| January 27, 2020
Super Bowl 2020 will be the 11th time a Super Bowl has been played right here in Miami. This coming Sunday the Super Bowl will climax another year of pro football as the 49ers play the Chiefs to claim the NFL championship. Millions of people all over the world will watch this one game. Some will watch because they like the commercials, some enjoy having a Super Bowl party, but most fans are just interested in who will win the game. We know that it is winning in sports that is the ultimate goal, and that same emphasis on winning carries over into all parts of people’s lives. Listen to some quotes from an NFL quarterback who has won his share of NFL games and Super Bowls. Tom Brady said, “To me, football is so much about mental toughness, it’s digging deep, it’s doing whatever you need to do to help a team win and that comes in a lot of shapes and forms.” “I’m a pretty good winner. I’m a terrible loser. And I rub it in pretty good when I win. The true competitors, though, are the ones who always play to win.” The fact is, we live in a competitive society that frowns on losing. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat is taught to every young athlete around the country, and around the world. It even seems that many people believe winning to be so important, that anything is right in order to reach victory.
When we think about winning, we like to think about the joy that comes when our team wins. Unfortunately, in our modern competitive society some believe that the loser somehow doesn’t deserve to be respected. The reality of life though is that it can be sometimes be very cruel. There are times when we win and other times that we lose, and there are times of happiness and times of sadness. It is a lesson of life. As Christians however, I like to think that we are in a unique position in the game of life. We know the final outcome of everything. We know that at the end of our days there awaits eternal life with Jesus. It would be like knowing who would win the Super Bowl this coming Sunday, no matter what. Imagine how such knowledge would affect players, gamblers, and anyone with an interest in this game, if they knew what the outcome would be before the game was played? So, if this is true with sports, why would we as Christians, even though we know the final outcome of life, often live our lives like we are losers? Why do we let our opponent (Satan) rob us of the joy of victory that is assured and has already been won?
In Philippians 3:7-9 the apostle Paul indicates that knowing Christ as His Lord and Savior was worth more than any other thing he could possess. “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.” Paul was a winner because no matter what he got himself into, he could be thankful that Christ was being honored. Paul wrote more books in the New Testament than anyone else, he taught all of the major biblical doctrines in his writings, and he was the greatest of all Christian missionaries. His life still challenges us today, to work for the Lord without reserving or holding back any part of ourselves, no matter what we do or how we serve Him. Paul sums up his attitude toward winning in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” When he said “all things”, he was not being boastful or proud, rather he was exalting Christ. He was giving glory for the victory to the one who had made it possible. God wants to use us as instruments for His own glory, and He will give us strength we will need for the task.
Recently our boy’s varsity basketball team won two big district games in the same week, both on our opponent’s home court. While Coach Doan certainly enjoyed the wins (especially the dramatic victory over our arch rival WCS Warriors) he knows that the joy that comes when we win a big game lasts for only a short time and his team has to move on to the next game.
The joy we have because we are winners in Christ however, is for eternity. We have the assurance that the price has been paid for our sin and we have been given His righteousness and will live with Him forever. If we can’t get excited about that, then we are acting like losers. I would challenge everyone in the Florida Christian family to act like winners, because we are winners in Christ. We already know our ultimate destiny, so let’s celebrate the joy of winning every day, knowing what Jesus has already done for us. Let’s be excited about the life we have been given in Christ and model to everyone we know a joyful attitude of victory in Jesus.