E-votional - To Win
November 9 -15, 2003


“As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing..”

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NRSV)


   There are few things better than winning. Winning means we did what we were trying to do before anyone else. In Monopoly, checkers, chess, video games and sports, we compete to win. According to the latest t-shirt wisdom, "Second place is for the one who lost first!" Second place means we lost? Second place is not what we are hoping to achieve, or at least this is what has been taught to us from the earliest of our memories. But is this really what we are called to? Are we really called to win and not come in second?

   Hear the Good News, we are called to win! We are called to fight the good the fight and run the good race. Ah, yes, there is something more there, isn't there; Keep The Faith. It seems Paul, in his letter to Timothy, was going into some details about his own game, the game of life. It is a game, a life, where Paul has fought the fights, run the races, participated in the contest of life, and has won! He wins! That is what it says there, you see, "kept the faith" is winning. Vince Lombardi had it right, winning is not everything, it is the only thing, but only when it means you have kept the faith. The struggles of our life, they will come and they will go. Relationships, financial strains, work environments, you name it, they are all opportunities, contests, where we can win. These contests are different than most, in the sense that there can be countless winners. These are the contests of life where we are able to reach out in faith, love by grace and share with others what a difference Christ has made in you life. But I must say there are ways to lose in life: The older brother of the prodigal son. The person who was given one talent, only to bury it. The Levite and priest who walk right on by the guy who had been robbed, only to leave him for the Samaritan. Pontius Pilate, he could have made it right, but chose instead to wash his hands. Judas, he walked with, talked with, listened to, ate with, slept with, drank with, cried with, laughed with Jesus, but ... . We win in life when we keep the faith, through the up's and the down's. We win we can say "I Kept The Faith".


   Gracious God, thank You for the faith You have given to me. Help me to see the opportunities in life for what they truly are, opportunities to share who you are. Allow my faith to be manifest in everything I do, that during times that call for endurance, my faith in You is natural, part of my nature. I thank You for all You have done in my life and all You will continue to do, for I come to You through Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior! Amen.

Grace & Peace

David Banks
Jewett United Methodist Church
PO Box 254
Jewett, TX 75846
(903) 626-4003


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