Winning the Race
Have you ever won a prize before?
Have you ever come first place at something?
Are you really good at something and often get lots of praise for it?
So was Paul!
Paul was brilliant at many things in his life. He was very popular, lived in a great area, had plenty of money and life was good. But… he didn’t believe in Jesus. In fact, he was really nasty about Jesus and said and did horrible things to people who did believe in him.
Thankfully, one day God spoke to Paul and blinded him for 3 DAYS!! But after 3 days, Paul saw the light. The light of day and the light of Jesus.
From then on, Paul decided to spend as much time as he possibly could with God. He wanted to understand Him. So he fasted, prayed, and listened – sometimes all night long!!
Once Paul knew God he wanted to tell everyone!!!
His friends, his family, people on the street, and even people he’d never met before. He would travel around as many places as he could and write as many letters as he could. He also made sure he told people who didn’t want to hear about it- brave move!
People got annoyed at Paul for talking about Jesus ALL the time—so they threw him in jail! Instead of moaning and grumbling or feeling sad, Paul saw it as a brilliant opportunity to tell more people about Jesus and rejoiced in this blessing!
They even threw rocks at him! But he was so focussed on Gods calling in his life he forgave them and carried on.
It’s nice to be good at something and get lots of praise, isn’t it? We all like it when someone says well done or notices when we do something well. It’s really important to encourage one another.
God gave us our talents and dreams, he wants us to thrive and always try our best. But he also wants us to remember that He is our prize. Our greatest aim and ambition is to please and love our God. Our biggest need is a fully restored relationship with God. Paul really understood this which is why he found joy when he was thrown in prison.
Think of all the things you are good at.
Think of things your friends and family are good at.
God blesses us with our gifts and talents and we must celebrate them.
Sometimes we can get carried away and become too focused on the things we are good at and forget about God. Sometimes we can boast about ourselves and how good we are instead of boasting about God.
What do you think humble means?
This is something Paul was very good at. As we know, Paul was good at many many things but he never boasted about it. Humble means not boasting and showing off about the things we are good at.
Help us to celebrate our gifts our talents but also to stay humble and only boast about you God.
Thank you for sending Paul to teach us that the prize only worth winning is you.
Help us to keep our eyes fixed on you and to keep focused on Gods calling in our lives.
Why not play prisons and guards this week? you might like to build a big prison with pillows and blankets in your living room. Take it in turns to be Paul and the prison guard.
If you are Paul then talk about Jesus NONE STOP…without taking a breath! And remember Paul was probably overly joyful.
If you’re the prison guard then you could say ‘Sshhh’, roll your eyes, or make grumbling noises! You might also be confused why there’s such a happy man in prison?
Use your imagination and have fun!