Eye On The Prize | TBN

Eye On The Prize

Watch Eye On The Prize
November 15, 2020
27:29

Touching Lives is the international broadcast ministry of Dr. James Merritt.

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Eye On The Prize

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  • male announcer: This program ispaid for by the friends and
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  • partners of "Touching Lives."
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  • Welcome to the internationalbroadcast ministry of "Touching
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  • Lives" with Dr. James Merritt.
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  • Here at "Touching Lives," ourmission is to touch the lives of
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  • the lost and enrich the faith ofthe found.
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  • And now, here is pastor, authorand speaker, Dr. James Merritt.
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • James Merritt: Today, I hopethis will bless you 'cause I'm
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  • gonna share with you oneprinciple, not two, not three,
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  • not four.
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  • I'm gonna share with you oneprinciple straight from the Word
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  • of God on how to make sure thatyou don't just not waste your
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  • life but you give to your lifeand get out of your life.
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  • The one sure fire way to makesure that you achieve the
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  • potential of your life and liveyour life to the fullest, it's
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  • not hard, comes right out ofGod's Word, and I will guarantee
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  • you you will not waste your lifeif you will keep this
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  • one principle.
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  • Here it is, keep your eyes onthe prize, that's it, not 8
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  • rules, not 12 rules, not 15rules, just one thing, keep your
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  • eyes on the prize, let me tellyou what I mean by that.
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  • Life is like a race, from thetime you're born 'til the time
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  • you die you are running a race,and the one goal in every race
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  • is to cross the finish line.
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  • It doesn't matter what else youdo in a race, you know this,
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  • doesn't matter what else you do.
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  • It doesn't matter how hard yourun, it doesn't matter how fast
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  • you run, it doesn't matter howfar you run, if you don't cross
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  • the finish line you don't win;and life, the key to winning is
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  • very simple, here it is.
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  • You must have the right goal andthen you got to keep your eye on
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  • that goal, that's all you gottado, have the right goal and keep
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  • your eye on that goal.
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  • We're in a series, if you're avisitor today or a guest of
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  • ours, we're in a series in thebook of Philippians, we're
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  • calling "Joyride," and one ofthe sure fire ways you can get
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  • joy in the life that you'reliving is to set God-given goals
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  • and then live your life everydaygiving your life to reaching
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  • those goals.
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  • And there was a man by the nameof Paul who gives us a formula
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  • on exactly how to do that, andhe gives us three simple steps
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  • that I promise you, you can useat the beginning of every year,
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  • every month, every week andevery day, to make that year,
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  • that month, that week and thatday, the best year, the best
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  • month, the best week and thebest day of your entire life.
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  • They are so simple, they are soeasy and they help you keep your
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  • eyes on the prize.
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  • Number one, Paul says you'vegotta forget what is behind you,
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  • if you're going to get to whereyou need to go in life you've
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  • got to forget what is behindyou.
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  • Now let me just say this, Idon't know where you are in your
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  • life, I don't know how muchyou've achieved, you may think,
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  • "Man, I've kind of done what Ineed to do and I've kind of
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  • gotten what I need to get."
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  • Let me just say this, you willnever achieve all of your goals.
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  • One of the hard things aboutgrowing older is when you
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  • finally realize, "You knowthere's some things I wanted to
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  • do I'm not gonna be able to do,I don't have enough runway, my
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  • time is too short, the clock'srunning out."
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  • You will never achieve all thegoals that you wanted to, but
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  • let me just tell you this.
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  • I don't care how old you are, Idon't care if you've
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  • quote-unquote retired, and bythe way, we're going to talk
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  • about that in just a little bit,but I don't care if you come
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  • quote-unquote retired, youshould always have goals you've
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  • not achieved.
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  • There's still things in my lifeI've not been able to do that I
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  • want to do, so Paul begins bysaying this.
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  • He says, "Not that I havealready obtained all this," in
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  • other words, he says I'm not yetarrived, I'm not, you know some
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  • people think I'm a pretty bigshot, but I'm not; "Or have
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  • already arrived at my goal, butI press to take hold of that for
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  • which Christ Jesus took hold ofme."
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  • Now, every time I read thatabout Paul, I kind of shake my
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  • head and I want to say tomyself, "You don't really
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  • mean that."
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  • When you say, Paul, "You've notalready obtained all this, you
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  • haven't already arrived at yourgoal," I want to say, wait
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  • a minute.
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  • Dude, when you wrote that youwere considered the world's
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  • greatest theologian, you wereconsidered the world's greatest
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  • church planter, you wereconsidered the world's greatest
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  • missionary, some would've saidyou were the world's
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  • greatest Christian.
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  • And yet Paul says that may betrue but I don't have it
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  • altogether, there's still a lotof places I want to go, there's
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  • still a lot of things I want todo, there are still a lot of
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  • goals I want to reach.
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  • And though Paul had reached alot of his potential he has not
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  • reached all of his potential.
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  • So let me give you some goodnews, I don't care where you are
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  • in your life, as long as you aredrawing a breath there will
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  • always be more lessons to learn,there will always be more
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  • principles to apply, there willalways be more room to grow.
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  • However, Paul said, the firststep you got to take in your
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  • life if you want to moveforward, you have got to quit
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  • looking backward.
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  • So he says this, Brothers" andsisters, I do not consider
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  • myself yet to have taken hold ofit, but one thing I "do, he
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  • says, "Forgetting what isbehind."
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  • Winston Churchill said it best,he said, "If the past quarrels
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  • were the present there can be nofuture.
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  • We must learn to accept the pastas unalterable and move on."
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  • Now, don't misunderstand whatthat word forget means, 'cause I
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  • know what some of you arethinking right now and I agree
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  • with you, I know some of yousay, "Man," you're saying, "Are
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  • you kidding me?
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  • You don't even know what my pastis, you don't know how bad I've
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  • hurt somebody, you don't knowhow much I've blown it, you
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  • don't know how much I've screwedup and how much I messed up,
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  • there's no way I can totallyerased that."
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  • You're right, and that's notwhat I'm saying, I get it, I
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  • understand it.
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  • What that word forget literallymeans is, "Not to be influenced
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  • by it, not to be affected byit," let me give an example.
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  • God says, in the book of Isaiah,"I, even I, am he who blots out
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  • your transgressions, for my ownsake, and remembers your sins
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  • no more."
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  • Now that doesn't mean that allof a sudden God gets spiritual
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  • amnesia, I mean that doesn'tmean all of a sudden God
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  • develops a bad memory.
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  • What God means is, yeah, I knowwhat you did in the past, I know
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  • how you messed up, I know howyou wish you could do things
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  • over, I know all the regrets youhave, but here's what God says.
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  • I am not gonna allow that toaffect our relationship in the
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  • present, and I'm not going toallow that to affect our
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  • fellowship in the future.
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  • There's some things we need toforget about, can I just tell
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  • you two things we need toforget?
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  • One I've already mentioned, weneed to forget our past
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  • failures, our past mistakes,okay, there are things you
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  • didn't do you wish you'd havedone, I get it.
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  • Okay, there are things you didthat you wish you had not done
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  • and things you didn't do youwish you had, I get it, okay.
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  • Look, confess them, repent ofthem, learn from them, make
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  • amends for them but then moveon, don't stay stuck in the
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  • mire, in the quicksand of thepast.
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  • But I think there's some of you,you got a bigger problem, it's
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  • not that you haven't forgot yourpast failures, some of us need
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  • to forget our past successes'cause it doesn't matter how
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  • well you did yesterday, today'sanother day.
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  • Us preachers, we preachers havea saying, "Sunday's coming."
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  • You know what I know about you?
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  • Those of you that were here lastweek, I hope you enjoyed the
  • 00:08:31.993 --> 00:08:34.629
  • sermon, I know what you'resaying, I don't even remember
  • 00:08:34.663 --> 00:08:35.964
  • what you preached, that's okay,neither do I. But I know some of
  • 00:08:35.997 --> 00:08:40.101
  • you were touched, I got a lot ofemails and texts and, "Yo man,
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  • that was--" I had one lady tellme, I've been a pastor since she
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  • was a little girl, she's inprobably her mid to late
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  • thirties, she told me the otherday, I was at the dentist
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  • office, she said, "I believelast Sunday's the greatest
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  • sermon I've ever heard youpreach."
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  • And I appreciate that and that'sall well and that's all good but
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  • you know what, I better bring ittoday.
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  • If I'd gotten up here today andsaid, "You know what, last
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  • Sunday's sermon was so goodwe're gonna watch a rerun," you
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  • wouldn't be too happy aboutthat; you didn't come for last
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  • Sunday, you came for today.
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  • I've got to forget pastvictories, I gotta get over
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  • that, you know, yesterday'svictory doesn't mean anything
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  • for today's game.
  • 00:09:16.671 --> 00:09:18.173
  • Three of the saddest words I'llhear people say and I've heard
  • 00:09:18.206 --> 00:09:20.475
  • them say it all my ministry, canI tell you the three saddest
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  • words is when people say this,"I used to."
  • 00:09:22.711 --> 00:09:29.584
  • I used to regularly attendworship, I used to serve in my
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  • church, I used to go on missiontrips, I used to share my faith,
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  • I used to support my churchfinancially, I used to read my
  • 00:09:43.965 --> 00:09:48.536
  • Bible, I used to spend time withthe Lord in prayer, I used to do
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  • all those things, and you knowwhat a used up person is?
  • 00:09:54.909 --> 00:09:59.247
  • A used up person is a person whosays, "I used to," and what we
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  • must all learn is this.
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  • We learn from the past, we livein the present but we look to
  • 00:10:08.123 --> 00:10:12.927
  • the future, and that's exactlywhat Paul said, he says, which
  • 00:10:12.961 --> 00:10:15.897
  • means, by the way, to the nextstep.
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  • If you want to keep your eyes onthe prize, if you want to make
  • 00:10:18.833 --> 00:10:21.436
  • every day count maximum, youwant to get the biggest bang for
  • 00:10:21.469 --> 00:10:24.739
  • your buck, Paul says okay,number one, you gotta forget
  • 00:10:24.773 --> 00:10:28.143
  • what is behind you.
  • 00:10:28.176 --> 00:10:29.477
  • Then he says number two, yougotta focus on what is before
  • 00:10:29.511 --> 00:10:32.747
  • you, you gotta focus on what isbefore you.
  • 00:10:32.781 --> 00:10:36.384
  • Now Paul has put his past whereit belongs in the rearview
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  • mirror, he has put his presentwhere it belongs, it belongs on
  • 00:10:39.354 --> 00:10:43.458
  • the windshield, and then Paulgives us the secret to what
  • 00:10:43.491 --> 00:10:46.695
  • we've got to do every day ifwe're gonna get the most out of
  • 00:10:46.728 --> 00:10:49.564
  • that day and that day is goingto get the most out of us, so
  • 00:10:49.597 --> 00:10:51.866
  • listen to what he says.
  • 00:10:51.900 --> 00:10:53.201
  • He says, "Brothers or sisters, Ido not consider myself yet to
  • 00:10:53.234 --> 00:10:56.104
  • have taken hold of it, but," nowlisten to these four words, this
  • 00:10:56.137 --> 00:10:59.240
  • is big, "One thing I do."
  • 00:10:59.274 --> 00:11:07.449
  • Two words, Paul says hey, youwant to be ordinary or you want
  • 00:11:07.482 --> 00:11:12.087
  • to be super ordinary?
  • 00:11:12.120 --> 00:11:15.824
  • You want to be average or youwant to be way above average?
  • 00:11:15.857 --> 00:11:21.830
  • Paul says okay, two words makeall the difference and those two
  • 00:11:21.863 --> 00:11:24.399
  • words are, "One thing," "Onething."
  • 00:11:24.432 --> 00:11:28.770
  • You say, "Well why is 'Onething' such a big-big deal?"
  • 00:11:28.803 --> 00:11:34.876
  • Because anybody knows, thesecret to power is
  • 00:11:34.909 --> 00:11:38.513
  • concentration, you can take aswamp, you can take a bog, but
  • 00:11:38.546 --> 00:11:44.886
  • if you can concentrate it, ifyou can channel that swamp in
  • 00:11:44.919 --> 00:11:47.856
  • one direction into a riverthat's flowing, it can become a
  • 00:11:47.889 --> 00:11:52.060
  • tremendous source of electricenergy.
  • 00:11:52.093 --> 00:11:56.431
  • Decades ago, we discoveredsomething about light, if you
  • 00:11:56.464 --> 00:12:00.268
  • can take the power of just lightand concentrate that power in
  • 00:12:00.301 --> 00:12:04.339
  • such a way it becomes a laserbeam you could cut through
  • 00:12:04.372 --> 00:12:06.508
  • steel, it's just concentration.
  • 00:12:06.541 --> 00:12:11.646
  • So the point of the matter is,the key to making sure that
  • 00:12:11.679 --> 00:12:14.582
  • you're making a difference andthe key to make sure that your
  • 00:12:14.616 --> 00:12:16.718
  • life is really counting isyou've gotta set at least one
  • 00:12:16.751 --> 00:12:19.888
  • goal; however, listen now, ithas to be the right goal.
  • 00:12:19.921 --> 00:12:24.159
  • So now we get to the question,so what was the one thing Paul
  • 00:12:24.192 --> 00:12:27.962
  • was seeking, what was that onething?
  • 00:12:27.996 --> 00:12:29.764
  • Well he tells us, "I press ontoward the goal to win the prize
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  • for which God has called meheavenward in Christ Jesus."
  • 00:12:37.839 --> 00:12:43.611
  • Now, the Greek word there forgoal is the word skopos, we get
  • 00:12:43.645 --> 00:12:46.981
  • the word telescope from that, itliterally means, "To fix your
  • 00:12:47.015 --> 00:12:50.485
  • eyes on a very small target."
  • 00:12:50.518 --> 00:12:53.755
  • Paul said I get up every day andI focus, like that laser beam I
  • 00:12:53.788 --> 00:12:58.092
  • talked about, I'm focusing likea laser beam on this one single
  • 00:12:58.126 --> 00:13:03.331
  • thing, this one prize, well whatwas that?
  • 00:13:03.364 --> 00:13:07.702
  • Well he says it's, "What God hascalled me heavenward to do,"
  • 00:13:07.735 --> 00:13:12.640
  • well what is that?
  • 00:13:12.674 --> 00:13:15.777
  • Well it's easy, God has calledevery one of us to accomplish a
  • 00:13:15.810 --> 00:13:21.249
  • primary goal, one primary goal,and if you will accomplish this
  • 00:13:21.282 --> 00:13:26.554
  • one goal in your life on a dailybasis let me tell you what
  • 00:13:26.588 --> 00:13:29.858
  • will happen.
  • 00:13:29.891 --> 00:13:31.426
  • You will maximize your influencein your home, in your family, in
  • 00:13:31.459 --> 00:13:37.565
  • your business, with yourfriends, in your neighborhood
  • 00:13:37.599 --> 00:13:42.704
  • and in every other area of yourlife.
  • 00:13:42.737 --> 00:13:45.173
  • This is the one thing Paul sayswe've got to see this is the
  • 00:13:45.206 --> 00:13:49.310
  • goal, this is the prize, here itis.
  • 00:13:49.344 --> 00:13:52.213
  • To know God and glorify him,that's the goal, to know God and
  • 00:13:52.247 --> 00:13:58.286
  • to glorify him.
  • 00:13:58.319 --> 00:13:59.654
  • No matter what other goals youachieve in life, it doesn't
  • 00:13:59.687 --> 00:14:02.257
  • matter, it doesn't matter howmany ladders you climb, it
  • 00:14:02.290 --> 00:14:05.026
  • doesn't matter how high youclimb them, if you leave this
  • 00:14:05.059 --> 00:14:08.796
  • life and you don't know God, ifyou leave this life and you did
  • 00:14:08.830 --> 00:14:13.101
  • not live for the glory of God ineverything you did and
  • 00:14:13.134 --> 00:14:16.170
  • everything you were, your lifewas a waste and you achieved the
  • 00:14:16.204 --> 00:14:23.578
  • wrong purpose, and you reachedthe wrong goal.
  • 00:14:23.611 --> 00:14:28.483
  • That means that every wakingmoment of every day you have on
  • 00:14:28.516 --> 00:14:31.552
  • this Earth you're not to dwellon the past, you're not to dread
  • 00:14:31.586 --> 00:14:36.190
  • the future, you devote yourselfto the present.
  • 00:14:36.224 --> 00:14:39.694
  • And you just say every day whenyou get out of your bed, "No
  • 00:14:39.727 --> 00:14:42.096
  • matter what else I'll do todayLord, I'm gonna know you, I'm
  • 00:14:42.130 --> 00:14:45.266
  • going to glorify you."
  • 00:14:45.300 --> 00:14:46.601
  • And when people talk to me Iwant them to know I know you,
  • 00:14:46.634 --> 00:14:49.938
  • when people watch how I live Iwant them to see your glory in
  • 00:14:49.971 --> 00:14:53.041
  • my life, that's what you'vegotta do.
  • 00:14:53.074 --> 00:14:55.076
  • Forget what is behind you, focuson what is before you.
  • 00:14:55.109 --> 00:15:02.784
  • And then Paul said when you dothat, then you can face what is
  • 00:15:02.817 --> 00:15:08.756
  • beyond you, then you can facewhat is beyond you.
  • 00:15:08.790 --> 00:15:13.161
  • Paul uses a word twice in thispassage to tell us how to face
  • 00:15:13.194 --> 00:15:16.531
  • the future, now remember, whenPaul wrote these words he wasn't
  • 00:15:16.564 --> 00:15:23.071
  • in the beach in Hawaii, hewasn't on a Disney Cruise, he
  • 00:15:23.104 --> 00:15:29.510
  • wasn't in a penthouse making amillion dollars a year as a CEO
  • 00:15:29.544 --> 00:15:32.246
  • of a big company.
  • 00:15:32.280 --> 00:15:33.681
  • When Paul wrote these words hewas in prison, I mean he didn't
  • 00:15:33.715 --> 00:15:38.152
  • even know what kind of future hehad if he even had one, he
  • 00:15:38.186 --> 00:15:41.756
  • didn't even know if there wouldbe a tomorrow for him but here's
  • 00:15:41.789 --> 00:15:45.059
  • what he says.
  • 00:15:45.093 --> 00:15:46.427
  • If there is a tomorrow for me,if there is, no matter what my
  • 00:15:46.461 --> 00:15:51.733
  • circumstances I know what I'mgoing to be doing, "I'm going to
  • 00:15:51.766 --> 00:15:56.070
  • press on to take hold for thatwhich Christ Jesus took hold
  • 00:15:56.104 --> 00:16:00.041
  • of me."
  • 00:16:00.074 --> 00:16:01.376
  • So he repeats, in verse 14, "Ipress on," I love that word, "I
  • 00:16:01.409 --> 00:16:05.580
  • press on toward the goal to winthe prize."
  • 00:16:05.613 --> 00:16:08.716
  • That word for, "Press on,"means, "To relentlessly pursue,"
  • 00:16:08.750 --> 00:16:12.520
  • you don't give up, 'causeremember I told you life is like
  • 00:16:12.553 --> 00:16:16.090
  • a race.
  • 00:16:16.124 --> 00:16:17.425
  • One of the reasons why I love toread the Apostle Paul, it's
  • 00:16:17.458 --> 00:16:19.394
  • pretty obvious when you readPaul, he loves sports, he loved
  • 00:16:19.427 --> 00:16:22.030
  • athletics, I love sports.
  • 00:16:22.063 --> 00:16:23.498
  • He was probably athletic, I waspretty athletic when I was
  • 00:16:23.531 --> 00:16:25.933
  • growing up and I've always lovedsports, I've always
  • 00:16:25.967 --> 00:16:28.569
  • loved athletics.
  • 00:16:28.603 --> 00:16:29.904
  • And so here's what Paul issaying, no matter how dark
  • 00:16:29.937 --> 00:16:33.908
  • tomorrow may look, no matter howdire my circumstances may be, no
  • 00:16:33.941 --> 00:16:42.250
  • matter how discouraging thingsmay appear, you know what I'm
  • 00:16:42.283 --> 00:16:46.287
  • going to do?
  • 00:16:46.320 --> 00:16:47.622
  • I'm going to keep running, I'mgonna keep heading toward that
  • 00:16:47.655 --> 00:16:51.926
  • finish line, I'm gonna keepgoing towards that goal.
  • 00:16:51.959 --> 00:16:55.430
  • I will not be deterred, I willnot be detoured, I will not be
  • 00:16:55.463 --> 00:16:59.500
  • distracted, I'm going to keep myeyes on the prize of knowing God
  • 00:16:59.534 --> 00:17:03.137
  • and glorifying him until I hitthe finish line of my life.
  • 00:17:03.171 --> 00:17:06.641
  • Now let me just say somethinghere and I don't mean to offend
  • 00:17:06.674 --> 00:17:09.010
  • anybody, I don't mean to makeyou feel guilty or anything like
  • 00:17:09.043 --> 00:17:11.079
  • that at all, and I wanna be verycareful how say what I'm about
  • 00:17:11.112 --> 00:17:13.548
  • to say.
  • 00:17:13.581 --> 00:17:14.916
  • But this is something that weall face sooner or later, I'll
  • 00:17:14.949 --> 00:17:16.484
  • be facing it one of these daysand so I just want to say a word
  • 00:17:16.517 --> 00:17:19.120
  • here 'cause I've got to say it.
  • 00:17:19.153 --> 00:17:22.557
  • I meet too many people andthey're kind of passed mid-age,
  • 00:17:22.590 --> 00:17:29.363
  • and I'll say to them, "So, whatare you thinking about, what do
  • 00:17:29.397 --> 00:17:32.200
  • you wanna do with your future?"
  • 00:17:32.233 --> 00:17:35.970
  • And they say four words,
  • 00:17:36.003 --> 00:17:42.310
  • "I want to retire," that's it?
  • 00:17:42.343 --> 00:17:51.085
  • "I want to retire," what theymean by that, it's kind of the
  • 00:17:51.119 --> 00:17:57.859
  • way we sugarcoat to say, "Youknow what I wanna do?
  • 00:17:57.892 --> 00:17:59.994
  • I wanna quit and do nothing," orthey'll say it like this, "I
  • 00:18:00.027 --> 00:18:06.200
  • want to finally be able to dowhat I want to do."
  • 00:18:06.234 --> 00:18:14.442
  • Read my lips, we oughta bespending every day doing what we
  • 00:18:14.475 --> 00:18:22.350
  • want to do because what we wantto do is what God wants us
  • 00:18:22.383 --> 00:18:26.287
  • to do.
  • 00:18:26.320 --> 00:18:27.655
  • So I spend every day of my lifedoing what I want to do, I don't
  • 00:18:27.688 --> 00:18:30.558
  • have to retire to do what I wantto do.
  • 00:18:30.591 --> 00:18:35.163
  • And see, for most people, andI'm just being honest, their
  • 00:18:35.196 --> 00:18:38.466
  • relationship with God nevershows up in their
  • 00:18:38.499 --> 00:18:40.768
  • retirement plan.
  • 00:18:40.801 --> 00:18:43.404
  • I want to tell you, if you're afollower of Jesus you should
  • 00:18:43.437 --> 00:18:46.874
  • never retire from being activelyinvolved in your church, you
  • 00:18:46.908 --> 00:18:51.879
  • should never ever retire frombeing involved in a small group,
  • 00:18:51.913 --> 00:18:56.784
  • you should never ever retirefrom being discipled and
  • 00:18:56.817 --> 00:18:59.754
  • discipling other people, youshould never ever retire from
  • 00:18:59.787 --> 00:19:03.391
  • serving your church some way,somehow; you should never ever
  • 00:19:03.424 --> 00:19:06.694
  • retire from being sent to theneighbors and being sent to
  • 00:19:06.727 --> 00:19:09.330
  • the nations.
  • 00:19:09.363 --> 00:19:11.265
  • Paul said, in effect, here, I amnot going to retire, I may
  • 00:19:11.299 --> 00:19:16.971
  • retool but I'm not going toretire, I'm not going to die
  • 00:19:17.004 --> 00:19:20.675
  • sitting and soaking, I'm goingto die standing and serving.
  • 00:19:20.708 --> 00:19:25.780
  • So that brings me to kind of theclimax of the message, here's my
  • 00:19:25.813 --> 00:19:28.316
  • question to you, to all of us.
  • 00:19:28.349 --> 00:19:31.052
  • We don't know how much lifewe're gonna have left, right?
  • 00:19:31.085 --> 00:19:33.321
  • we don't know.
  • 00:19:33.354 --> 00:19:34.989
  • What one thing are you gottafocus on the rest of your life,
  • 00:19:35.022 --> 00:19:40.328
  • what one are you gonna focus on?
  • 00:19:40.361 --> 00:19:41.829
  • I mean at the end of the day, atthe end of every day can I be,
  • 00:19:41.862 --> 00:19:44.098
  • let's just be honest, everysingle day we're going to focus
  • 00:19:44.131 --> 00:19:47.501
  • on one of two things, what wewant or what God wants; not hard
  • 00:19:47.535 --> 00:19:51.138
  • to figure that out.
  • 00:19:51.172 --> 00:19:52.907
  • We're gonna focus on what wewant or what God wants, and too
  • 00:19:52.940 --> 00:19:55.476
  • many people spend their lifemaking things instead of making
  • 00:19:55.509 --> 00:19:59.213
  • things count.
  • 00:19:59.247 --> 00:20:01.282
  • So here's my question, get realpractical, what would it mean
  • 00:20:01.315 --> 00:20:07.088
  • for you if today you made adecision, "Today, beginning
  • 00:20:07.121 --> 00:20:13.361
  • today, I'm going to focus mylife on this one thing, I'm
  • 00:20:13.394 --> 00:20:18.666
  • gonna focus my life, I want tomake it the drive of my life,
  • 00:20:18.699 --> 00:20:21.869
  • the desire of my life, thedetermination of my life.
  • 00:20:21.902 --> 00:20:24.672
  • I'm going to know God, know Godmore than I've ever known him,
  • 00:20:24.705 --> 00:20:27.041
  • know God better than I knew himyesterday and less than I know
  • 00:20:27.074 --> 00:20:29.543
  • him tomorrow.
  • 00:20:29.577 --> 00:20:30.911
  • I'm going to know God and I'mgoing to glorify him."
  • 00:20:30.945 --> 00:20:32.813
  • What would that mean?
  • 00:20:32.847 --> 00:20:34.181
  • Can I tell you, for some of you,for some of you it may mean for
  • 00:20:34.215 --> 00:20:38.986
  • the first time in your lifeyou're gonna read this book
  • 00:20:39.020 --> 00:20:41.122
  • every day.
  • 00:20:41.155 --> 00:20:44.659
  • Or for some of you it may mean,"I'm not gonna read it every
  • 00:20:44.692 --> 00:20:46.661
  • day, I'm gonna do something I'venever done, I'm going to read
  • 00:20:46.694 --> 00:20:48.129
  • the whole thing."
  • 00:20:48.162 --> 00:20:49.530
  • One of my goals I've had, I hadit this year, I'm reading my
  • 00:20:49.563 --> 00:20:52.199
  • Bible through this year; notbecause I'm a pastor, I did it
  • 00:20:52.233 --> 00:20:55.703
  • way before I became a pastor,'cause I know if I want to know
  • 00:20:55.736 --> 00:21:00.408
  • God I've got to read this bookand I know if I want to glorify
  • 00:21:00.441 --> 00:21:05.012
  • God he'll tell me how to do it,so I'm gonna do that.
  • 00:21:05.046 --> 00:21:08.616
  • For some of you, here's what itwould mean for you when you get
  • 00:21:08.649 --> 00:21:11.552
  • your eyes on the prize, you'regonna start managing your money
  • 00:21:11.585 --> 00:21:14.555
  • God's way, you're gonna quitrobbing God, you're gonna start
  • 00:21:14.588 --> 00:21:18.793
  • being faithful in investing inGod's work.
  • 00:21:18.826 --> 00:21:23.097
  • For some of you, you're gonnawake up and say, "You know, God
  • 00:21:23.130 --> 00:21:28.336
  • didn't put me here to be served,God put me here to serve, I'm
  • 00:21:28.369 --> 00:21:35.976
  • going to find a way to serve,I'm going to find a place to
  • 00:21:36.010 --> 00:21:37.945
  • serve God's church and God'speople."
  • 00:21:37.978 --> 00:21:40.614
  • For some of you it would mean,"I'm no longer going to practice
  • 00:21:40.648 --> 00:21:43.617
  • lone ranger Christianity, I'mgoing to get involved in a
  • 00:21:43.651 --> 00:21:46.220
  • group, a life group, a communitygroup, a small group where I can
  • 00:21:46.253 --> 00:21:49.223
  • help others grow and they canhelp me grow."
  • 00:21:49.256 --> 00:21:52.626
  • For some of you it's gonna mean,"You know what, I'm get serious
  • 00:21:52.660 --> 00:21:55.029
  • about this one business you keeptalking about, I'm going to
  • 00:21:55.062 --> 00:21:57.565
  • write down a name of a one, I'mgoing to have a one in my life
  • 00:21:57.598 --> 00:22:01.535
  • and I'm going to ask God thisyear to use me to bring that one
  • 00:22:01.569 --> 00:22:04.171
  • to a saving knowledge ofChrist."
  • 00:22:04.205 --> 00:22:06.273
  • That, you're going to say, "Thisis the prize, this is what I'm
  • 00:22:06.307 --> 00:22:09.243
  • going for."
  • 00:22:09.276 --> 00:22:12.680
  • So I want to close with this,y'all been great.
  • 00:22:12.713 --> 00:22:18.719
  • Last week, my book's coming outand I'll tell you about my book,
  • 00:22:18.753 --> 00:22:21.455
  • and I'm so excited my new book'scoming out on character,
  • 00:22:21.489 --> 00:22:23.457
  • "Characters Still Counts," it'scoming out next month.
  • 00:22:23.491 --> 00:22:27.595
  • So I had to drive downtown toAtlanta, Thursday and Friday, to
  • 00:22:27.628 --> 00:22:33.134
  • do the audio version of my book,you know what the difference is
  • 00:22:33.167 --> 00:22:38.272
  • between sitting in a soundproofbooth and reading every word of
  • 00:22:38.305 --> 00:22:42.877
  • something you've written all dayfor seven hours, and you can't
  • 00:22:42.910 --> 00:22:46.947
  • miss anything 'cause here yougot to go back and do it again?
  • 00:22:46.981 --> 00:22:49.717
  • Do you know what the differenceis between that and a Chinese
  • 00:22:49.750 --> 00:22:51.919
  • water torture?
  • 00:22:51.952 --> 00:22:53.287
  • Nothing.
  • 00:22:53.320 --> 00:22:59.059
  • But you know what I had toexperience?
  • 00:22:59.093 --> 00:23:00.528
  • What some of you have toexperience every Monday, had to
  • 00:23:00.561 --> 00:23:03.364
  • experience that traffic goingand coming, and I thought to
  • 00:23:03.397 --> 00:23:12.072
  • myself most of these peopledon't realize God did not put us
  • 00:23:12.106 --> 00:23:20.414
  • here to run the rat race.
  • 00:23:20.448 --> 00:23:23.818
  • God put us here to run the realrace, and the real race is his
  • 00:23:23.851 --> 00:23:27.855
  • race and the real prize is hisprize.
  • 00:23:27.888 --> 00:23:32.593
  • And he didn't put us here to runfor the approval of this world,
  • 00:23:32.626 --> 00:23:35.362
  • he put us here to run for hisglory, and the prize that we're
  • 00:23:35.396 --> 00:23:39.200
  • after is not the gold of thisworld, it is the glory of God;
  • 00:23:39.233 --> 00:23:42.770
  • and here's what Paul was saying.
  • 00:23:42.803 --> 00:23:44.371
  • When you get your eyes on theprize and you have that one goal
  • 00:23:44.405 --> 00:23:48.008
  • every day, "I'm going to knowGod, I'm going to give God
  • 00:23:48.042 --> 00:23:52.913
  • glory," I promise you this willbe true.
  • 00:23:52.947 --> 00:23:56.917
  • Every other piece of the puzzleof your life will fall
  • 00:23:56.951 --> 00:24:01.689
  • into place.
  • 00:24:01.722 --> 00:24:04.091
  • So I urge you, my wonderfulbrothers and sisters that I love
  • 00:24:04.124 --> 00:24:07.728
  • as a shepherd loves his sheep,life is too precious, too short.
  • 00:24:07.761 --> 00:24:17.304
  • It is too brief, to get to theend of your life, and you're
  • 00:24:17.338 --> 00:24:22.977
  • kinda like Rocky, and I've beenthere and I ran those steps and
  • 00:24:23.010 --> 00:24:27.248
  • I did that deal, and you get tothe top of the steps and you're
  • 00:24:27.281 --> 00:24:32.152
  • jumping and you've got yourhands, and you say, "I made it
  • 00:24:32.186 --> 00:24:36.724
  • to the top of the ladder," onlyto realize too late, it was
  • 00:24:36.757 --> 00:24:43.464
  • leaning against a long wall.
  • 00:24:43.497 --> 00:24:47.568
  • Keep your eyes on the prize.
  • 00:24:47.601 --> 00:24:52.473
  • male announcer: To watch anextended version of today's
  • 00:24:52.506 --> 00:24:54.375
  • message from Dr. James Merritt,go to TouchingLives.org.
  • 00:24:54.408 --> 00:24:58.445
  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:24:59.146 --> 00:25:04.552
  • James Merritt: Big question,have you and your spouse been
  • 00:25:04.585 --> 00:25:06.220
  • spending more time together thanyou thought possible these last
  • 00:25:06.253 --> 00:25:08.956
  • few months?
  • 00:25:08.989 --> 00:25:10.291
  • You have no doubt learned morethings about each other, both
  • 00:25:10.324 --> 00:25:12.493
  • good and bad.
  • 00:25:12.526 --> 00:25:14.028
  • Let's celebrate marriage, getaway for a time of renewal in
  • 00:25:14.061 --> 00:25:17.131
  • our relationships.
  • 00:25:17.164 --> 00:25:18.499
  • I want you to join me, and mybeautiful wife, Teresa, as we
  • 00:25:18.532 --> 00:25:21.602
  • head to Gatlinburg, Tennessee,next spring, to host the
  • 00:25:21.635 --> 00:25:24.371
  • Reignite Marriage Retreat.
  • 00:25:24.405 --> 00:25:26.373
  • We'll start on Thursday night,March 25th, and finish by noon
  • 00:25:26.407 --> 00:25:29.543
  • on Saturday, March 27th, theentire weekend will take place
  • 00:25:29.577 --> 00:25:33.480
  • at the Mills Auditorium in theGatlinburg Convention Center.
  • 00:25:33.514 --> 00:25:37.585
  • We'll spend time in the Word ofGod learning about marriage,
  • 00:25:37.618 --> 00:25:41.221
  • we'll laugh a lot as comedian,Tim Loveless, entertains us, and
  • 00:25:41.255 --> 00:25:44.858
  • we will leave refreshed andrenewed in our marriages.
  • 00:25:44.892 --> 00:25:48.329
  • The Reignite Marriage Retreatwill have very limited
  • 00:25:48.362 --> 00:25:50.898
  • availability, you can visitTouchingLives.org for all the
  • 00:25:50.931 --> 00:25:54.768
  • details and to purchase tickets.
  • 00:25:54.802 --> 00:25:57.371
  • Thanks for watching thebroadcast today, I hope to see
  • 00:25:57.404 --> 00:26:00.140
  • you in March in Gatlinburg, forthe Reignite Marriage Retreat.
  • 00:26:00.174 --> 00:26:04.712
  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:26:04.745 --> 00:26:14.755
  • James Merritt: I have a questionfor you and it's a tough one.
  • 00:26:15.823 --> 00:26:17.791
  • Are you moreconcerned with your outward
  • 00:26:17.825 --> 00:26:19.960
  • image than with your innerqualities?
  • 00:26:19.994 --> 00:26:22.930
  • Most everybody struggles withthis question, myself included,
  • 00:26:22.963 --> 00:26:25.766
  • because we've been told, "Imageis everything," and this got me
  • 00:26:25.799 --> 00:26:28.802
  • to thinking and eventually ledme to write a book on the
  • 00:26:28.836 --> 00:26:31.071
  • subject of character.
  • 00:26:31.105 --> 00:26:32.873
  • You see, your reputation is whatothers think is true about you,
  • 00:26:32.906 --> 00:26:35.876
  • but your character is who youreally are on the inside; when
  • 00:26:35.909 --> 00:26:40.080
  • it's all said and done, it'syour character that counts.
  • 00:26:40.114 --> 00:26:43.651
  • I wanna invite you to order yourcopy of my new book, "Character
  • 00:26:43.684 --> 00:26:47.287
  • Still Counts," today, and beginto invest your life into what
  • 00:26:47.321 --> 00:26:50.691
  • matters most, your character.
  • 00:26:50.724 --> 00:26:53.127
  • Go to TouchingLives.org to orderyour copy of "Character Still
  • 00:26:53.160 --> 00:26:56.497
  • Counts" today, and rememberthis.
  • 00:26:56.530 --> 00:26:58.732
  • When you die, your reputationwill be gone forever, but
  • 00:26:58.766 --> 00:27:01.468
  • character will stick with youfor all eternity.
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • male announcer: Touching thelives of the lost and enriching
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  • the faith of the sound, this is"Touching Lives"
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  • with Dr. James Merritt.
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  • This broadcast is made possibleby the grace of God and your
  • 00:27:23.290 --> 00:27:26.527
  • faithful prayers and gifts.
  • 00:27:26.560 --> 00:27:28.495
  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:27:28.529 --> 00:27:30.164