Unspeakable Joy Devotional

May 16th

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Winning. I watched Secretariat last night for maybe the 50th time! Exaggerating of course, but I do know almost every line by heart. Maybe it’s because I love horses or maybe it’s because I love a challenge and I love the story line of never giving up, reach for the stars, dream big, and having faith and going all the way to win!

I thought a lot about winning and how in today’s culture the saying “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game” has become “old school” as winning at any cost, including the cost of one’s integrity, has become everything. The Apostle Paul wrote, “..if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.” II Timothy 2:5 Playing the game well, as a well-lived life, brings a winning reward in itself.

The Apostle Paul lived his life with purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions and sufferings. Yet when he faced execution he wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will reward to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” II Timothy 4:7-8

Most of us would consider a man facing execution a loser. But because of the life he led, fulfilling his calling from God, he was actually a winner. We also experience hardships, trials, persecution and loss. If we keep our hand in the hand of God and do our best to live according to His will, then we too are winners.

Winning is in the journey. The glory of everyday life holds for you the mystery of happiness and the victory of winning. As a believer in Jesus Christ, a crown of righteousness is laid up for you in heaven. Now that’s winning! (G Markland)

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