READY. SET. GO!
2023 is here! Beyond catchy phrases and another set of selfish resolutions to break; in this two-part Sermon Series, Pastor Johnson encourages believers to become Seekers of God's Will day by day. Aligning with God's Will connects believers to all the promises, provisions, and power necessary to accomplish God's purpose for lives. Pastor Johnson focuses on the Pauline epistles that use a number of athletic metaphors including the Runner in discussing God's purpose.
The metaphor of running a race "with perseverance" appears in Hebrews 12:1, and related metaphors appear in Philippians 2:16, Galatians 2:2, and Galatians 5:7. In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul writes "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." These athletic metaphors are also echoed in later Christian writing.
These sermons share spiritual understandings and practical techniques to align with God's Will, reach our Goals, and finish the Race as Winners.
Ready. Set. Go! | Phillippians 3:7-14
The word picture in Philippians 3 is of runners straining to win a foot race. Paul is a prisoner recognized as no mere disturber of the peace but as a preacher of a religion different from that of the Jews. He encourages the Church as mature Christians to stay on the path of progress and not be misled by outdated theology which will end in an earthly goal and the rejection of the cross. Consider 2023 as a long race where you, the runner, must sustain a winning mindset day by day. That intentionality is reflected in the competition phrase: Ready, Set, Go!"
Originally, on your mark, get set, go! was used to begin foot races.
The word "mark" referred to the place on the running course where the runner would start, whether a line or a set of starting blocks. Remember, there is no time to waste. Avoid distractors and distractions as you prepare. As Benjamin Elijah Mays encouraged, let us use every minute.
Get "set" is a warning that the signal to start running is about to occur. As the runner “gets set”; they usually raise their hindquarters and tense their legs in preparation to run. The runner's focus is on the race and the ultimate GOAL - the finished line. Focus on your goals. They should be S.M.A.R.T.
The word "go", of course, means that it is time to start running. After starting don't stop. In order to sustain your Go - remember your Why. Unfortunately, most folks either don't have a why or have centered their why in that which can not endure.
Paul and his followers have their WHY? They are to be examples of the Kingdom of God. Their Commonwealth and its ideals are above, whence Christ will soon come to transfigure them into His likeness. Wherefore let this Church, which will be his crown at that day, run, finish and win the race in the Lord.
SPECIAL GIVING THIS MONTH