Summary: Being a winner does not have to be a worldly issue. God expects His children to conquer, win, triumph in this world. What are the attributes needed to accomplish this.

“Who Wants To Be A Winner”

1 John 5:1-5

> Regis Philbin seems to have a golden touch these days. Almost everything he touches seems to have public acceptance and is successful. Regis was the initial host of the show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” I have a different question for us this morning, (TITLE)

> This ending of this past college football season (2006), we literally witnessed a bizarre event. (First of all, I know the state in which I live and am keenly aware that my comments might cause someone to take out a contract on my life, but…) Consider this; an “NFL football coach” was literally lured away by a major college whose program is in trouble.” Now this is not the real news, the real news would be: “MONEY WAS NO OBJECT.” Before the Auburn, Tennessee, MS State, and everybody else pounce on the TIDE – remember this; your school would have done the same! Why? ALL want to be WINNERS!!

> It is 1 thing to be a gracious loser in sports; it is another thing to be a loser in life. Whether we will own up to it today or not–“every person in this room wants is to be a winner–at every thing they do.” This is a normal desire.

> Did you know that God wants you to be a winner, a victor, a success, even a conqueror? Before I am mauled, let me qualify this. Today many are wrongly preaching that if you give God your heart, you will have health and wealth, that you can “name it and claim it”, that you just “profess it to possess it” plus many more promises and the problem with this type of thinking is: This is simply not a scriptural teaching.

> Truthfully, you can have all the riches this world has to offer & still be a failure. You can win all the awards offered by the music or movie industry & still be a failure. You can acquire the largest retirement fund, have the biggest house, give your grandkids the most toys, take the most trips, & still be a loser, a failure, & defeated.

> What is the truth about being a winner? It depends on who you allow to define what it means to win.

> In chapter 5, John gives us a little insight as to what it truly means to be a winner. TITLE/ TEXT / Re-read Verse 5.

> I begin with 2 questions: First, who won the super bowl in 1996? Dallas. Next, who was the Collegiate National Champions in 1989? Miami (FL). Truth is, most people don’t know and don’t care because in the larger sense, it’s unimportant. Most people want to win at something which matters. They want to be victorious, conquerors.

> Before you say in your deeply ‘spiritual voice’, “Brotha Jerry, the Children’ of God are to be humble, quiet, and unassuming; winning and conquering is not right for us.” Really? We might need to re-read verse 5 one more time and catch the meaning of the conjunction “but.” The redeemed of the Lord have a deep ‘genetic’ desire to overcome this fallen world and be victorious.

> Let’s consider & embrace 4 attributes offered from God’s word that’ll make us victorious, conquerors & winners.

1) My Beliefs – In all that we do it is our beliefs which control us. Literally, they make us what we are.

> For 14 months, I worked diligently to write a short book which is titled, “And They Were Called Christian”. As I wrote my way through each chapter, one thought permeated the process. Not surprisingly this phrase appears several times in the book. Here it is; “We “do” what we believe, the rest is simply talk.”

> How does this play out? If we believe we can’t “do” something, generally we won’t get it done. If we believe a project is doomed to fail, we’ll find a way to make it so. Do you remember the “little & big trains?”

> Review verse one with me and watch. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the “Messiah, Christ, the appointed, the anointed one, has been born of God.

> Now connect the dots; verse one gives this message and verse 5 asks, “Who is the one who conquers the world, but the one who believes that Jesus is…”

> It is only in the experience of trusting Christ that we can become real live conquerors, real successes, and real winners. Because here is the truth; if we truly believe in Jesus the entirety of our lives will be changed, redirected, TRANSFORMED.

> What do you believe today? How does it control you?

2) My Relationships – Let’s take just a second and give this some perspective. The last part of verse 1 says, “If you love the parent then you will love the Child.” When you marry that thought to the first part of verse 2, it becomes clear that John is once again trying to teach us to love God, His Son-Jesus, as well as our fellow believers.

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