Summary: God has a prosperous future for His children and each of us are to run the race set before us. The problem is that most of us don’t know or we forget that we’re in a race
Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning is a habit and so is losing.”
God has a prosperous future for His children and each of us are to run the race set before us. The problem is that most of us don’t know or we forget that we’re in a race. The Apostle Paul tells us: “You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.” (1 Cor. 9:24-27, The Message)
It’s not luck – no such thing for those on the journey. The person who consistently does the right thing will eventually win. Winners have a better attitude than losers. A bad attitude is a choice. For instance, my day may not be going any better than yours. My debts may be greater than yours. But I can choose to have a positive outlook based on God’s redemptive nature (God can redeem our failures and mistakes). God truly wants nothing but the best for you.
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)
Whatever you do, do it with excellence and in grace. Build to last. The destiny of the diligent will never be the company of the obscure and insignificant. The Bible says, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” (Prov. 22:29)
One of the great enemies of God is a life-style that embraces mediocrity – in essence, an undisciplined life. The heart of being a disciple is being Holy Spirit self-controlled and disciplined. As a result, others see Christ demonstrated long before they hear Him preached.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Mth. 5:16)
1. Consistent winning is the key
Winning a race requires purpose and discipline. Living Christ deliberately takes hard work, self-denial, and grueling preparation. As disciples, we are running toward our heavenly reward. The essential disciplines of Bible study, fellowship, communion and prayer equip us to run with vigor and stamina. Don’t watch from the grandstand; don’t just turn out to jog a couple of laps each morning. Get on the field and in the game and train diligently - your spiritual life depends upon it.
The Christian life was never promised as an easy way to live. We must have a purpose and a plan because times will be difficult and Satan will attack. But we never persevere without the promise of a final prize - a promise God will keep.
Winners say: I have a plan.
Losers say: I have an excuse.
Winners say: Let me do it for you.
Losers say: It’s not my job.
Winners: See a solution for every problem.
Losers: See a problem for every solution.
Winners: See a green around every sand trap.
Losers: See 2 or 3 sand traps around every green.
Winners: See a difficult situation, but see possibility.
Losers: See a possible situation, but it’s too difficult.
Winners say: Problem, look how big my God is.
Losers say: God, look how big my problem is.
God wants to lead you into the promised land. Winning does not make the attitude - the attitude makes you a winner. Have a positive attitude. God will work everything out for those who are in His purpose: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
2. Winners learn from their mistakes:
Tom Peters says, “Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.” Losers hate this philosophy because it causes them to plan, test and take responsibility. You must be able to evaluate, make adjustments, and change anything that isn’t producing Christ-likeness.
3. Winners compete with themselves:
When George Patton was 29 years old serving as a tank commander colonel in World War I, he demonstrated a winning attitude. One particular morning, the fog was so dense no one could see to maneuver the tanks. He got out, walked 30 yards in front of the tanks and led them. What made him a winner was his desire to do whatever was necessary to win.