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*The Climb of a Lifetime*
*Psalm 24:3-4**, Romans 8:18*
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*        *It’s that time of the season when teams begin to separate themselves from the pack.
The contenders pull away from the pretenders.
The men are separated from the boys.
Some already have their eyes set on the prize some are just starting out on the climb.
Our Christian walk is much the same in that we experience a climb of sorts.
A lot can happen on your journey with the Lord and it usually does.
I liken the journey with the Lord as an uphill climb or better yet, your life with Christ is;
*The Climb of a Lifetime*
Psalms 24 reads;
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*Psalm 24*
*3*Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
*4*Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.
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Now at first glance you may read that scripture and think well I guess I won’t be climbing this mountain of the Lord.
If our hands and hearts aren’t pure we won’t be going anywhere.
If that first glance is true than I won’t be climbing this mountain either.
That’s why the word of God is good news, no matter where in the Bible you read, you always read it in view of the whole of scripture.
The good news being that the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed our hands and given us pure hearts.
It’s Jesus that has made a way for us to, “stand in his holy place.”
David wrote this Psalm probably after moving the Ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom back to Jerusalem.
The captured Ark was previously held for 7 months by the Philistines who didn’t want it because it brought plagues and tumors killing their people.
The priests mishandled the Ark grabbing hold of it to keep it from falling which brought death.
It’s as if nobody could touch what the people of Israel believed housed the very presence of God, without suffering death.
We also wouldn’t be able to come close to God without the Great King himself Jesus Christ.
He has deemed us worthy to approach the climb up the mountain of the Lord! 
Receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior makes you a climber, /someone who is willing to scale the highest /heights/ and suffer through some falls on their way to the summit of the Lord/.
There is only one other option for someone who doesn’t want to climb; valley dwelling.
I want to encourage you because you’ve chosen to worship today.
You have acknowledged that God is praiseworthy.
You have identified a continued need for the cleansing of Jesus Christ.
You are a climber fit to draw near to God.
This Christian walk you are on is like a climb so I want to encourage you today to keep climbing.
/ I want to talk to you today about 3 treasures you’ll experience on your climb./
Brothers if you have come to the mountain of the Lord looking to escape the problems in life great, just know this; the climb of a lifetime is more than just a way out it’s a way in.
Faith in the creator is not a quick fix for what ails you in life.
The First thing you’ll notice on your climb;
They’ll be some of the *Best People You’ll Ever Meet*
* There are millions on this journey, from all walks of life, etc., they’ve started out at differing seasons of life, some young, old, successful, destitute, imprisoned, etc., some have just started climbing some have been climbing for a while
* One thing they have in common is their aptitude for altitude, they want to come to know and grow in Jesus Christ, they no longer want to dwell in the valley, they have committed to Christ
* they have decided to snatch off the “rear-view mirror” of their lives to move forward with the other climbers, they H82BAVG in their walk
* They have left the pretenders behind, they are no longer a slave to the flesh, they are obedient to Christ
Make no mistake; know that these people are climbing because they know they are imperfect.
They are going to slip and fall and at times look very much like the “valley dweller” they used to be.
What keeps us going is that inherently we know we are different in many ways (we have the nature of the Father) from those who are content in the valley.
* Don’t look back look beside you.
God has placed other people on this climb with you.
There is a friend, someone beside you, when you are weak, who is a little bit stronger and a bit more courageous to help you look to the summit.
There are people climbing this MOL with you, you are not alone!
A man is walking down the street one day when he falls into a hole.
He cries out for help to everyone that passes his way, and the first man to pass by is a rich man.
He thinks to himself, he’s rich and so because of his wealth, he can help this man.
He walks over to the hole, pulls out a $50 bill, throws it down to the man, and shouts, "Buy yourself a ladder!" and walks on.
Well, that doesn’t get the man out of the hole.
\\ \\ The second person to pass by is a Christian.
He thinks to himself, he’s a righteous man of God and because of that, he can help me out.
So, the christian walks over to the hole, says a prayer for the man, calls down, "See you in church!" and walks on.
Well, that doesn’t get the man out either.
\\ \\ Finally, the man’s friend walks by.
The man in the hole calls out, "Hey, Joe, it’s me!
It’s Bob, can you help me out?" So, his friend, Joe, walks over to the hole and jumps down in with the man.
The man is astonished.
"What did you do that for?
Now, we’re both stuck down in this hole!" \\ "I jumped down," Joe replied, "because I’ve been here before, and I know the way out."
Hold on; when you think things look like you won’t be able get out of the mess you’ve gotten yourself into, hold on.
God is sending a friend to help you continue on your climb up the MOL.
They are people who have a commitment 2 seeing you climb and grow in Christ and there’s someone else who’s relying on you as well to pull them out of their proverbial “hole”.
There’s another thing you’ll experience on this climb of a lifetime up the MOL, as you ascend; *The View Gets Better*
The first treasure is people and the second is perspective;
·        As you gain altitude on your journey with the Lord things begin to look differently.
·        Death doesn’t have the same sting because a climber through Christ, knows that death has met its match
·        Difficulties don’t send you reeling like they used to because you can see the best of even a bad situation
·        As we grow in Christ our perspective on life begins to take on a new vantage point, we saw with tunnel vision now we see the big picture, we’ve been given a panoramic view
People may be able to afford the finer things in life, the field seats at the game.
But the perspective you gain as you climb this MOL is priceless.
You forego the best the world has to offer for a view through eternity’s eyes!
·        Our circumstances as Christians may not change but if you’re a climber on the MOL you’ll be able to see beyond those circumstances.
That’s the view Paul had in Romans 8:18 when he writes, “...what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”
One of the things that keeps us in our word keeps us striving keeps us climbing this MOL is; /What’s at the Top/.
Every athlete wants to know what its like to be at the top, to have the best season, play the best game, call the perfect plays, say the perfect thing.
Your perspective in life gets better when we see that God has his best in store for me, in the end it’ll be Himself, in all His Glory!
You’ll experience the treasure of people the fresh new perspective on life and lastly you will experience the treasure of  potential.
* *
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* *
·        A mountain climber knows that there’s nothing like the greatest mountains to show you what you’re made of, Mt.
Everest, K2, Denali have all demanded something and tested some aspect of its climbers along the way.
·        Climbing the MOL will test your character your self discipline and ultimately your faith so that it can build your faith into something useful.
On this part of the mountain the weather sometimes changes drastically, the air up here is a little different and if you’re not looking at the world with spiritual eyes you’ll be tempted to give in.
·        Through great victories, unexpected challenges and many hardships we find out if we have what it takes, a heart committed to the love of Jesus Christ under any and all circumstances
·        That’s why many people jump off this MOL, they start climbing but they don’t stick with it.
They see the beauty at the top have heard stories of other climbers who have been blessed along the journey, but they’re throwing their gear down retracing their steps having had no idea it would be- SO HARD  
Here’s some truth on your walk with the Lord.
You are going to be stretched in a way you could have never imagined.
The stretching is painful yes.
You will be challenged to do some things that are contrary to what you want to do, yes.
It will be painful but you will come to the REALIZATION OF YOUR POTENTIAL.
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