This is Pastor Todd’s third to last (antepenultimate) message before he ends his time at Westheights as our senior pastor. In this sermon series, he wanted to summarize the final things he wants us to remember. In this message, he challenges us to be all that God wants us to be, taking lessons from soldiers, athletes and farmers.
NEVER STOP GIVING GOD YOUR BEST
Message by Todd Lester – September 17, 2017
HOW TO BE THE BEST THAT I CAN BE
LESSONS FROM SOLDIERING
2 Timothy 2:3-7 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.
LIKE AN EFFECTIVE SOLDIER, I MUST . . .
1. Define What I’d Die For
John 15:13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
2. Sacrifice My Comfort
2 Timothy 2:3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 5:2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
3. Eliminate Distractions
2 Timothy 2:4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.
LESSONS FROM SPORTS
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 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. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.
TO WIN THE PRIZE, I MUST . . .
1. Be Determined
1 Corinthians 9:24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.
2. Be Disciplined
2 Timothy 2:5 And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules.
1 Corinthians 9:25,27 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…I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.
3. Be Focused
Hebrews 2:12 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.
1 Corinthians 9:26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.
Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
LESSONS FROM AGRICULTURE
2 Corinthians 9:6-13 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosityin you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous … As a result … they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.
TO REAP A GREAT HARVEST, I MUST PLANT GENEROUSLY IN FAITH
Mark 10:29-30 “I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.”
For Sermon discussion resources click here: Sept 17 Sermon Resources