There is so much emphasis on winning these days. Casinos are popping up all over. Stores offer prize drawings. Even credit cards entice us to enter each time we use them. Is the thrill of the win what we desire? Oh, the feeling of ecstasy when we first realize we’ve hit the ‘big one’. I have discovered one competition with a sure win for anyone who enters.
Years ago I thought I was losing at this game of life. Our small country-western dance band was breaking up. Playing every weekend for about three years we were in high demand, booking dates as much as a year ahead. I had hopes of recording and making the ‘big time’. Then my sister, our lead guitarist and singer, met another guitarist and decided to get married and move on. Even worse, my brother, our drummer, was in an accident that left him partially paralyzed and unable to play anymore. That left only me to carry on the music. How was I going to do it alone?
I began to play the game of ‘if only’. If only I could find another band to play with. If only I would be discovered by some big record producer. If only I could leave this town, I’d be happy.
It’s funny how we think happiness is always just beyond our reach. Yet most of us never give up hope of getting our big break or winning that big prize. Then we will know we’ve made it.
The problem is most of us never do win. Oh, we may win a small prize or two, but it is never quite satisfying. Some of us keep trying and hoping. A few of us just give up.
Well, I had just about given up back then. Thankfully, my aunt gave me a small bible as a birthday gift, and I began to read. I read things like, “casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you”, (I Peter 5:7), and “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”, (Phil. 4:16). The words just seemed to jump out at me. Like a good book that you can’t put down, I couldn’t wait to read more. And the more I read, the more I developed hope.
My circumstances didn’t change overnight, but they gradually began to change for the better. I did have hope for the future, however, and that started the moment I asked Jesus into my life.
Unlike the chances we take when we gamble at casinos or the like, the hope we have with Jesus is a sure thing. Casinos offer you a win or two just to get you excited and wanting more. Some people can set a limit on how much they spend. Others spend countless amounts of time and money hoping their luck will change.
With gambling or prize drawings you’re always taking a chance. Thankfully there is no chance with Jesus. You either win or you lose, it’s your choice. You have everything to gain, more peace and joy here on earth, and eternal life with no sorrow or pain and everlasting joy.
So why do people resist Jesus? One reason is they think they will have to give up something; for example, gambling, drinking, parties, etc. What most don’t realize is that these things are just a substitute for the real thing. We all are searching for something more in our lives. God has placed this desire in us. The only way this desire is fulfilled is through Him. Anything else is only temporal and never quite satisfying. Once we give our lives to Jesus, we don’t need those other thrills. God promises us joy unspeakable.
God talks about winning and losing in His Word. Philippians 3:8 says, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”. Paul believed it was more important to lose everything in this life that he might know Christ. Solomon thought it important to spend our time winning souls in Proverbs 11:30, “He that winneth souls is wise”.
We can win with Jesus if we take a chance and let Him change our life. I’ve never seen Christians want to go back to the life they used to live. There is just something satisfying about knowing Jesus. What bigger win is there than everlasting life with Him – and it’s available to all!
This is a wonderful testimony to what Christ can and will do in our life. I should know, he saved mine in many ways.
Well written with a strong, powerful message. I would suggest you enter this into the testimony contest if you haven't already. Go to the address below. Great job! The deadline is July 20th.
I really liked this. You made some great points. It is true that people want the winning feeling. I really liked how you shared personal experiences as that comes off in a nicer tone. I think I can relate to that. Often, though, when I read something that uses the universal you, it can make me feel as if I'm being lectured or like a reticent child. Maybe some of the lines could use a bit tightening. For example this line: What if I were to tell you, there is one competition with a sure win for anyone who enters.
could be tightened with something like this: I discovered one competition where everyone who enters is a winner.
(It might not be perfect, but it is a tad shorter and also keeps that first person voice. Also the way it is, it probably should have a question mark, though I can see it as a rhetorical question too.)
Overall I think you did a great job. I could see part of this as an entry to the testimony contest. You did a great job making me stop and think.