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MESSAGE: The Crown: How to Excel in Your Faith
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The Crown is a Netflix series that boasts four seasons depicting the political life of Queen Elizabeth II of England. She wears the crown because Britain has a hereditary monarchy with the right to rule being passed down to family. But the apostle Paul speaks of a wholly different kind of crown—one worn by a disciplined athlete who won the footrace in the Olympic Games or the also-popular boxing match. Here, he likens our Christian faith to this widely understood and much-enjoyed contest, giving principles on how to excel and thrive as we follow Christ.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Group Guide: July 4, 2021
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “The Crown: How to Excel in Your Faith”
Text: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Main Point
The Crown is a Netflix series that boasts four seasons depicting the political life of Queen Elizabeth II of England. She wears the crown because Britain has a hereditary monarchy with the right to rule being passed down to family. But the apostle Paul speaks of a wholly different kind of crown—one worn by a disciplined athlete who won the footrace in the Olympic Games or the also-popular boxing match. Here, he likens our Christian faith to this widely understood and much-enjoyed contest, giving principles on how to excel and thrive as we follow Christ.

“Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” —1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Talk about It

  1. If you’ve ever engaged in a sport, talk about your experience—how you trained and how you felt when you won or lost. Share a fun story if you have one.
  2. Share the things you are involved in. Is there something that you are doing that is “good” but is potentially hindering you from God’s calling on your life? Is there something that you should say no to? As Pastor Skip said, “A good thing can become a bad thing if it keeps you from the best thing.”
  3. Pastor Skip made the statement that “heaven is more than a destination; it’s a motivation.” Discuss how heaven motivates you.
  4. Do you know someone who has fallen off the track or dropped out of the race? Talk about how you might be able to come alongside and help them get back in the race. Read 2 Corinthians 1:4.
“What are you willing to do or give up to finish the race?” —Pastor Skip

Make It Practical
Pray
Father, thank You that You’re the best coach in the world. You’ve made it so that not just one can win, but that all can run and win an eternal, imperishable crown. Help us to run our race—being faithful and obedient in our spheres of influence and circumstances. Give us endurance as we keep our eyes forward to the day when Jesus will Himself say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” For the name and fame of Jesus, amen.

Facilitator Tips
Cross references: Matthew 16:27; Acts 20:24; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 3:14; 1 Timothy 4:7; 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Revelation 22:12

OUTLINE


  1. Eyes on the Prize

  2. No Pain, No Gain

  3. Say No to Say Yes

  4. Play the Long Game


Topic: Christian living

Keywords: discipline, endurance, faith, heaven, Olympics, running, sports


The Crown: How to Excel in Your Faith - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 | SkipHeitzig.com/4661
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