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A Real Winner

What is it like to be a real winner? Hebrews 12:1-2 says that living for God is like running to win a race. Many people have run this race and finished. Think about those in the Bible that loved God, like Moses, David, and Paul. There were a lot of things that tried to hold them back and make them stop running. Remember the time Moses got angry? Or when David sinned and disobeyed God? The only way they could get up and run again was when they were sorry and humbled themselves to ask for God’s help. Sometimes it looks like we are winning when we aren’t. Saul (later called Paul) thought he was winning when he tried to make people stop believing in Jesus, but he really was fighting against God. When he stopped doing things his own way and was ready to obey Jesus, he learned what it was like to be a real winner. It wasn’t making others do what he thought was right or trying to be better than everyone else. No, Paul learned that he could only win when he kept looking at Jesus and loving Him more than anything else (Philippians 3:13-14).

Jesus is the perfect example of a real winner. And He is able to make us winners in this race of faith, too. The Bible tells us to “walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us.”* (Ephesians 5:2) Here is a secret of winning the race. Jesus Christ gave up His own thoughts and ideas to be filled up with love. What kind of love? The love that gives to others to help them win, too. When God’s love fills us up, we stop thinking about the problems and troubles that others cause us. We just want to see them do well and be happy. Instead of pushing others down, we want to help them up. That’s the kind of love Jesus has for us. He humbled Himself to be a servant, to love and suffer so that we could be lifted up. He says “Come… learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.”* (Matthew 11:28-29) If you have let Jesus change your heart to be like His, then you can be a true winner, too.

Do you want to live to help others win, like Jesus? Don’t let sneaky selfish attitudes stop you! When gloomy thoughts try to weigh you down, throw them away and say “I’m glad that God can help me be a winner today!” Remember, it is not what others say or do that makes you lose. It is your own attitude—and what you are looking at. Are you trying to do a good job, and no one seems to notice? Look at Jesus and remember that He loves a willing attitude. Are you feeling like the work will never get done and you are tired of trying? Look at Jesus and ask Him to give you more strength. Do you seem to be getting in trouble, even when you try? Look at Jesus and let Him show you how to win. After all, lots of times things seemed to go wrong for Him, people didn’t like Him, and even His friends ran away. But Jesus kept looking up at His Father’s loving face, and didn’t give up. “For the joy set before him, [He] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”* (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus won, and so can you!