Welcome to Coming Home with Julian Awad, where we discuss salvation through Jesus Christ in production of Coming Home Ministries.
The last few days I’ve been looking at the Olympics and watching all these Olympic athletes trying to win gold. You know, they’re all trying to, um, get to that final medal. That final goal of getting a gold medal and even a silver bronze is, is an incredible feat and an incredible achievement for many of them.
But so many of them when they’re interviewed are just trying to beat their personal best record that pb record. You know, in some events there’s over a hundred countries or close to 200 men and women competing for that gold medal. These are the best that the world has, the best of their country, that they’re out competing for that medal.
But when you really get down to it, most of them, they know where they rank. They know that it would take a miracle for them to beat the number one person in the world, and their real goal is just to beat their personal record. That personal best that they have. You know, as I walk each day with the Lord, I hear him calling me to be more like him each day.
I hear him calling me to a higher level, to a more surrendered place, to a place each day where I’m able to have more of him and less of me. And I thought about what is my personal best for the Lord and, and what does it look like, to give my personal best.
Let’s pray. Lord God, I wanna thank you for today. I wanna thank you for this opportunity to be able to speak with whoever’s listening today and to share my heart with them, and most of all, Lord, to be able to go through your scripture and to know your word and to understand what it is that you’re calling us to do specifically. I pray for all those that are listening, Lord, that their hearts would be soft and that Holy Spirit, you would be the one working on them, calling on them interceding for, for all of us, and that you would make this Lord, this word, touch somebody and bring them to a place that they haven’t been before with you, that they would get revelation of you. Whether they, I’ve never heard from you before, or whether this is the, they’re, they are unsaved and they don’t know you. Or even for the believer Lord, that just wants to go deeper. I pray that they wouldn’t hear my words, but they would hear your words Lord. Keep me behind that cross, Lord. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
You know, athletes have to measure themselves to know whether or not they’re improving. They measure their speed, their throws, they measure their accuracy. They have to constantly have a way to compare themselves for competition purposes, but also to constantly push the limits of their own bodies of the human body, in fact, and there’s a mental and a physical aspect to it.
Mental and physical training becomes more focused each time and more intense each time, especially as new discoveries are made to the possibilities of the human body. People test out, what if I tried it this way? What if I did it that way? They press themselves and push themselves to the extremes sometimes.
But one thing’s for sure. There was never an Olympic champion that did nothing. Champions are not made by inaction. You’ve never heard the road to the championship starts with doing nothing today. You’ve never heard that. It starts with action and it starts with practice and work. You have to continuously have this continuous action to build discipline and to build muscle. And over time you build reflexes and muscle memory. The movements and the responsives become instinct and your mind begins to work autonomously. That ball comes here, you don’t even think about it. Your foot goes to kick it, or your hand reaches up to grab it.
As you begin to lean forward, your body automatically compensates. As you begin to lean back, the timing just becomes more and more natural to you, and actions really begin to happen without you thinking about them. But where does it all start? It starts with action. You know the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, he says, 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. Our prize never fades away. Our prize is not a metal that can be melted down or lost, or can rust, or can be burnished.
Our prize is an eternal prize. And continuing verse 26, he says, 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. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others, I might be disqualified. You know, knowing the rules, and having a body that will perform within those rules and following those rules is what helps you to make sure that you’re not disqualified.
So what does it mean today to train like an athlete? Or even to train like an Olympic athlete. What do the champions do daily that’s different from the ones that are not champions? When I was looking up and looking at some of the greatest winners in the Olympics history, you find out that they had, well, more than that 10,000 hours that has been established as a standard by certain experts.
Some of them had 15,000 or even 20,000 hours of practice in before they got to the Olympics, and some of them were just young teenagers that had already gotten well over those 10,000 hours in. But what was consistent amongst champions, great champions, gold medal winners, is they put in the time four to six hours a day, practicing three times a day. Doing a morning, an afternoon, and an evening set of practices. Never missing an opportunity for practice. Wasn’t Monday through Friday. It wasn’t Monday through Saturday. It was seven days a week. It was on holidays, it was on birthdays. That’s what you see, a commitment to a purpose. The Bible says about our actions, lots of things, and I love them.
This one’s one of my favorite. Proverbs 13:4, Lazy people want much, but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. That’s Proverbs 13:4. You know, there’s another one in Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, whatever you do, do it well. When you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
That’s the directive, this is your time, this is your life. If you’re listening to this, you’re alive. And that means this is your life and this is the time to take action. And there won’t be any of this stuff going on if you end up in hell. And whatever you do, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. That’s Colossians 3:17.
I’m gonna read it again, and whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. It’s not only what you sue, what you do, or what you say. It’s that you do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We as believers, as disciples, as saved as family, members of God, as children of God. We are representatives of Jesus here on this world. And everything that we do and say, we should be thinking that we represent the Lord to this lost and dying world.
So whatever we do, it should be as if we’re doing it for him. And, to give thanks through Jesus to God the Father. So not only is it what you do, but it’s also with the spirit of giving. Thanks. That’s Colossians 3:17.
But you know, it’s not just in the religious things that you do, it’s not just in all of that, but you know, it has to do with the small things. And 1 Corinthians 10:31 it says, So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. So suddenly we’re realizing it’s even in how we eat and how we drink, our daily actions, what clothes that we wear, how we respond to people, how we respond while we’re driving, how we talk to people, how we think about people, where we spend our time, what we do for pleasure, what we do to relax, what our priorities are in everything.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for what? For the glory of God. That’s 1 Corinthians 10:31. You see that trend? It’s not just about, oh, I go to church, or it’s not just that one moment when you were helping someone who was in need, and those are good things. But it’s in all things. It’s in all actions. It’s in the mundane and in the extraordinary. It’s in the daily discipline and in the ignited moments of fruitfulness as we compete. It’s in the monotonous practice, the stretching and the calisthenics. And think about those things, the spiritual things, the spiritual practice, the spiritual stretching, the spiritual calisthenics, and in the moments of heated battle, it’s in all moments that we must remember God, engage God and do it for God.
That is our personal best. That is our personal best, and that practice is your prayer time with God every day. Never allowing it to be sacrificed for anything. That discipline is in getting into the word every single day, and letting it nourish our body and feed our hunger for the word of God. To eat that bread of life and drink that everlasting living water.
And if you’re doing it for the Lord, remember to follow his commandments. Jesus was so clear that we are to put God first and to love him with every ounce of our being. If we love him, we will be obedient to him and we will follow his commandments. And Jesus, the holy one of God, the lamb that was slain before the foundations of the world, for you and for me.
He said in John 13:34, he said, so now I am giving you a new commandment. Love each other just as I have loved you. You should love each other. Jesus was helping us to understand that this goes beyond. This goes beyond just ourselves. We are to love God and put God first, and the output of that, that fruit of knowing him and following him, of being intimately close with him, never forsaking our prayer time, never forsaking our Bible time and making sure our work comes after that prayer time and that Bible time, not starting at work, if we haven’t gotten our food in, haven’t gotten our drink in with the Lord. Not going to the movies, not getting on the internet, not watching television, not getting your news in, not even eating your own food and drink until you have eaten of the Lord each day, and allow that, that discipline, that action, then to pour out into love for others.
Jesus called people to repentance. Jesus was interested in people knowing the truth. Jesus wanted to see people no longer suffer spiritually and physically. Jesus wanted us to care for one another. Paul addressed the Corinthians about actions. And about following Jesus’ commandment in 1 Corinthians 10:33, he says, I too try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me. I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.
Notice Paul’s end goal? What his motivation was? What does Paul, what does winning look like to him? He’s out to see people be saved. He’s out to see salvation and the kingdom of God expand.
And to keep that motivation in check, he says to Timothy, this is his protege, Timothy, he says in 2 Timothy, a letter to Timothy, he says in 2 Timothy 2:15, work hard so that you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. I’m gonna say it again. Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive. Whose approval? His approval. God’s approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. That’s what Paul was telling Timothy to do, to work hard, specifically for God’s approval, not for man’s approval. Not for your spouse’s approval, not for your kid’s approval, your friend’s approval, not even for your own approval, but for God’s approval.
There even comes a point where you stop judging yourself because you know God is the judge and you want his approval. You want to please him. So in whatever you are doing, remember to do it not only for God’s approval but for God. If you are doing it for God, and you’re following his ways, you’re being obedient and following his commandments.
That is the road to getting God’s approval. If you’re a salesperson, sell and do it in a way that would get God’s approval and make him proud. If you’re a technician, do it right each time with quality and perfection, as if you were gonna hand over the end results to the Lord. At the end of the day, if you’re an administrator, make sure your work is organized.
And it’s accurate as if it was for the Lord. If you’re a laborer, sweat and do your best as if you were building something for the Lord. If you’re a programmer, do your work and take no shortcuts as if you were coding for God. And no matter what you’re doing, no matter what your work is, no matter what your fun time is, make sure it will make the Lord proud of you.
Flee from work and activities that are shameful, flee from work and activities that will support things that God hates. Flee from actions that will leave you guilty before the Lord, but instead walk in the confidence of knowing that what you are doing each day makes the Lord proud. And if there’s something in your heart that says that maybe I shouldn’t be doing this, if there’s something in the heart, if you feel the Holy Spirit poking at you and saying, this is not right, then make a change and ask God for help.
If you are worried that that change might bring some sort of problem or, or might lead to some sort of destruction in your life, start praying about it. Start asking God every day for help. Start asking God to close certain doors and open others. Ask God for help to escape that situation because you don’t want it in your life.
No matter what the problems or suffering or difficulty may be, ask God to open the door that you may step out of that situation so that you won’t have it in your life between you and Him any further. And whatever it is, no matter what you’re doing, make the Lord proud of you. That’s what I want. I want the Lord to be proud of me.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, work willingly at whatever you do as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the master you are serving is Christ. Your boss thinks that he’s your boss or she’s your boss. But the truth is, your boss is Christ.
And remember that when you go to work, when you do actions, when you play on a team, that you’re playing for the Lord. And at the end of the day, whatever the goal is, whatever the trophy is, whatever the reward is here on heaven, the truth is we are working for an inheritance, an inheritance as our reward, an eternal inheritance.
In 1 Timothy 4:10, he says, this is why we work hard and continue to struggle to fight. Think of that word struggle, to struggle, to fight, to pursue, to push on, even in the midst of adversity to struggle. He says, this is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God who is the savior of all people, and particularly of all believers.
So it is time for you to stop your old ways. If you’re hearing my voice, it’s time to stop allowing your television or your device, your phone, or what you watch, or your culture, or the people of this world to determine your action. It’s time to set a path forward of action, action for the Lord. Action that he will be proud of when you stand before him at the judgment seat of Christ.
Don’t let the news dictate your actions and your emotions. Don’t let the world dictate to you what is right and what is wrong. Get in the word of God. Spend time with your Lord. Do not forsake your morning, afternoon, and evening practices with the Lord. Put your 10,000 hours in that you might begin to master your time with the Lord, that you might have clarity in hearing his voice, that you might know the word of God inside and out, that it might be memorized and written on your heart. That the reflexes and the responses would be autonomous as you speak the words of God when someone comes to you, that it would be a reflex for you to go and lay hands and pray on them.
It would be a reflex for you to want to serve others and to do your best for God in every situation. And when a compromising position comes and you see that temptation coming, that you would rebuke it in the name of Jesus and call out for God’s help, that there would be more for you, that you would know the right decision and that you would seek God in all things.
That is where your discipline comes in. That is where your action comes in. That is where your personal best comes in and where you best, your personal best each day. That is where the fight and the struggle is. 1 Peter 1:13-20 he starts out and says, so prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world so that you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into the old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then, but now you must be holy in everything you do.
Just as God who chose you is holy. For the scriptures say, you must be holy because I am holy. And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as temporary residents for you know that God paid a ransom to save you from this empty life you inherited from your ancestors, and it was not paid with mere gold or silver or cash, which loses its value. I stuck that word cash in there. It says, with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began. But now, in these last days, he has been revealed for your sake.
No matter what you are doing, make sure it will make the Lord proud of you, because as you heard that even Peter wanted people to know that no matter what, this is verse 20, that God chose him at Jesus. Him being Jesus as your ransom long before the world began. But now, in these last days, he has been revealed for your sake, that no matter what your life looks like now, no matter what you do day in and day out, one true thing, one thing is true, we are called to live Holy lives set apart for God in all things.
Verse 20. Again, God chose Jesus as your, it says Him Jesus, as your ransom long before the world began. But now, in these last days, he has been revealed for your sake.
2 Timothy 1:9, I’ll end with this. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserve it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time to show us his grace through Jesus Christ, excuse me, to show us his grace through Christ Jesus, you are called to a holy life full of grace, mercy, and God’s glory. He saved you for that specific reason.
Now, let me ask you, are you saved? Are you saved from the wrath of God against your sins? If you’ve never repented and given your entire life to God, right now is the time to take action. It all starts with action and taking a step of faith. Jesus is waiting for you, and it’d be my honor to share the gospel with you today.
If you wanna start serving Jesus today, first, consider: Have you surrendered your life to Jesus as your Lord and Savior from your sin? From sin, because we are all sinners as it is written, There is no one righteous, not even one. That’s Romans 3:10. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That’s Romans 3:23.
We have to admit that we are sinners and in need of a Savior. All of us, all of us have to do that. God is calling all men and women to repentance. That means not only to ask for forgiveness, but to turn and go the other way from our sins to forsake our sins. I heard an evangelist once say, it’s like trying to offer the cure for cancer to someone who thinks that they’re healthy, they have to know that they have cancer, and if they finally realize the seriousness of their situation, that they have cancer and they’re about to die. When you offer them the cure, they’ll grab it and take it from you as quickly as possible. You have to understand that you have a cancer, which is called sin, and the wages of sin is death. That’s what Romans 6:23 says.
But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord, Romans 6:23. But God demonstrated this is what he did. God demonstrates his own love for us in this, that while we are still sinners, Christ died for us. It’s Romans 5:8. Jesus wants you just as you are.
He doesn’t need you to fix yourself up first. He’s the great physician who heals us and fixes us up. He’s the one who changes us from the inside and out. All you have to do is go to him today just as you are. So I’m calling you if you’re hearing my voice. Turn your back on sin today. Call out to Jesus to save you and trust in him for salvation.
If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. So just call out today in your heart. If you wanna follow the Lord, but you don’t know what to pray, just repeat after me.
God, I know that I’m a sinner. And that the wages of sin is death. I believe that you sent your son, Jesus Christ as a payment for my punishment. I declare that Jesus is my Lord and profess my faith for salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Thank you for your grace, forgiveness, peace, and gift of eternal life. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, your next step is to dig into the word of God. Get a physical Bible and download the Bible app on your phone. Read it every day without excuse. Look for a Bible focused church to get connected with other believers that will help you grow in the Lord. In Jesus mighty name, amen.
Fill my heart with your love. Help me share it with my brothers.
Help me show them you’re the one and beside you, there’s no other.
I just can’t be strong, even for a day, even for an hour,
even for a moment without your love
This has been a production of Coming Home Ministries. For more information or to reach us, go to ComingHomeministries.net.