Thursday, September 22, 2011

#3 - Get Rewarded!

Everybody wants to win at whatever they’re doing!

It thrills you to cross the finish line with no one ahead or beside you. The crowd roars as you raise your hands in victory, and maybe carry the checkered flag for your victory lap. Could it be that in only moments you’re visualizing your name and record data printed in the Guinness Book of Records? You’re the best. The spotlight is only on you. How sweet it is…

The awards in the Olympics begin with the Bronze Medal. Next above that is the Silver Medal, and the very top is the Gold Medal. You’re on the top step with everyone looking up at you. Television cameras are blasting your image across the globe. Whew!

But did you know there’s a level of winning that’s even above the gold?!

There definitely is. It’s described in only one place on the planet Earth; nowhere else except in God’s Precious Word, the Bible. So we know it’s true; it’s not a hoax. The amazing truth in Romans 8:37 says, “…MORE THAN winning.” It says to be more than a conqueror; more than a winner; more than a victor. It’s a rather odd concept to wrap your head around. I ask myself, “How can I become ‘better than the best’?”

The first step is to key in on the next phrase in the verse, ‘through Him that Loved us.”
What two important facts does the phrase tell us?
1. __________________________________________________

2. __________________________________________________

(1) Our ‘more than conquerors’ status comes from someone (not an action) outside ourselves.
(2) We see a special characteristic of that someone: He loves us.

Because our victory – our more than victory is dependent on someone else, we don’t have any reason to boast about ourselves. Boasting is certainly a trait God has given to us, but He wants us to boast about Him and His incredible love for us. This special love accepts and protects us just as we are; with all our imperfections.

  1. We seek to build others up with our abilities and gratitude “to Him who loved us.”
  2. We win but don’t become egotistic braggers.
  3. We recognize that man’s victories are fleeting.
  4. We see first hand God’s strength made perfect in our weakness.
  5. Our reaching for the prize is not a ‘do or die’ or ‘stepping on others’ process.

And even better, you don’t have to own a quad runner, all the expensive clothing and tools, or risk breaking your neck every day to qualify. Even quadriplegics (people using a mouth stick or a head mouse to use their computer) can become MORE THAN A WINNER. Isn’t that neat? We’re not blowing smoke here. One of the famous ones is Joni Eareckson Tada that paints, composes, and many other things. But what really makes her more than a winner is that her goals and efforts are all focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:14-15 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

The Apostle Paul wrote that his prize; his goal was ‘the high calling of God’. This prize is in the person of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. BUT A CAUTION is added, “[if] ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” Now is that accountability or what?

Maybe we can say the added prize is to be a RULER over many things. The verse says: Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.