012512 focus on the prize

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  • 012512 focus on the prize

    1. 1. 1 “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    2. 2. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT) (24) Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! (25) All athletes are disciplined in their training.They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. (26) So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.
    3. 3. 3 (27) I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. ----------------------------------------- Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. -Hannah More “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    4. 4. 4  As we have spent the last several weeks concentrating on how churches and leaders can get IT and keep IT; one of the areas that has caught my attention is center on FOCUS. Many of us understand what it means to be focused on a goal. Many of us also understand that we have lost our focus, and thus find ourselves looking for that goal that we long ago sort, but never achieved simply because we allowed other things to block our focus. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    5. 5. 5  In 1Corinthians, Paul finds himself dealing with the problems of people who had so much promise, potential, and prospect for success but somehow failed to attain the goals that they had set for themselves. We witness this calamity on an almost daily basis in the life of people who started out in life with all of the intellectual competencies, physical capabilities and personalities that clearly “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    6. 6. 6 suggested that they would ultimately achieve every goal. However, somewhere along the way they lost their focus. They could no longer see the goal clearly. They even stopped looking for it because their lives had changed in such ways that they didn’t care about the goals that would have given them measures of success. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    7. 7. 7  Some were captured by the appeal of drugs, alcohol, and other deleterious and debilitating habits that destroyed their outlook for positive outcomes. So, they settled for less - never achieving the goals that they anticipated in the days of their youth, or the early years of life when they got degrees which would prove and show to the world their greatness. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    8. 8. 8 They are now loitering and feeling sorry for themselves because others with less talent and abilities who did not have the same opportunities they had are surpassing them. During the last few weeks as I watched some of the playoff games that will ultimately lead to one team fulfilling its goal and earning a championship, I realized that the difference between a losing team and a winning team has much to do with their determination to achieve their goal. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    9. 9. 9  When you have goals and you focus on those goals, Paul’s letter helps you to understand that we cannot allow ourselves to be stopped by whatever hindrances, struggles, or impediments might get in our way. I watched as two teams battle in the very last seconds of the game, to put more points on the board by crossing the goal line, and scoring the necessary points for victory. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    10. 10. 10  They battled back and forth in those last seconds with each team scoring a touchdown. In the end, San Francisco put the last points on the board because New Orleans lost its focus and left a player open who managed to get across the goal line. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    11. 11. 11  Paul in 1Corinthians tries to help the people who are a part of an emerging church in Corinth to understand that they would have struggles and will face many problems; but, if they stay focused on the goal they would not only be able to overcome their struggles, but also be able to share in the joy of the victories that they could celebrate by virtue of the souls that were saved. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    12. 12. 12  I believe that victory is always possible when we know what the goal is and how best to get there. Paul gives us three necessary requirements for reaching our goals:  Discerning the purpose We must know why we are running for the goal. In the text, he says that we run because we have a purpose. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    13. 13. 13 The purpose is to win the prize, but we are not always certain that just because we enter the race we will automatically win the prize.  Paul puts it this way: “(24) Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    14. 14. 14  Winning the race requires purpose, focus, and discipline. Paul uses this illustration to help us as Christians to understand that the Christian life requires self-denial and grueling preparation. Too many of us never reach the goal because we refuse to give up the things that are hindering our ability to be focused on the ultimate prize. It takes as much effort to lose as it does to win. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    15. 15. 15  As Christians we sometimes find our focus through our relationship with Jesus Christ. We wanted a better life, and we changed our focus from living a life of sin to one of living for the saving power and grace of God. But, somewhere along the way, the devil stepped in and clouded our focus, causing us to no longer be able to see the goal. So, we backslid and lost our opportunity to win the prize. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    16. 16. 16  We must be as equipped and vigorous as an athlete, when he or she makes a decision to pursue a goal and win a prize. In our faith community that prize is the meaningful salvation that transforms our lives. It moves us from allowing the dark clouds to block us from the success that God has made available to us. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    17. 17. 17  What is your goal? Are you ready to move from your state of brokenness, fear, constantly losing, and watching other people always bypass you and get the very prize that you sought? 2. The Plan  To live a life that is focused on the goal and the pursuit of excellence. You must have a plan. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    18. 18. 18 Just as you plan for a wedding, a party, or any other event, you must also have a focused plan for your life. Goals do not come to you, you have to chase after them. In your chase, you must not be merely running as if there is nothing to accomplish, you must run with the belief that you have within you the ability to bring about a conclusion and that is success. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    19. 19. 19  It is interesting how we plan for things in our lives. We will do everything possible to make sure that we accomplish the goal that we set out to do. No matter how much it cost, the amount of money it takes, or how many hours it requires; if our minds are made up to do it, we just do it.  Paul says it this way: “(25) All athletes are disciplined in their training. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    20. 20. 20 They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. (26) So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.”  Sometimes we have to give up something good in order to do what God wants us to do. If we know that this is our God-given goal, then our focus must be on the ultimate prize that only Jesus can give us. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    21. 21. 21  In order to get it we must have a sharp and clear vision for what God wants for us as we prepare for our victories. We must have a narrowly defined focus where the images we see of the ultimate goal becomes so much a part of our mindset and our belief system that we believe nothing can stop us from having one victory after another. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    22. 22. 22  If we stay focused we will come to the realization that God has so much that is beneficial to us that if we continue to allow ourselves to walk in favor with Him we will ultimately cross the goal line and win the prize. 3. Winning the Prize  When we have remained focused, understood our purpose, and kept our visions on the prize we are ready to show the world that we have IT. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    23. 23. 23  And because we have IT we don’t give up in the face of our struggles, we persevere in spite of our challenges; and, we do not allow ourselves to quit when Satan attacks.  We have the promise and we have the prize. With the will of God we dare to proclaim that we are the IT because we have IT. The greatness of God has emboldened in us to the degree that we are not fearful of Satan or anybody else. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    24. 24. 24  Our mind is on the victories that we have won because we stay focused on the goal. We don’t know who will win the Super Bowl, but one thing we do know is that through Christ who has given us the victory, we have already crossed the goal line and we are winners. We have the prize because there is no prize that is greater than the joy of the Lord that is embodied in us. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
    25. 25. 25  The prize may not be visible to others, but we know through the power of God we have fulfilled the promise. We have declared to the world that: A charge to keep I have, A God to Glorify, A never dying soul to save, And fit it for the sky. “Focus on the Prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)

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