the neatest part about it if I invest myself and you guys and I encourage and exhort you and admonish you and all those things to get you running the race. That's me running my race so I asked to get the benefit of running my race by helping others, and encourage them to run the race and that's the same for you and for me. Three. Practice teamwork to help all of us do better.
So in this series I want to think about this.
I am who you say I am your child of God. While joint heir with everything you inherit everything there is your God's child, you cry out, Abba Papa father your new creation in Christ all the old things are passed away. All things are become new.
You can't say this the way used to be. It doesn't matter anymore your new creation. Your living stones in the same house. Christ being the chief cornerstone.
Your royal priest, each and every one of us. That's what Peter said after the order of Melchizedek, not a Levite but a Melchizedek in priest, we have access to God to go boldly to the throne of grace whenever we want. Were a holy nation, a separate group of people, a people for God's own possession. He says your mind each and every one of you. And last time we said in your sheep of God's fold. We have this wonderful Shepherd and he says is, I will give you everything you possibly need in life and now today Paul says where all runners in our own race. Each and every one of us. We run our own race and I don't know about you but when the time of my departure is Paul says comes when the finish line comes from me and the course that God is giving me is complete when you want to say what Paul said. I finished the course.
You see, I fought the good fight, I finished the course, I kept the faith.
I kept on running the spring father.
I'm afraid it so often we use this term.
We have this capacity to think that certain people have to run as Christians. Billy Graham has to run Martin Luther had to run these these great people in the faith there. The runners, the word of God makes it clear were all runners. We all have our own course. We all want our own race. We all have the potential for the same victory, and we all have this right of the same kind of defeat. Father I pray that we use what Paul was told us and dedicate ourselves to running the race. That's before us dealing with our encumbrances and the sin that so easily entangles us and allowing our fuel to be the word of God allowing our power to be the spirit of God and allow our encouragement each and every one of us run our rates are good for you to pass through. If you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time.
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