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Aug 05

Who Is Going to Win?

Several of my best friends are ministers in the Lord’s church.  Some have been in mission fields around the world while others have served the Lord stateside.

One of my best friends has worked as a missionary in Poland, Russia and most recently the Ukraine.  We have been friends since the late 1980’s and I’m honored to call Terry Harmon my brother.  Just recently Terry and his family moved back to the states where he currently serves the Lord’s church in Flagler, Colorado.  Each month Terry writes a bulletin article that is shared with that small congregation and, with his permission, today we all get the chance to read his thoughts about winning and losing…

“Every once in a while, when the kids are off to bed and there is a chance to sit down for a few minutes, I will turn on a taped game of some sporting event.  The advantage of this is that you can watch a 3 1/2 hour football game in about thirty or forty minutes.  If you fast forward through all the commercials, halftime entertainment and commentators remarks (between plays), you can watch the game so much quicker.  This is the reason I love to watch games that have been recorded.  There is, however, one slight drawback (although it doesn’t bother me).  Many times you already know the outcome of the game.

It has interested me for some time now, that while I may know who won the game, for those who are AT the game, siting in the stands, the outcome is still undetermined.  This is especially important when it is a really close game and the score goes back and forth.  Perhaps you can relate to this, sitting in the stands and thinking, “who is going to win?”  During these contest of skill, the camera will often zoom in on fans nervously watching the score board, trying to calculate whether or not their team has enough time to pull out a win.  The expression on these faces is often priceless.  Nervous and downtrodden at times, they can change to upbeat and excited at the moment their team overcomes.

A few years ago it dawned on me that our lives as Christians are really just like a ‘taped sporting event.’  It may not feel like it at times when our lives are beaten down by Satan’s attacks.  When situations test us and conflicts challenge our daily walk.  But we must remember, the outcome has already been set.  It just doesn’t seem like it as we face the struggles of life.  One of the greatest lessons we learn in the New Testament is that if we as Christians are faithful to the Lord until death…WE WIN!  The story has already been written, and God guarantees the victory.  So we just have to trust, obey and keep fighting until, ‘the race is run’.

Believe in God’s word and take comfort from reading I John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.”  Also you’ll remember Revelation 7:14-15, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them.”

Note the present tense of the verb in the last verse, “They (we) serve Him day and night…”  God sees all of this as it will happen in the future, but for us it seems so far off and distant.  We need to realize that there is really nothing to be nervous about and nothing to agonize over.  The bottom line is, if we stay faithful with the Lord, THE VICTORY IS OURS!  The story (the game) is already complete.”

Thanks Terry for the reminder that we should have courage and the faith to know the outcome is secure.  And of course…this also reminds me of the perfect hymn:

“Encamped along the hills of light, ye Christian soldiers, rise.  And press the battle ere the night shall veil the glowing skies.  Against the foe in vales below let all our strength be hurled;  Faith is the victory, we know, that overcomes the world.  His banner over us is love, our sword, the Word of God; We tread the road the saints above with shouts of triumph trod.  By faith they, like a whirlwind’s breath, swept on, over every field; The faith by which they conquered death is still our shining shield.  On every hand the foe we find drawn up in dread array.  Let tents of easy be left behind and onward to the fray.  Salvation’s helmet on each head and faith all girt about the earth shall tremble beneath our tread and echo with our shout. Faith is the Victory!  Faith is the Victory!  O glorious victory that over comes the world.  (NOTICE THIS LAST VERSETo him that overcomes the foe white raiment shall be given; before the angels he shall know His name confessed in heaven;  Then onward from the hills of light, our hearts with love aflame, we’ll vanquish all the host of night in Jesus conquering name.”

FAITH IS THE VICTORY!

1 comment

  1. Robert Kinney

    Very good lesson. Looking forward to meeting you in Va.

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