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Go Home a Winner

During the course of a year, Jack and I
receive various invitations to speak at a variety
of functions. One such invitation that he
never refuses is the privilege of being the
keynote speaker for an international prophecy
conference in Florida. The invitation came
again this year; he accepted, and we were on
our way! Flying to Tampa would surely be the
quickest means of getting there, but since we
desperately needed a break from our workload,
we decided to incorporate a few days of
relaxation by driving to our destination. I was
elated to see the bright and beautiful February
morning as we left our home in Michigan. We
thoroughly enjoyed the quiet, pleasant, and
fun-filled days on the road. It was a perfect
time to talk with each other without
interruptions and absorb some of God’s
magnificent, majestic creation.

As we approached Atlanta, Georgia, I was
especially taken with a sign on the back of a
Yellow Checker taxi. It was an interesting
slogan that said, “Go home a winner; play the
Lottery!” The first four words began to echo in
my mind and heart, “Go home a winner!” I
prayed silently, “Lord, this is what you expect
from all of your followers. You want us to be
winners in the race of life.”

Remembering that heaven is a prepared
place for a prepared people, we must truly be
ready to go home by knowing the Lord Jesus
as Savior (Philippians 3:10). When this is a
reality, we will have the blessing of God’s Spirit
within our hearts (Romans 8:9). Surely it is
impossible to be successful in attaining the
approval of our Lord unless we have the power
of His Spirit in our lives. He alone enables us
to win the battle against Satan.

I do not need to convince any thinking
person that we are fighting against some fierce
odds. All we need to do is watch the television
news or read daily newspapers and current
magazines to see how Satan is winning in some
arenas of the world. Thank the Lord that it is
possible for us to say, as did the Apostle Paul:
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my
course, I have kept the faith”
(I Timothy 4:7).

Here are some of the thoughts that I had
pertaining to being a winner as we continued
our journey South.

1. Follow the Lord in His example of holiness.

There are several ways that we can go home
a winner. One would certainly be by following
the Lord Jesus in His example of holy living.

Positionally, we have been declared holy
because of what Jesus did for us when He died
at Calvary, but experientially, God wants us to
follow peace and holiness in our daily lives.
How good that our loving God gave us the
Ten Commandments (not suggestions) so that
we could have guidelines to help us know right
and wrong, black and white, and not the
modern concept of living in some gray area of
life with no absolutes. Often we hear a theory
called “situation ethics” expounded. This
contemporary humanistic reasoning manifests
itself when one accepts this theory which
declares: “I have the right to ignore God’s
commandments because of the situation in
which I find myself.” This philosophy offers
no restraints for moral actions or personal
pleasures.

There are times, however, when we are
unable to live completely like the Lord would
desire, and we fall short of His holy example.
How good to know that we do serve a loving,
forgiving God. The Apostle John tells us the
story of a woman who was caught in the act of
adultery and thrown at Jesus’ feet. She was
guilty of a great, and immoral sin — according
to Jewish law she deserved death, but Jesus’
response to her was one of overwhelming love.
The power of His love is greater than any sin.
He not only forgave her, but he would not
allow her accusers to condemn her. He knew
they too were guilty and hypocritical about
their condemnation. Thus he looked at her
with compassion and said, “Neither do I
condemn thee: go, and sin no more”
(John 8:11).
Quickly notice however, that even though
Jesus loved and forgave her of her immorality,
He also exhorted her not to allow the sin to
continue.

In the same way, you and I stand forgiven
…but He expects us to live a holy lifestyle.

2. Follow the Lord in His example of humility.

This is a staggering and astounding
admonition when we consider a very
important aspect about our Lord as He walked
among us.

He was not an ordinary man or prophet.
He was the Son of God! A member of the
Holy Trinity! Scripture reveals to us that He
helped to create the heavens and the earth —
and that “nothing was made without Him”
(Colossians 1:16). He, as God, is omnipotent,
omnipresent, and omniscient. With this in
mind, I am in awe to think that when He
walked upon earth He gave us an amazing
example of humility.

I find it hard to comprehend that He was so
humble He knelt down and washed the feet of
His disciples (John 13:14). What a beautiful
and awesome thought: We serve a humble
God!

Surely this example should cause us to
conclude that the more responsibility you and
I are given in this life… the more humility is
required. Perhaps the reason some hesitate to
exemplify humility is found in the fact that
they confuse meekness with weakness.
Meekness never manifests itself in weakness.

I am so grateful that I have had the privilege
of working alongside so many great men. In
my opinion, the greatest of these personalities
were those who chose to humble themselves in
the sight of God, following the Lord Jesus in
His meek and lowly life (Matthew 11:28 and
29). In so doing, God exalted and blessed
these leaders abundantly (James 4:10).

An astounding illustration of this can be
found in Westminster Abbey in London,
England. There, among the tombs of many,
are the tributes to David Livingstone and his
brother.

David Livingstone’s brother was a man of
great fame since he was a very successful
business man. When David Livingstone
wanted to go to the mission field to share the
Gospel, it was his brother who tried to reason
with him by saying, “Don’t go David, you are
burying yourself in Africa and wasting your
life. You have so much to look forward to in
England. In a short time you are destined to
become wealthy.” David Livingstone listened
to the voice of God instead of his brother. He
left for the mission field to pioneer a
tremendous work for His Lord in Central
Africa.

Today, on the monument of David
Livingstone, there is a beautiful, royal tribute
etched in stone as a commemoration of his
tremendous and enduring accomplishments.
Right next to this tribute, lies the monument
of his brother that merely reads: “The brother
of David Livingstone.”

We may never receive the promised
exaltation of James 4:10 here on earth, but
someday we will go home winners if we
exemplify humility in our lives.

3. Follow the Lord in His example of Evangelization.

A dramatic and dynamic event occurred
when Jesus ascended into heaven. The last
words that He spoke to his disciples were: “But
ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost
is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto
me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the
earth”
(Acts 1:8). Let’s consider two thoughts
concerning His last request.

Why do we receive power? So we can
witness. Where did Jesus want us to witness?
Right where we are. Perhaps another way we
could paraphrase this is: “But ye shall receive
power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon
you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Detroit, and in all of Michigan, and in the
United States, and unto the uttermost part of
the earth.” Place your city, state and nation in
the above.

I appreciate how Jesus prepared lives around
Him for His message of love and salvation.
First of all, He cared for the specific needs of
each and every one. Remember how he healed
their bodies (John 5:1-9), how He brought
comfort to their minds during times of sorrow
(John 11:20-45), and how He gave them food
to satisfy their hunger (Matthew 15:32-38). It
may prove a blessing for us to follow His
example by caring for those around us before
we attempt to reach out to them spiritually.
There are so many with multiplied problems.
Let’s always be aware of their needs first and
then love them enough to reach out in a
tangible way.

Secondly, He met the needs of those near
Him as well as far away. He blessed and
redeemed His disciples and ultimately the
souls of the world via Calvary. Our mission
field is all around us. Let’s be vigilant and
ready to help those at home as well as those
abroad. Sometimes those closest to us are
neglected. Perhaps we could say we are often
too far-sighted.

Once there was a young lady in San
Francisco who wanted to go to China as a
missionary. But when she went before the
Missions Board, they asked her two very
important questions… The first was: “How
far do you live from Chinatown?” “Just a few
miles…” she replied. Then they asked her
the second question: “Have you been there to
share the Gospel with them?” Her answer was
“no.” How sad! The board in good conscience
could not approve her application to become a
missionary.

Take note! The last thing Jesus asked us to
do before He ascended into heaven was, “Go
and be witnesses.” The first thing we will be
asked by the Lord when we arrive home is:
“Did you keep my commandment?” Scripture
tells us there will be a special reward for such
an effort (I Thessalonians 2:19).

John the Baptist spoke these inspiring
words that may help us in our efforts to be
winners. He said of Jesus, “He must increase, but
I must decrease”
(John 3:30). May this powerful
exhortation reside and reign in our hearts as
we resolve to “GO HOME A WINNER!”

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