"Winning the Prize"
“Winning the Prize”
If you were told you could win a brand new car with all the bells and whistles and all you had to do was to follow the rules of the road for one year, do you think you could do it? What if you were told if you ate an apple a day for five years and you would never get cancer, could you do it? On both accounts I think everyone who heard about this offer would be able to do it. The first catch is you have to know the offer exists. But how would you know about it? The best way is to hear from a reliable source such as a friend, a reliable publication and even from a stranger who you have no reason to disbelieve. You just have to know and believe the offer is true. But how do you believe the offer if you know of no one who has won the prize. This could be the most difficult part of the offer, believing that something is true when there is no tangible proof. Has the person or publication a reliable source? Do they have a reputation of always telling the truth or how about always telling lies? Are they wishy-washy in what they say or have they always told the truth? What do others say about these sources, do others always believe these sources? If you believe the offer and believe the truth is being told, what’s next? If you want the car you must quit speeding, you have to stop at all the stop signs. And if you want to be cancer free you have to eat an apple every day even though you prefer bananas or peaches. Then what? You have to sign up to win the prize. You have to let someone know you have started the process; you need a witness to verify this. You then need to sign on the dotted line and finish what you started or you don’t win, you lose.Sound familiar? Why then is it so difficult to win the greatest prize ever offered to mankind? That prize is eternal life living in Heaven above in the company of God, the Son of Man, and the Holy Spirit. And with the greatest of all who have ever walked the face of the earth.
Like the offers for the car and to be cancer free, there are requirements for all. In the scriptures we can find everything we need to know how to win the greatest prize of all. In the book of Acts we read of the Ethiopian who desired this prize. We begin in Acts 8:26 and read through to the end of the chapter. 26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:
“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”[a]
34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”[b]
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
In these verses we find everything we need, we first hear the word of God and you have to desire and believe in the prize. You have to change you habits replacing the old and the bad with new and good habits…ones that will enable you to achieve your goal of winning this prize. As in signing on the dotted line for the new car you must be baptized to seal the deal and to begin you your new way of life. After this you must remain faithful with joy in your heart. Even though it will not be an easy task at times you must not have a sad or grudging heart or you are sure to fail. In Acts 8:39 we read again about the Ethiopian 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
Do you desire the prize? Do you have what it takes to win the prize? If so you need to LET SOMEONE KNOW! You can call the publication this article is in and we will make this a priority getting you to someone who can help you immediately. You can also call anyone at your local ‘church of Christ’ and they too will help for there is nothing more important than to bring someone to God and save their eternal soul. Please call and leave a message any time day or night and we will get back to you or we all fail.
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