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Synopsis of The Joy of Victorious Living and of Winning
Well first let me tell you about two champions, Vince Lombardi and Saint Paul
Vince Lombarde, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers put into writing his philosophy of his success. It began….
“You’ve got to pay the price. Winning is not a sometimes thing; it’s an all-the-time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is loosing.”
Another champion Saint Paul, also taught what it takes to win. So, now it’s time for the slice of the bread of life, the word of God, from The Living Bible Version:
Philippians 3:13 No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing; forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.
Paul did three thing in his evaluation of being a winner in his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1) He looked over his shoulder at his past,
(2) he looked forward to his future, and
(3) he charted out some lofty goals.
Lets look at these:
1. The liabilities of the past On the way to Damascus Paul’s values were changed. The things that he counted as gain in the past he now counted as loss. The old Paul measured success of things; life by things such as physical ancestry, religious orthodoxy, spirituality, and personal morality. Ever met someone like that. They usually say things like:
· ‘live a pretty good life. I’ve never killed anyone.’
· ‘My parents were charter members of this church.’
· I’ve been a member of this denomination all my life and will die a_____’
· ‘Alcohol has never touched my lips’
Yes, all the things that Paul once considered gain now he evaluated as a loss; as extra baggage that weighed him down. Now let’s look at:
2. The Possibilities of the future
Paul contrasts two kinds of righteousness. His own and ‘The righteousness which Is from God by faith.’ The book of 1st. Samuel, chapter 16 and verse 7 explains why: But the Lord said to I don’t judge by a man’s face or height, for things is not the one. I don’t make decisions the way you do! Men judge by outward appearance, but I look at a man’s thoughts and intentions.’
One of the passions of Paul in looking at the possibilities of the future was knowing the person of Christ. The word ‘know’ here means to know by experience. Now, I, Bro. Dick, confess to you that I ‘knew’ the Lord Jesus Christ almost from birth. But was 41 before got to ‘know him experimentally’
Orel Hershal tell about the time Frank Sinatra gave him and his wife an autographed photo of himself and signed it, ‘To my great friends Oral and Jamie’. He had misspelled his name: O-r-a- l not O-r-e-l. Orel said, ‘It goes to show you how good friends we were.’
We must question ourselves. Do we know Christ experimentally, or, do we know Him intellectually? ?
· Knowing the power of Christ
Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of things inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.
As Christians we have known in our past, as we have already experienced the conversion of being saved, the power of the resurrection.
· Knowing the passion of Christ
When Paul was converted, the Lord spoke to Ananias about Paul’s suffering to come…. Act 9:16 ..for I will shew Him how great things He must suffer for my name’s sake.
Next, Paul speaks to us about their and our sufferings. 1st Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take It patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
The Person, the Power, and the Passion of Christ. Now !
· Knowing the Praise of Christ
Philippians 3:10-11 That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
3. The responsibilities of the present
Paul gave us a prescription in parts for those wanting to know the joy in the future. What then must we do today? There are three parts we must learn to develop…
1st part — Develop the discipline to focus
The athletic world teaches that unless we can concentrate or focus, he will not be able to compete. Athletes speak of no longer hearing the noise of the crowd or no longer feeling the pain of injury. They are focused ! We, in our endeavor to win Christ, must be that focused.
2nd part – Developing the ability to forget
Luke 9:62 Living Bible version: But Jesus told him, ‘anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the kingdom of God.
Winston Churchill once said, ‘If the past quarrels with the past, there can be no future. We must learn to accept the past as unalterable and move on.’ Notice he said ‘…...we must learn....’ Along with this, we must forget all our successes. They must go if they make us proud or arrogant.
3rd part –
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