Wednesday, July 9, 2008

07 09-08 Win Now or Win Later…or Both?

“I move on toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself.”
(Philippians 3:14 NIrV)

In major league baseball, around the All-Star break (the middle of the season), many teams do an assessment of their performance and make a decision: Do we trade for better players to have a greater chance to WIN NOW, or trade away players and improve WIN LATER, knowing we can’t possibly win this year? Is there a way to do BOTH? Then there are teams that just stay where they are; there goal is simply to compete, but not really to win.

In life, we face many of the same crossroads along the way. It may be in regards to our jobs, relationships, or most importantly, in our walk with the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah stated that God has a plan for each and every life, and that plan is to WIN…to succeed! How many of us really desire to win? How actively do we pursue the crown? Do we keep our eye…our heart, upon the prize?

What is the prize? Is it attainable? Better yet, Who is the prize? Paul says the prize is not wealth, homes, vehicles, job security, or even a retirement fund, but Jesus!

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
(1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV)

Everyone should want to be the champion. Everyone who competes should compete to win, or get out of the game! The Latin root for the verb to compete is competere, which means to seek together or to strive together. Would to God that as we compete in life, we strive together to seek the Lord’s will and win His favor. We encourage one another; pick one another up when one stumbles; and meet one another’s needs along the way. What if I took the focus off me and put it upon the prize…Christ Jesus?

While victory is secure for the believer (WIN LATER), we also have victory today! (WIN NOW). Why not choose BOTH? Maybe we have to trade in some bad habits or bad relationships that are bringing us down, keeping us from winning. Perhaps we can add a few things to strengthen our walk: a mentor, prayer partner, small group, consistent Bible study, Bible classes, or commit to a ministry of community service. Just maybe we are strong enough where we are in life and on target, walking victoriously day after day. Praise the Lord!!!!

The point is, in Christ we are winners! We WIN NOW, we WIN LATER. We possess BOTH!

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