New Podcast: How to Make it to the Finish Line

This is a message I spoke at JAC camp in June. My hope is that it will encourage you to never give up and equip you to make it to the finish line in your walk with God! Enjoy:

 

Notes:

Making it to the Finish Line

Galatians 6:9 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

How many of you know someone who was walking with God and no longer is? Is it possible for you to fall away? Is it possible for the Godly men and women you look up to to fall away? 

Mark 4:13-20 13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

3 out of the 4 type of people Jesus described fell away.

How do you endure to the end? 

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. 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. – I Cor. 9:24-27

You’re walk with God is developed daily, not in a day! It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

The Law of Consistency: Motivation gets you going, discipline keeps your growing! -John Maxwell

Day to day intensity, week to week consistency, builds champions! – Jim Rankin

Everyday I have God Time – Spend time with God

If we lose the adventure of following Christ, we’re screwed!

The pain vs. pleasure principle: Whatever you link pain and pleasure to will shape your life. In order for change to last, we must link pain to our old behavior and pleasure to our new behavior.

Hebrews 11:6  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to himmust believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

  ”When you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, you never know who you’ll meet, where you’ll go, or what you’ll do. But one thing is certain: it’ll be anything but boring!”  -Mark Batterson 

Everyday I Stay Connected to the Body 

Why stay connected? We need each other. Walking with Christ is all about not being alone. It’s about doing life together. 

Proverbs 16 – There is a path before each person that seems right, but ends in death.

We can rationalize and justify anything!

Galatians 6:1 – Brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. Be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each others burden.

How do stay connected?

Go to church every week

Get in a small group or start one

Get spiritual mentors who have been where you’re at!

Have a few people you connect with each week for a few minutes to check-in

Who in your life can call you out and tell you no?

Who in your life can you share anything with?

Evaluate your inner circle? Are they good enough to get you to the finish line?

Community is not helpful if it shields people from the realities of life and the standard they should be living up to. -Henry Cloud

Your Inner Circle Should be ALL Christians – Jesus hung out with sinners, but spend the majority of his time with the disciples.

Everyday I Deal with Sin by Running to God and To People, not From Them  

God loves me in my worst moments, not my best.

Grace doesn’t just need to come from God, it also has to come through the body of Christ. If we get one without the other, we’ll fell guilty.

Guilt and fear are about being separated from love. If people know they are loved, they are not afraid of their badness.

Deal with Sin: Admit it, Quit it, Forget it

Everyday I focus on my purpose and my gifting – Discover your uniqueness, discipline yourself to develop it.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8

Everyday I focus on Serving – Growing yourself enables you to grow others 

The secret to life is to give your life away – Judy Steidel

Everyday I wake-up: Who can I add value to today? How can I add value to them?

Everyday I go to bed: Who did I add value to today? How did I do it?

Crossing the Finish Line

 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us runwith perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneerand perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

At some point in your race though, you have to determine that You Will Cross the Finish Line – No Matter What 

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” -Joshua 24:15

No matter what – We serve God – Mike

Regardless of how many of my friends quit walking with God, I will continue to serve Him.

Regardless if the spiritual leaders I look up to, I will continue to serve God.

Regardless of the tests, trials, and disappointments I go through in life, I will serve God

Regardless if I get hurt by my church, youth group, youth pastor, or my family, I will serve God

Regardless of things that happen that I do not understand, I will serve God

Regardless of what I have to grow through in my own personal life, I will serve God.

Regardless of how many times I fall, I will get back up and serve God

Challenge: 

If you don’t have a relationship with God, seek Him this week, talk to somebody, don’t leave without it!

What issues in your life are holding you back that you can share with a small group or a youth leader this week?

What things do you need to admit, quit, and forget?

Evaluate your inner circle? Are they good enough to get you to the finish line?

Have you decided once? If not, draw a line in the sand and decide today.

Book Recommendation – How People Grow by Henry Cloud 

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