When I was 17, I and another friend of mine took ourcars to a drag strip about 20 miles or so from our home. After arriving weentered our cars and the official put them in a class according to the car.When it came my time to drag race down the ¼ mile strip I was excited; I pulledup to the line and watched the lights. Then off the line I came, racing downthe strip as fast as my vehicle would go with the fans watching. I crossed thefinished line a winner, and on that day I received a trophy for the fastest carin my class.  Now I know that you areexcited about hearing my drag strip story but like Paul Harvey always said atthe end of his broadcast “now you know the rest of the story.” So I must tellyou the rest of the story. Yes, it’s true I took my car to the drag strip andyes, it’s true that I won in my class, and yes, it’s true that I received atrophy. I just didn’t tell everything that went along with what really happenedthat day. The only reason I won and the only reason I received a trophy wasthat I was the only car that day racing in my class. It’s always easy to winwhen there is no competition. That was the only day in my life that I can everremember that there was no competition. When I went to get a job, there wassomeone else wanting the same job, that’s competition. When I played baseballthere was someone else waiting and wanting to play my position, that’scompetition. The Apostle Paul talked about fighting and running a race. Now inboth of these events there is a winner but I want you see how Paul talks aboutthese events.
2Timothy 4:7  I have fought a goodfight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
2Timothy 4:8  Henceforth there islaid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge,shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that lovehis appearing. What I noticed was the ending of this fight. He said thathe had fought a good fight, so this means that Paul was definitely in a fight.Then Paul says that he finished his course and that he kept the faith. Now Pauldidn’t say that he had won the fight but that he had fought a good fight. ApparentlyPaul was a winner for he speaks of the crown that the righteous Judge was goingto give him; so Paul, unlike I had some competition. Then He talks about a raceand runner.
Hebrews 12:1  Wherefore seeing wealso are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay asideevery weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us runwith patience the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesusthe author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was setbefore him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the righthand of the throne of God. Paul speaks of a runner laying aside theweight that would hinder them in this race. He then says with that done therunner needs to look at the finish line which is Jesus Christ, but we see thesame here. It’s not the winning of the race that’s important. It’s aboutgetting rid of the weight that will hold you back or hinder you from doing yourbest in the race. It’s not the finish line but the one at the finish line that’simportant and that the runner is to have their eyes on.  While drag racing my car it didn’t matter howfast I went down that track or the time it took me to do it, for I was a winnerno matter how fast or slow. Paul is telling us that there is a fight and youcan fight a good fight or not. You can run a good race or not but just rememberthat there are going to be some awards so how you fight or run is totally up to you.
1Corinthains 3:11  For other foundationcan no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Corinthains 3:12  Now if any man buildupon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Corinthains 3:13  Every man’s workshall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall berevealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Corinthains 3:14  If any man’s workabide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Corinthains 3:15  If any man’s workshall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so asby fire.