Together We Win
Little Johnny was excited about the upcoming Special Olympics race. He kept proclaiming, “I win! I win!”
The day of the race, Johnny was clearly in the lead. It looked like his prediction was about to come true. Then he looked back and saw his friend Scott.
Johnny’s next action took everyone by surprise. He ran back to Scott, took him by the hand, and together they ran across the finish line.
“We win! We win!” Johnny shouted.
Johnny’s idea of winning points out an important truth: the joy of a win is compounded when we share it with others. While most of us do not want to share our trophies, the outcome of many endeavors can be maximized for the good when believers and the organizations they represent work together.
When we look at local, national and global challenges, they appear overwhelming. But by pooling our resources, skills and organizational strengths, we can tackle drug addiction, human trafficking, religious oppression and hopelessness.
Unity is important on every level. First, we unite in prayer. Then we reach out to help those who share our vision. Together, we win!
The Wiser Choice
Listen up, fellow Scrabble players! You will recognize this scenario immediately.
Suppose there are two open E’s on the board. And you have a word that fits in both places. One gives double points; the other gives triple. Which would you choose?
There is no question! If you recognize that opening, you will seize it. It could mean winning the game.
How many times do we have similar choices in life? One path seems easy and clear. But another appears, with greater rewards— and perhaps a few more challenges.
The Apostle Peter could have remained in the fishing business and met his family’s needs. Then Jesus gave him another option. Same man. Same talents. But oh! What a difference in the outcome of his life!
God gives us an open field, with many opportunities. We can choose to just get by, or to maximize our potential. Often the difference is just a shift in our thinking — or in our faith. If we believe “all things are possible with God,” why not go for the greater good? The bigger win?
When we choose to follow Jesus, giving Him all we have, the results are multiplied through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He takes what we have to accomplish more than we ever dreamed.
Year of Victory
Welcome to the year of VICTORY!
Everyone rejoices in a victory — whether it’s the win of a favorite sports team, or the defeat of a bad habit. Winning boosts our confidence and gives us hope as we face oncoming challenges.
When was the last time you experienced a winning moment? When you completed a course of study? Landed a coveted job? Received an “all clear” medical report? Moments like these are the stepping stones of our lives, enabling us to move ahead; laying the foundation for greater achievements.
Not all of our victories are going to be spectacular. For some people, surviving another day is a victory. Life can be a steep mountain that you can only conquer one step at a time. Taking that single step can be a big win.
This year, we are going to explore what victory means in the Christian life. What are the unseen enemies you need to defeat? What are the wins God wants us to have?
If you feel beaten down and defeated, keep this in mind:
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.” (Matthew 12:20)
If God is on your side, you can’t lose!
Rear View Mirror
A metaphor that comes to mind as the old year draws to a close: “2017 is in the rear view mirror.” But is it?
In truth, 2017 is still with us, absorbed into the history and fabric of our lives. The decisions we made, the people we interacted with, the actions we took will not be buried in the past; they will remain to affect the future—for better or worse.
2018 will provide new opportunities and new relationships, but it will not erase the old. There is no way to delete the things we have said and done. They are etched in the stone of memory.
If there are regrets, there is still hope. What a new year can give is time. Time to improve. Time to reconcile. Time to change. Time to grow into the people we want to be.
The gifts of the past are experience and, hopefully, wisdom. For the believer, there is the assurance that the God who carried you through 2017 is there to carry you through 2018—and beyond. He does not change with time nor its events.
So—Look up! Reach out! Breathe in God’s love. Give freely. Know that He makes all things new. The future will outshine the past as you walk in the power of His love.
I will seek more of God’s power to guide my words and actions in the new year.