Camp Venango for Jesus 2013
Theme: Press On
Day 2 – Run for the Prize
Read Philippians 3:13-14
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Races are easy right? You just jump in, run like the wind, and collect your prize.
Not hardly. To even have a chance at the prize you have to prepare. Get outfitted with the best equipment. A good runner trains, practices, and eats well. They do it for the pure joy of running – and for a prize. But most prizes don’t last long. Fame is fleeting and medals tarnish. The prize Paul is talking about will never fade.
The prize isn’t your ticket to heaven. You aren’t running, striving, or working to win your salvation. That’s a gift, bought and paid for by Jesus when he died on the cross. The day you confessed your sins and accepted God’s forgiveness – your salvation was sealed in heaven. It wasn’t because of anything you did, it’s not because you are worthy; it’s because of Jesus. And that, my friend, is the ticket that got you into this race!
But if God’s Word says there’s a prize, then believe it, there’s a prize!
· Phil. 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
· 1st Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
The prize helps us stay focused and gives direction, something to aim for. We’re aiming for heaven and the joy of seeing Jesus face-to-face. The prize will be hearing God say, “Well done.” That will happen if you prepare for your race. Get some Bible knowledge by reading God’s Word to get it into your heart and mind. Spend time with God in prayer. Hang out with good Christian friends, and worship with other believers – join a church.
While you’re running the race, don’t steamroll over people along the way. Help anyone in need who crosses your path, and don’t neglect people who believe differently than you. That’s all part of the golden rule, and the second greatest commandment.
· Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
· Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Okay, you’re ready, you’re set…now go.
Prayer Time: Heavenly Father, You are grand, unfathomable, holy, and absolutely awesome! You’ve called me to run the race you’ve stretched out before me. Help me to run it well. While I run, show me how to love you with all my heart and to love others. Teach me to be kind and nice to everyone. Please keep me on course, I’m running for you. I’m running toward you, and I want to bring as many people along with me as I can.
For your glory, Amen.