Fight The Good Fight
#33 Run Well to the End 11.14.21
Galatians 1:6-9; 5:7-8 NASB I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel, 7 which is not just another account; but there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, even now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
5:7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.
I. I carry a cross.
Luke 9:23-25 NIV Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
A. This is for His glory.
B. It represents God’s destiny for my life.
C. It is marked by unhesitating obedience.
D. The mark of a slave
II. I carry a thorn.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10 NIV I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say. To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
A. This varies from person to person, and can take many forms.
B. It is not a weakness. I just accept and learn to live with.
C. It is not an excuse for sin.
D. It is something God wills for my life, even though it is not to my liking.
E. It does drive me to utter dependence upon God. It causes His glory to shine through me even more brightly!
III. I carry baggage.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV 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 run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
A. This may be an offense or bitterness resulting from wounds life has caused.
B. This is the result of either nature or nurture.
C. Learned behavior or generational curses
D. Whether or not I carry this baggage is my decision.
E. Get rid of the stuff that slows you down!
IV. The Good News — You don’t need to deal with any of this alone.
A. Various helps are available.
B. Our baggage is never an excuse for sin — so don’t give place to it.
C. Even if it is bigger than you, God promises help!