June 13, 2010


   Throughout the writings of Paul, it is evident that he was very familiar with Roman and Greek

passion for sporting events. He uses many physical and sports like words in his description of the

Christians daily walk. We often refer to Paul's descriptions as "running the Christian race".


                                                    STRIVING FOR THE GOAL


   I Corinthians 9:24 The Christian life is a series of races. We should be setting goals at every

level of our Christian growth. The goal we have set for our class will be run by each of us like a

relay is run. All of us will have a part in this race but it is the class as a unit that will win or lose.

   Galatians 2:2 Paul was wise in his approach to teaching and preaching. He took great pains

to make sure his efforts were presented to the right people in the right way at the right time. He

viewed his ministry as an athlete not wanting his "running to be useless" or wasteful.

   Colossians 1:28-29 Paul had a goal to win "every man" and he went about his ministry with

an attitude of "striving" (using great effort, trying very hard) while attempting to meet his goal.


                                                   OBSTACLES TO THE GOAL


   Luke 19:12-24 Dr. Luke records for us a great parable by Jesus regarding His church while

He is temporarily gone, and His Kingdom when He returns to rule for a thousand years.

   Galatians 5:7 When Paul received word of the church at Galatia faltering from his teachings

 he asked what is was that was slowing down their progress from running a successful race.

   Philippians 2:16 Paul was concerned about staying on the right course while he ran the race

to the finish line where Christ is waiting to hand out the rewards.

   James 1:2-3 Trials and testing will most certainly come to those that are trying to do the

right things for God. These are some of the hindrances that try to stop us from serving God.

   Matthew 7:24-25 Jesus says that as we begin to grow and study His word, if we will do

 those things we hear from His word we can depend on Him to help us through the storms.


                                              PRESSING TOWARD THE GOAL


   Philippians 3:13-15 Paul is encouraging us to keep our eyes on the goal that we have set.

He uses the word press which means ( to act on with steady force, to urge, to persist, drive on).

If we are to win the prize our focus must be on the goal as a group together to win for Jesus.

   Hebrews 12:1 The author is telling us that because of what we have just heard in chapter 11,

we should be greatly encouraged to run the race we are in with great anticipation. We should

lay aside every excuse and sin that would knock us out of the race and be patient in our quest.

   Luke 14:16-20 God has heard every excuse mankind has to offer when it comes to serving

Him and running the race. It is better to say nothing than to offer up an excuse that God will just

throw back at us when we see Him at the Bema Seat; Romans 14:10, II Corinthians 5:10.

   II Timothy 4:7-8 Paul's testimony at the end of his race was that he had fought well and finished

the race course that God had set before him. He had kept his eyes on the goal and on the prize.

He would gain the crown at the end of the race where the King was waiting at the finish line.