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The Pace, the Place, and the Race, Chariots of Fire

Ron Kelly

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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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Recorded

  • November 9, 2019
    12:00 PM
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All right folks the pace the place in the race Chariots of Fire I want to put a slide up and I want to ask if you know what it is look at this slide this slide represents how to be ready to run a marathon 26.2 miles in 18 weeks now I only put up 3 weeks 15 because by the time you get to week 15 you've crossed the highest mountain Now what that means is you run 3 miles on Monday Tuesday Well actually Tuesday Wednesday Thursday you take Friday off Sabbath off you run 7 miles on Sunday by week 2 you haven't had to go far but by week 5 you can see that one run on Sunday is growing and that run grows slowly grows the rest in your body conditions that sell and pretty soon believe it or not even you could run a marathon this is how Higgins planned Nike has its own plan I kind of like it's quote Nike says the goal of this plan isn't to get you across the finish line it's to get you across the finish line the best version of you that sways they're trying to get across the finish line now there's something about running that captures the mind of most people when we're young we love to run when we're old not so much and certain matter is you don't love running unless you do a lot of running but once you do a lot of running your body actually dabs and you get to the place where it is very wonderful and you enjoy it a lot of people never stick with it that far these are pictures of the Chicago Marathon 45000 people signed up it's gotten to where they don't even let everybody sign up there wants to sign up if you want to be an it it's a lottery and so now you have to apply. Bible says that not all the runners run but only one receives the prize 1st Corinthians 924227 they do it for a perishable crown but we're doing it for one that does not perish I don't know why my text is off the screen here it says but we're not to run aimlessly impulses I don't boxes if I'm beating the air but he keeps his body under control lest after preaching to others he himself should be a castaway and what's the point of running the race well is to get here you want to cross the finish line sometimes you have to walk to get there but it's worth it when you do you feel very very relieved now look at all the emotion in this picture obviously the center of the picture is these 2 women none of the men wonder none of the men are looking like this so I'm assuming the women are in better condition. This man here looks pretty used up he can't even look up and he's looking over like what's what's your problem I don't know how to smile this morning I want to argue about grace for the race there is a real emphasis today on the kind of grace that forgives when you flub up Praise the Lord for that but there's a grace that empowers you to win about that you want to win folks winning is the point now that grace that allows you to win is the indwelling Christ it's the power of the Holy Spirit this is your same bowl the interesting about you same boat he was I don't know if he remains the fastest person on the planet but he had never run the mile so you don't have to be a long distance runner but in this we are a couple weeks ago we had a new phenomenon on the face of planet Earth Eliade Kaposi a Kenyan I believe ran a marathon in less than 2 hours now that's like running 4 minute 32nd mile one after another for 2 hours. Most of us could not run a mile in less than 5 seconds 5 minutes but he ran 26.2 miles at a pace of about 4 minutes and 32nd a mile for 2 straight hours and it's a pretty phenomenal thing how do you do it well you look at his life he constantly has people around him even when he's training there's always a group of people around him and when you see the race as he ran it he's the one in the white he's surrounded by 7 pacesetters now there will be over 30 pacesetters he did this just a few weeks ago over 30 pacesetters in this race and when he takes off they'll be a pace car it's flashing out a green laser in the back I want you to notice they're not terribly far into the race you've got to pace setters already dropping out because they can't keep the pace and I want you to see this one down here getting ready to go in as a matter of fact there's a man with his hand on his back and he's going to shove him out into the race so he's going to be one of those $36.00 plus races now you're looking at all those pacesetters you cannot even see Illiad could Jogi but he's there you want to see where is that this is where is that he's taking advantage of what this professional exercise physiologist says is draft and you say for a runner yes for a runner those 7 men or looks like 6 or 5 in that picture there forming a v. and you can see him from straight on but he's actually getting a little bit of draft and the exercise physiologist says it might only be one percent but you multiply that over 26 miles and it really adds up so he's got all of these pacesetters and he's running on a flat course this course has to be run back and forth $4.00 times now one of the things they've learn. This is in Austria where the race was run it was sponsored by a British chemical company on my slide I don't actually have the turnaround down here but you can see it's a little round turn around here and a little around turn around here there's a reason for this they've learned that racers when they turned right lose one second so there's no right turn in this race only left turning as a matter of fact here they come down to one of the turnarounds it's only always going to be turning to the left and it's going to save them just a little bit now here they are at the end of the race he's about to cross the finish line you can see everybody that was running as a pace setter for the last little bit was celebrating with him even though they couldn't keep up and when he crosses the line it won our 59 minutes 40.2 seconds he's the 1st person on the face of the planet to have run a marathon in less than 2 hours but the race isn't going to count as official you wanna know why. It won't count because it didn't take place in an open event in other words he was the only real racer there were 3 dozen rotating pacemaker so it's fine to run a marathon with pacemakers but they have to stay in the whole race and then the new phrase made it into my mind is that there is potential discussion by some at least of technological doping and you say well what does that mean I didn't realize this but for the swimmers in the Olympics a few years back they were wearing swimming suits that had a technological advantage in those swimming suits got banned as for Elian he was wearing a certain shoe that had a carbon play in the bottom of it and the engineers had designed it is said to wear supposedly when it came down on the shoe the carbon plate would give him a little bump a little push you can get that shoe now it's available I don't know that it was before he ran the race but it is available now if you had $250.00 so you better really like to run if you're going to buy that kind of shoe but racing has captured our attention through the years that used to be that running a 4 minute mile was the mark that needed to be broken this is a picture in 1954 at Oxford in England and the tall man in the middle is. Wearing Bannister and he will be runny to break the 4 minute mile. Let's follow the the byline here says from the start teammate Chris Brasher So he's the one in the front is going to be as pacemaker he sets a grueling pace with Bannister hot on his heels. But Chris Chataway is behind him waiting to take over so Bannister has his own Roger Bannister I said Williams Roger Bannister has his own pace setters too they will both finish the race but the interesting thing is neither one of them are really milers but they're willing to help their friend and for over half a mile Brasher whose real role is a steeplechaser is going to keep his pace up eventual Bannister's going to overtake them he's going to cross the finish line everybody's excited this is another world record making moment here are his 2 friends and if he crosses the finish line in just under 4 minutes he becomes one of the most famous people on the earth now one of the 1st things we learn about the race is that you have to gather with your friends to win it whether it's Bannister or Jogi you need people running the race with you if you don't have people pacing with you if you don't have the encouragement if you don't have the camaraderie if you don't have the challenge was running with other people allows you to run farther you have to gather and the Bible is telling us that in the race we're running we have to do the same thing not for sake in our own assembling together as is the habit of some but encouraging one another and all the more so as you see the day drawing near Now we I would say that this is probably in the 21st century Adventism this is probably the most and obeyed commandment in the New Testament Now once you will think about. You're not going to gather unless there's something in it for you. But God never said that's why you gather sometimes you gather like those guys forming that v. so that the guy behind you can do what he's gifted to do gathering is for the going forward of God's church and when we don't gather we don't make progress but I know how busy everyone is we're so busy that adding one more thing into our life isn't going to work and I'm going to tell you exactly right you add one more thing in your life and it's not going to work so I'm going to tell you in a moment or 2 when I'm done with this point I'm going to tell you what you're going to need to do so that you can gather but I want to tell you when they run marathons open event marathons they have people for those of you the never run in a marathon who carry a stick with a big placard on the top and all it will say is $330.00 or 4 colon 00 It's you know in which group to get into if you want to finish that marathon in 4 hours if you want to finish and 3 and a half you've got to run with these people gathering is Gods or day means for getting us ready for the last lap of the race and by the way friends it's coming we cannot keep talking about the signs multiplying and keep acting like they're not that is a cognitive dissonance it's a spiritual dissonance we're saying one thing God says you don't with their lips they honor me but their hearts are from far from me and we do something else. So the other day I said this is prayer me I said in the 1st service Pastor Jones paid me a compliment without paying me a compliment he didn't know he was but when when he summarized one of the philosophies of my pastor life I went away feeling pretty good about it he said something like this he said me and you are just really Lentulus about gathering the people I said you bet I am the Bible has told us how to win I don't have to be superstar pastor to do this I just have to follow the plan and if I follow the plan the amazing thing is what builds into this group is called synergy if you know what synergy is synergy is the energy the group gets from each other and you can't get it on your own I'm going to show you another race in just a little bit where Roger Bannister races against an Australian man the Australian man loses and his his explanation of losing is that he ran as a lone wolf Now I want to talk to the people watching on the Internet as well it's fine for you to watch on the Internet but you need to go to your own church and you want to watch this on the internet watch it after you've been to your own church we're glad for all our viewers and subscribers but it's not to replace what you can give and what you can get what you can be blessed in and what you can bless by the being there in your presence for sake in our own assembling everybody else gathers They gather at the bar they gather at the racetrack They gather at the football field they gather at the soccer field sometimes they gather in the study Carol the world gathers because it enjoys its gathering the devil doesn't want us to enjoy the gathering with each other and in this age of isolation people forget it takes work to grow relationships you're not going to feel comfortable with me right away in the beginning but the more use time you spend with me and service and worship whether we're eating a meal with each other or whatever a venture Lee I will been into the fabric of your support group and you into mine by. We have to gather is inconvenient as it is we have to get deep gather rain God is calling us together this is why the spirit grabs it will tell us to press together its simple Spirit of Prophecy lines it out God has a method for creating unity check me out research it it's very very simple just get together just get together so we're here today so if I had my slide up Ok let's go back to my 1st slide 33305. My guess is that there are a lot of people with me right now who their slide oughta say 00003 because they spent 3 hours here at church today. And that's the extent of their training. Now it would be nice if every day in our life there was time set aside to be with God I make it a priority. I'm calling you to make it a priority but when we come up to our Wednesday evening whether it's an evangelistic series or a prayer meeting that's one of those longer runs and when it comes to Sabbath school that's one of those longer runs you need to be in the Sabbath school friends are going to make friends in the Sabbath school you going to learn something new I sat in this prayer meeting last Wednesday night over here on this side. And I wanted to have my phone out the whole time the pastor testis going you except for one thing I had so many thoughts good thoughts blessid thoughts flowing into my mind from just being at that meeting I am I to come away with 6 servants from one meeting now I don't know when I'll preach him but I've got him on my phone I keep an extensive set of notes in my phone and I wanted to I was taking notes the whole time. Friends it's simple com. Be there because you see the place is here the time is now the race is on all of these men running together make it possible for this man to run and I don't know I want to tell you I told somebody the other day. I and most effective as a preacher in my own church through you folks you folks for me are like these guys right here I preach my best right here with all of you could you say man. I'll say man. I love being here with my church family you encourage me but we need to do this for each other the 2nd thing you gotta do is you've got to give are going to get there you gotta give some stuff up you want to run the race you've gotta give some stuff up listen have to you've gone I'll run 10 miles and someone holds a donut out here. You're not likely say yeah I want to I want to carry that for 10 miles put it right here you know the truth of the matter is all those crinkly begs and all those aluminum cans and bottles of that bubbly water that's loaded with sugar which you start saying to yourself this. I don't want that I like how I'm feeling and I don't want to weigh myself down and put extra pounds on and I don't want to eat my body like a and the farther you get into race preparation every time there is a point in time I promise you after a while it's like oh how far I've gone 5 miles Oh that's nothing let's keep going there is a point in time when you stick with it but you could give some things up as we near the close of time the demarcation between the Children of Light and the children of darkness will be what's the phrase. More and more more more losing more and more what more more decided they will become more and more at variance this difference is expressed in the words of Christ born again created a new dead to the world and alive to Christ listen for me to run in a race I have to withdraw my affections from stain ablate eating the wrong things letting my schedule get too crowded I cut things out so I can make a priority of crossing the finish line folks in the Adventist Church in the name of grace we've been coming more and more like the world this is a problem I am so thankful when I stumble when I sin when I do what's wrong there's a God there to pick me up the Bible says the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and though if all he shall not be utterly cast down the Lord upholds him with his hands but I want to tell you something I want Jesus to be my pacesetter and I want to run with him I don't want to become more and more like the world but if I set up the idols of the world in the temple of my mind it will happen automatically which is why you need to be careful with your phones and your computers were not to be more more like the world when I drive between here in Grand Rapids great of reform church and and conservative Christianity and I turn on the radio the music I listen to is worse than the music I lose to listen to that was blasting off the b.l.s. when it was in Am rock n roll station back in the eighty's in the ninety's so much of our music we call Christian is more and more like the world it is not more and more at variance with the world. Our dress our diet iron Taman our money our speech. It's all become beautifully wonderfully different Don't be embarrassed friends you know how good it feels to cross the finish lucky I want to tell you you don't have to be apologizing to everybody who Ned make it who says Oh I don't like out your living I don't like how you're running I don't like how your prioritizing finishing the race and you can say friend didn't we start to finish this is how it works friends we're going to give some things up were placed on trial in this world does that trouble you the angels are looking they're also helping but we're placed on trial to determine our fitness for the future live no one can enter Heaven whose characters are defiled by the foul blot of selfishness therefore God test this here by committing to us temporal possessions that we that our use of these may show whether we can be entrusted with eternal riches I see our teachers in different places around the congregation today you know they gave out their report cards just recently if we had a report card here at church. What kind of report would it be if the Treasurer sat down and said All right I need to grade this person. I want to give him a good grade but what's written in my ledger is this this and this do you know friends the Bible does say that where your treasure is your heart would be if any of you ever read. Ok And do you know that running a race requires sacrifice and it's hard you know the 1st time you go out and try to run a mile in your lungs are burning your hearts pounding the sweats point off you and when you get done running the mile you say on this isn't never going to work. You know you have to go back out the next day and do it it's not my job here me carefully it's not my job to tell you it's going to be easy it's not my job to tell you you can't do it it's not my job to say you shouldn't try. I told you I was going to preach a sermon on how to make money my wife wanted me to vet all of the she's not in here right now she's helping fix the food she came to 1st service I could tell you things she wouldn't want me to tell you but she could get online and watch so I won't. I'm going to tell you if you are the things I do this is not the 1st service. You want to save money number $1.00 when I was a college student working at the dairy and on grounds making $400.00 a month as a young newlywed God provided us a little house we lived in for $75.00 We took our $400.00 and we returned a $40.00 that ties and $20.00 of offering every week that's 10 percent that was God's It wasn't mine to keep and that was 5 percent I decided we decided to give it all the money I worked on Saturday when I had to feed the cows we gave that to God too so I wouldn't get confused about whether or not I should be in church or be making money the cows did have to be fed but since then I've picked up on some habits I had a professor over here Carl Kaufman some of you may have remembered Carl Kaufman godly man head of the religion apartment he put me on to something he told me how when he'd go to the store or when he found a place to buy something in bulk and it saved money he do it I picked up on it I do that. This is one little aside so you know all those little foam mean. Soap things you have when they came up with the foam in soap the soap companies made a bundle of money because the foam in stope is really nothing than the old so blotter down about 4 times No I'm telling you the truth so my dad loved to go to Bath and Body Works and recently my niece I don't know if she's here today but my return east came up to my house this week and she and it's big bucks and it must've been 2 dozen Bath and Body Works fall mean so things in there man I might be able to go 10 years on this stuff because down in my basement I've got a jug of that old thick you know pump it and it comes out in a gel that's about 10 times more so than you need by the way and I take that soap and I put one part of the thick soap in a gallon jug and I put 3 parts of water in there and mix it up and then when my soap thing my foaming soap empties throw it back up man fact just a week or 2 I went I've got a lot of tricks like this I'll share but I need to get permission from my wife all right so there's a way to do this I'm saving money you 2 man you don't know how to work on your car good news you don't have to go to Chilton manual go do you 2 they all show you how to remove every nut and bolt and put it back together and you can save money just to say worst case scenario call one of the men could be women don't know any right now but call one of the men in this church there are lots of men in this church that are gurus with their hands. This is the part of going to get a Frenchy get together then you gotta give but there's a way to do it it might be that I have less data on my phone cellphone plan give up my cable it might be that I keep the car no longer I don't know what it's going to be more beans and rice but we need to decide that we're not going to keep God at the bottom of the list any more now I made a mistake in the 1st service and the tell you what it was nobody came and told me I said that this church had received by way of revenues income 10 and a half 1000000 dollars That was a mistake. You put all of you together with the 1st service and altogether you made $15000000.00 say Pastor how do you know where you made more than that because there's some that don't return tithe because 1.5 $1000000.00 was turned in his tide here last year that's a lot of money friends this $1.00 church gives more money than all of the El Salvadorian Union this $1.00 shirts. This one church with a 1000 members has the lifting power of more than 200000 people in El Salvador I want you to think about this now there is a problem. There are a bunch of people that are obviously not being faithful to God in their offerings they didn't learn what I learned as a college student be systematic with your income. Not just you tied God says you rob me in ties and offerings. If this church only gave 3 percent of that $15000000.00 only 3 now by the way we recommend $4.00 to $5.00 and there are some people that give a lot more now which is why we're not going to pastors we are if you only gave 3 percent. This church would end the year with a $50000.00 surplus over what we budgeted but you look at that thermometer on the back of the tiger on the back of the bullet and I'm telling you about half of what we got to make up going to come in anyway but the other half we're going to make it up friends we gotta make it a budget you know why. Because almost everything this church does is paid for out of their budget these kids to get aid to go to school you know where it comes from comes out of their budget all these evangelists it means we did you know where that money comes from comes out of that budget now we can as are standing up in our parking lot came out of their budget those kids and then Harbor we help that we're coming to the edge university to get that math tutor came out of their budget I'll tell you when just about everything we do in this church comes out their budget and I was tempted Lord do I need to sell him on it do I need to get a neat project so they'll give no I can't do that I have to teach you to be systematic give arse. Because if I don't teach you to be systematic givers I'll have to be a salesman to you every time and get you one over to what I want you to do which by the way is the way we work it's God's thing for me to stand up here and be the prompter but I've got to teach you how to run the readies because some of you when it comes to give me it's 0000 and a little bit better than 0 on Sabbath for giving it isn't going to work now I want to from this church this church has been growing and it's given so much so that when Dr vine stood up here not too long ago he talked about a robust budget Daniel 11 seminar you know I was paid for paid for out of the combined budget sets that's her mother on the back we've got to make it and we can make it. Truth of the matter is it just all of us can have to do a little more and some of need to make permanent changes oh all I know I'm stepping on everybody's time pastor all the statistics is don't talk about money all my I'm here to tell you I am a physician of the soul and I know that it's the money once it breaks loose that's going to take your affection from the things of the world over to the things of Christ and if I didn't talk about money I'd be derelict of duty I'd be a malpractise dinner and you would make it through the race I want to tell you friends days coming when your money will be worth 0 and when it's worth 0 you're going to have to have some chapters in your past that said when I took a step to start giving offering look what happened God stepped in do you think God's not going to do that now you bet he's going to do it this is a way of diminishing selfishness and increasing confidence in his ability to provide but you're gonna have to choose to go ahead of what common sense says. So I'm appealing to you the wants of the cause will continually decrease as we near the close of time is that what it says no the wants of the cause will continually increase Now listen. If we make it to budget. There are some really exciting things that can happen as a matter of fact I'm just going to tell you I've already talked about this with the board and I've already talked about it with the leadership team which is about 3 twice as big as the board so won't come as news to a lot of you but we had a donation to this church which paved the way for bind some of this equipment that Pastor Michael and Pastor Jonathan are using to do some of this videography and in that donation there was part of it that was going to go to keep Pastor Michael with this longer than we would have him otherwise his internship ends this month. Another businessman pledged that he would make up part of keeping Pastor Michael with us God's already opening the door for it to happen all we've got to do is get the budget we cry keep him for a year or so maybe more maybe you can be a permanent part of us Michael would you like that. He's laughing he didn't say amen I don't know what that means. Give the money anyway folks are. Paul says Since you excel in everything in faith in speech and knowledge in complete earnestness in love in the love with Kindle then you see that you also excel in this grace of giving I know a lady Joan for houses every house was probably worth 3 easily worth 300000 dollars some of them 670-0000 Her husband died she's a woman of means I want to tell you to date in the last 5 years she has sold she might be in the process of selling the last one she's sold every house with one express purpose she's moving into a little house so that she can advance God's work. I want to talk to friends. The 1st Christian Church had not the privileges and opportunities we have they were of poor people but they felt the power of truth and the object before them was sufficient that is a knowledge of truth all the world believed in to invest all they felt that the salvation or the loss of the world depended upon their instrumentality Yes God's going to do the work yes God uses us it's a partnership where to work like no prayer will help and where to pray like no work can help they cast in their all and hell themselves in readiness to go or to come at the Lord's bidding we profess to be governed by the same principles to be influenced by the same spirit but instead of giving all for Christ many have taken the golden wedge think a can now and the goodly Babylonians garment and we've hid them in the camp Listen friends work all you can make all you can save all you can so you can give all you can but there will be a generation in which God will say get your money out of that account because things are close enough to get your money out that count because things are expanding May they expand gloriously before they close up and may we be the instrumentality by which they do it business men I want to talk to the business men especially right now if you're a business man it's your purpose to serve humanity and to make money don't be embarrassed about it don't be overreaching be a Christian in your business transactions but gentlemen ladies business people God is looking to you to fund the treasury of his church disproportionately to everybody else it doesn't mean more sacrifice for you it doesn't mean less what it means is is that you operate knowing that Christ is your business partner this is what the book education says Christ wants to prosper you if your work with economy thrift honesty and frugality if you'll be a man or a woman of integrity in your business dealings all of you have and want to cooperate with you so that we can be the instrumentality because where our treasure is there our heart will be also. When we come down to the component of giving I want to make a powerful point back in 1954 Roger Bannister was in a race in the great empire race he ran the mile in May of 1954 he ran it with just 6 tenths of a 2nd separating him from 4 minutes but John Landy from Australia a month later beat Bannister's record by a one and a half seconds which is like of football field when it comes to the significance because fractions of a 2nd make a huge difference in this race it was going to be 4 equal laps around the track these were held in Vancouver and it was probably one of the most momentous athletic events in that decade this is actually on the list of the commonwealth of England this is the most important significant sports event this is how it's listed they called it the Miracle Mile and in this race John Landy was fast and he had a plan run fast out of the gate he would tire out all of his competitors and in this race he thought I'll get Bannister too and he knew he was faster Bannister had a cold and wasn't feeling his best and Landy had stepped on a photographer's lightbulb and cut his foot so he had stitches in his foot he never blame that for losing but they went 3 times around and on the last leg Bannister had been trailing sometimes by many yards had him in his mind he imagined he had a rope tied to him and he was just really them in now Bannister's approach was to put a little bit on the end and Bannister on the 3rd lap Landy ran in over 60 seconds 60.3 Bannister ran it and 59. Bannister was closing in on him and this picture becomes exceptionally famous this is a colorized version of it Landy didn't know where Bannister was and he looks to the inside he looks back. And Bannister is coming around I'm on the right and the rest of my friends is history is so significant in the minds of the British Commonwealth that they form a bronze statue of it and it said it was sitting outside the Empire stadium but they moved it to the Pacific National Exhibition so significant in the psyche of that generation of racers that they spent the money to show you what happens when you don't keep your eye on the prize and it reminded me powerfully of this Remember Jesus said don't think your life consist in the abundance of your possessions and then we have that super duper little verse in the Bible do you know what Luke 1732 says it says Remember not why I want to tell you a secret friends none of you think that you have any idols in this world if I took a poll an anonymous poll if I had Survey Monkey up 95 percent of you would say you don't love the world I know so how do you know because any time I've talked to anybody about having an idol they always deny it always always oh it's any time you talk to somebody about starting to enjoy another sex's company too much you know somebody's work they always deny it because when people driven they don't see that they're coming off course and unless somebody bumps into him and says hey you're getting off course and do they usually say Oh thank you for telling me I'm about to run my car into the mud now they don't say they say How dare you tell me how to drive get out of my way but I'm here to tell you friends we don't drift into the world saying oh I'm just going to fall asleep at the wheel run off into a good life well I'm stuck in the mud out here with all my money in my nice house. The 3rd thing you have to do is you have to go now there's 2 things that comprise Evan tism message and mission and see if the next slides any better than went wrong in my slides but nonetheless get the point. What really looks good though is this it comes into focus How focused are you want to be in to God's cause are you willing to go anywhere are you willing to go to Benton Harbor down to the trailer park maybe are you willing to go to Brazil or El Salvador you will go down to Indianapolis and help out are you willing to go to the neighbor next door who needs a little food. Color and well and wrote the he was the screenwriter for the story Chariots of Fire he had written this amazing story it's a true story and this he was writing he had a name for the story this is the Erik little he was the Scotsman who went on to be a missionary in China he won gold in the 400 meters behind him here is Harold Abrams course this is from the movie These are the actual people he won the 100 yard dash it was a great year I believe 1924 in Paris quite a compelling stories matter of fact I wish we could listen to Van galluses version of it Chariots of Fire the music but he was looking for a name and he entitled this in his mind he had called this movie runner's that'll sell the box office wallet runners. And what he did he was sitting at home one night and he was watching the British Broadcasting Corporation and on came a program called Songs of Praise and I'm going to tell you something most people don't know Great Britain does not have an official national anthem you say Oh Pastor that's not true it's God Save the Queen No it's not that's the that's the accepted one but the truth of the matter is Great Britain actually has 2 songs one which is the unofficial national anthem and the other which is a little less unofficial and more like the national anthem God Save the Queen you know sweet land of liberty we made our own version of the here in America but their words are different very religious but this song where I'm about to put the words up this is a song almost every Great Britain or Knox. And it's at the end of the film Chariots of Fire you'll have to watch it get on line and listen to this song almost every Great Britain or knows it why am I putting up the words are so religious watch William Blake wrote this song and did those feet in ancient times walk upon England's mountain green and was the Holy Lamb of God on England's pleasant pastures seen and did the countenance divine shine forth upon our clouded hills and was Jerusalem build it here amid the sea tannic Mills I don't know why it's not on there but that's a reference to the Industrial Revolution good thing my mind is working bring me my blow of burning gold bring me my arrows of desire bring me my spear Oaklands unfold this is working out better and I thought the next phrase says. And I want you see Cullen Wendland well and watching this he's listening to this song Watching it is says bring me my bow Oh clouds unfold bring me my and he guesses Chariots of Fire. I will not cease from mental flight nor fail to hold the sword till we have built Jerusalem and England's green and pleasant land and he jumped up and said to his wife whose name was Patricia I've got it I've got it it's Chariots of Fire and quite an amazing moment. And this is what we know and as if you've not seen it most of it is very very well worth watching it is a rated g. film Paul will say not that I've already attained I'm already pretty perfect but I pressed on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ has laid hold of me I don't regard myself as having laid hold of it yet but the one thing I do friends emblazon that phrase in your mind get your kids out bring them to the spiritual program and they won't die they might be bored but they might get interested too could you say man. Bring them out let them say in their young hearts and minds this one thing I do I'm planning to go to heaven I'm gathering I'm giving and I'm go and the race the place and the pace I'm planning to be there and I'm going to be like Paul forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead I press on I'm going to finish toward the goal the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus and Paul can't leave this metaphor alone I've fought the good fight I've finished the race I've kept the faith therefore there is laid out for me a crown of righteousness which the learned self shall give me and not just me everyone Therefore go and make disciples Jesus said baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son in the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I commanded you and I am with you always to the end of the age friends the finish line is not far away so let's bring the sermon in for a landing look at this guy. This race happened at Texas a and m. this year and I want to tell you he won. But the reason I have it up is because I need you to know he wanted to win badly. Because when you land on those tracks with all that skin exposed you talk about road rash. He got it. But you know the need is part about this story is name this guy. Here's his name can you believe this his name is infinite. You've heard me his name is infinite Tucker he was tuckered out after that race Dualla Shiria infinite Tucker earlier this year won this race 400 meters and this is how I did it get online and watch the video and you know with friends. Someday I'm planning to be in heaven I know I'm going to get a new knee and somebody is going to walk up to me and they're going to say what's your name. I'm an infinite come to my mind I'm going to say my name is immortal Kelly sounds good to me. I don't think I'll call myself in an infinite although Immortalist close my name's immortal Kelly because I ran the race France the race the pace the place I gathered I gave and I went I'm going to gather give and go friends we can't talk about maybe 142020 when the pope's gathering all of the young religious leaders and leaders in sports and leaders in politics we can't talk out of this son of mine and our own Jesus is clearly really so. For our origins it doesn't work that way I've never met a coach that made to train me feel better in the moment but I've met many a coach for whom the trainer is hugged to death at the end of the finish line. Friends. What are you going to change some of you may be absolutely too busy with church stuff there's a short list there. But how many 7 day eminence listen to me on line or in this auditorium or in the 1st service relate to the church like a country club not a gymnasium in training to cross the finish line. Jerry bring me my chariot of fire I'm gonna go does anybody want to go with me right friends I didn't preach just to preach it wasn't it wasn't verbal entertain I'm appealing to decide in your own mind with Christ before you walk through these doors what the next step is you don't have to change everything you don't run week 15 schedule in week 2 but you decide in week one that you going to stick with what you decided with and you going to run again a week to a man I'm asking you to decide I'm going to keep appealing to you to be out here on Wednesday night when it comes the new year I'm going to be appealing to you to be in small groups I'm going to be appealing to you to be at the Sabbath school and be at the church service I'll be appealing to you to come to the 10 days of prayer starting in January I'm appealing to you to give up some things and start giving more I want to make it a budget because that's how we're going to go for it was systematic plans to do a lot of things which all should be done we are making up for lost time and we don't know how much we have but we're to work while it's day and I'm appealing to you to go now you may not listen if we also do up at the chapel over there there wouldn't be room for anybody else I'm going to tell you this is a good church for as much as I challenge you I'm very proud of this church as Paul was proud of some of his churches and by the way did anybody notice anything different about today. I wore my running shoes for and. Not to run away from you at the end of the service. Let's put our spiritual running shoes on. North America needs a revival so does bear in springs and so do we. Gather. Give and go like you planned across the finish line let's pray Lord we don't have the power our robes are like sand but you said we could wear the yoke with you. And then all things were possible that way. Some of us are in debt and it's not for a house or car we need to learn to say no to ourselves we need to stay at home and not go shopping whether it's online or whether it's in a store or some lord of decided financial security means more to them than anything else and so there's a lot of money set aside they would be prudent without being our own provision in the wrong way and some of this Lord are comfortable we don't want to let go of anything and we really don't want to brace anything new that you're not that kind of father you don't leave a sitting out in the middle of the racetrack is an obstacle for other people unfit to go forward not quite wanted to go back I pray gather this church learn continue to make us more generous to sacrifice and scrimp and scrape and flex our muscles so the world can know who you really are so the poor can be relieved and the ignorant shared the gospel of life. Please Lord forgive us where we have not gathered we have not given as we should. And we have not gone. Leslie's church where you be our best year ever as we come to it and in Jesus' name amen this media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or you would like to listen to more sermons they visit w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.

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