SECRET 5
November 22

Finishing Strong

THIS STORY TOOK PLACE ON WHAT WE CALL NOW PALM SUNDAY

THE SUNDAY BEFORE JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED.

5 DAYS BEFORE THE FINISH LINE

 

JESUS COULD HAVE SAID… “I’M TIRED”  OR   “I’VE CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT CRUCIFIXION”

BUT HE PUSHED ON THROUGH TO THE FINISH LINE

 

HE COULD HAVE GIVEN IN TO THE ADULATION OF “THE CROWD”  VER. 8,9,11

 

THE CROWD WANTED JESUS TO GO ANOTHER DIRECTION…

SOME PEOPLE LIVE FOR THE CROWD

THEY LIVE FOR THE RECOGNITION OF THE CROWD

FOR THEM… IT IS THE FINISH LINE

 

NOT JESUS…  HE SAW THE FINISH LINE AS COMPLETING WHAT GOD HAD CALLED HIM TO DO.

 

PAT TILLMAN

 

RIGHT AFTER THE TERRIBLE EVENTS OF 9-11, TWO YOUNG MEN ENLISTED IN THE ARMY TO DEFEND THE FREEDOMS OF OUR COUNTRY.

 

THESE TWO YOUNG MEN WERE BROTHERS… PAT AND KEVIN TILLMAN.

 

THE TILLMAN BROTHERS FELT A HIGHER CALLING IN LIFE.

PAT WAS THE STARTING STRONG SAFETY FOR THE ARIZONA CARDINALS.

KEVIN HAD JUST SIGNED TO PLAY MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WITH THE CLEVELAND INDIANS.

 

THEY BOTH TOOK OVER A 99% CUT IN PAY…

 

THEY FELT CALLED TO LAY ASIDE A LIFE OF PRIVILEGE AND DEFEND THE COUNTRY THAT HAD ALLOWED HIM TO SUCCEED.

 

THEY HAD A 2ND MILE MENTALITY… THERE ARE GREATER THINGS TO ACHIEVE.

 

THE “CROWD” HAD A PLAN FOR THESE BROTHERS… BUT IT WASN’T THEIR CALLING…

 

THE “CROWD” HAD A PLAN FOR JESUS… BUT IT WASN’T GOD’S PLAN.

 

DOES THE “CROWD” HAVE A PLAN FOR YOU?

IS IT GOD’S PLAN?   CONFLICT?

 

WE EACH HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE:

WE CAN FOCUS ON THE “PAIN” OF THE 2ND MILE OR…

WE CAN FOCUS ON THE “GAINS” OF THE 2ND MILE

 

BECAUSE OF THE PAIN AND SACRIFICES OF THE TILLMAN BROTHERS AND THOUSANDS LIKE THEM, WE ARE SAFE.

BECAUSE OF THE PAIN OF JESUS, WE HAVE GAINED SALVATION.

 

THREE THINGS JESUS DID THE FINISH WELL:

 

1. HE USED PROPHECY AS A MILE MARKER.

 

Zechariah 9:9 
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. 

JESUS DIDN’T LOOK AT THIS ONE PROPHECY AND SAY “OK I’M THROUGH NOW”

IT WAS A MILE MARKER OF MANY PROPHECIES

 

HE LOOKED PAST IT TO THE PROPHECY OF ISAIAH

Isaiah 53:4-5
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 

JESUS DIDN’T ALLOW THE PREDICTIONS OF OTHERS TO ALTER HIS COURSE IN THE 2ND MILE.

 

WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF PREDICTIONS:

 

JULIAS FRONTINUS, ROMAN CAESARS ENGINEER,  A.D. 100

“INVENTIONS HAVE LONG SINCE REACHED THEIR LIMIT AND I SEE NO HOPE FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT”

 

JOHN ERICKSON,  SURGEON FOR QUEEN VICTORIA,  1873

“THE ABDOMEN, THE CHEST, AND THE BRAIN WILL FOREVER BE SHUT FROM THE INTRUSION OF THE WISE AND HUMANE SURGEON”

 

JOURNALIST JUNIUS BROWNE,  1893

“LAW WILL BE SIMPLIFIED. LAWYERS WILL BE DIMINISHED AND THEIR FEES WILL BE CURTAILED”

 

BOB METCALFE, INFOWORLD,  1995

“I PREDICT THE INTERNET WILL GO SUPERNOVA THIS YEAR BUT THEN COLLAPSE NEXT YEAR… 1996”

 

KEEP RUNNING TOWARDS GOD’S PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE REGARDLESS OF THE PREDICTIONS OF OTHERS…

 

JESUS SMILED AT THE CROWD BUT JUST KEPT ON GOING.

 

2. JESUS RAN THROUGH THE PARADE.

 

THIS CROWD WAS HONORING JESUS AS A “MAN OF GOD”…

A MAN WHO WOULD RID THEM OF ROMAN OCCUPATION.

THEY DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIM AS THE “SON OF GOD”.

 

ON SUNDAY, THEY CRIED “HOSANNA”

ON FRIDAY, THEY CRID “CRUCIFY HIM”!

 

JESUS JUST KEPT ON RUNNING TOWARD THE FINISH LINE…

ONE MORE WEEK TO GO!

 

HE DIDN’T LET THE PARADE OF PEOPLE DISTRACT HIM FROM GOD’S WILL.

 

TODAY, THERE’S A LONG LINE OF DISTRACTIONS THAT WE HAVE TO RUN PAST.

 

3. JESUS RAN PAST THE PRAISE

 

COMMANDER JOE ROCHEFORT

 

RIGHT AFTER THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR, JOE ROCHEFORT WHO WAS STATIONED IN OAHU, STARTED TRYING TO UNLOCK THE MYSTERY OF THE JAPANESE COMMUNICATION CODES.

 

HE DISCOVERED JAPANS PLAN TO ATTACK MIDWAY ON JUNE 3, 1942

BECAUSE OF JOE ROCHEFORT, THE JAPANESE SUFFERED THEIR FIRST DEFEAT IN 350 YRS.

 

JAPAN LOST 4 CARRIERS, 2,500 MEN, 322 AIRCRAFT… TURNING POINT OF THE WAR.

 

INTELLIGENCE MEN IN WASHINGTON TOOK THE CREDIT.

 

YEARS LATER IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT JOE ROCHEFORT WAS THE ONE WHO BROKE THEIR CODES.  HE WAS NEVER AWARDED PROPERLY.

 

BUT PRAISE WASN’T WHAT JOE WAS AFTER.

HIS ATTITUDE WAS DISPLAYED IN A SIGN THAT HE ALWAYS KEPT ON HIS DESK:

“WE CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING, PROVIDING NO ONE CARES WHO GETS THE CREDIT”

 

THAT WAS THE ATTITUDE THAT WON MIWDAY… THE WAR.

 

THAT WAS JESUS’ ATTITUDE… HE HAD TO WIN OUR SALVATION AND HE RAN THROUGH THE PRAISE OF THIS FICKLE CROWD.

 

CONLUSIONS:

HOW ARE RUNNING?

ARE YOU FOCUSED ON GOD’S PLAN…. THE FINISH LINE?

OR THE FOCUS OF THE CROWD, THE PRAISE OF MAN… POPULARITY…

 

FOCUS ON THE “GAINS” NOT THE “PAIN” OF THE 2ND MILE.