Summary: Do you have a spiritually winning mentality? Are you a winner, or a loser?

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Who Wants to Be A Winner?

Philippians 3:12-14

1. Filling Pews at any Cost

According to the Charlotte N.C. Monitor,

"Churches are trying a variety of tactics, including cash prizes, to fill the pews. Pastor Rod Loy held a "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" game at First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Ark., according to the Christian Science Monitor. Two winners took home $1,000 each when they answered biblical questions. Loy has brought tigers, camels, and elephants to the sanctuary for Christmas pageants to attract new members.

Other churches send visitors gift baskets filled with fresh bread and fruit, or offer them gift certificates to restaurants, according to the newspaper. Other pastors have created games, fancy food courts, or glitzy games to fill pews.

Opinions vary about these tactics. Some ministers say the enticements are worth it if they bring people into contact with the Bible. Others say the tactics cheapen church. "Our influence over men must not be human manipulation, but divine inspiration," Joseph Chambers of Paw Creek Ministries in Charlotte, N.C., told the Monitor., quoted in Pulpit Helps

2. But there is another contest that has eternal consequences: "Who Wants of Be A Winner" in the Kingdom of God? But this competition is not between individuals; it is an internal one. As Christians, we must learn to be more competitive.

3. Just as most of us are comfortable but far from being millionaires, so there is a difference between those who are saved and those who are great in God’s Kingdom.

2 Peter 1:10-11 reads: "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

In Mark 9:34, we read, "They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, ’What were you arguing about on the road?’ But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ’If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’"

• Note that Jesus encourage them to seek to be great in God’s Kingdom

• But He told them a more accurate way to attain this greatness

• Too many Christians today have too little concern about being great in God’s Kingdom because they do not really believe it matters…

• We all want to be a somebody, and instead of directing that instinct toward eternity, many Christians have a track record of condemning it…

• One of these days, I am going to write a book about this sort of thing…I’ll call it "institutionalized nonsense." Christians have a track record of not letting men be men, not letting women be women, teens teens, kids kids, and here, humans human. We have to get over this strange discomfort with humanity.

4. Everyday you compete with yourself over this issue, whether you are aware of it or not. And this battle is won or lost in the realm of the mind.

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