Friday, June 01, 2012

Going for Gold - Winners not losers!

It is countdown time for the London Olympic Games and athletes from all over the world are finalizing their training to reach peak condition to compete and be a winner of a coveted gold medal. Ask any of them if they anticipate being a loser of their event and they will give you a resounding NO! Commitment, dedication, concentration and discipline has been part of their life for many months with the sole objective of being first past the winning post, and standing on the top of the podium.

The “All Poetry website” states the following. ‘Edgar Albert Guest was born in Britain but grew up and spent most of his life in the U.S.A. He was a product of "small town" America and the values and lifestyle he had as a boy permeates his writing both prose and poem. He worked most of his adult life as newspaperman, syndicated country wide and is reputed to have had a new poem published in a newspaper every day for over 30 years’. My estimation of that man is that professionally he was a winner; I take my hat off to him. One of his poems was given to me many years ago when I was working with a Gospel Van in Cornwall, it goes,

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done, But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn’t," but he would be one Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin on his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing that couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you’ll never do that; At least no one has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat, And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, There are thousands to prophesy failure
There are thousands to point out to you one by one, The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin, Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing That "couldn’t be done," and you’ll do it.

It is far better to have a positive mind about things, whether in sport, commerce, industry or any other field of expertise, application is the first step of achievement. I sometimes wonder why there are so many failed marriages today. Could it be that negative selfish behaviour takes over and then everybody loses? The biggest casualties among children does not come from war-zones throughout the world, but a war-zone in the home where battles for self -advantage rage. This is a sad fact of today’s society, but there is something far sadder. When it comes to spiritual things regarding God, the Bible, Salvation, Heaven or Hell, as one looks around there are losers in every direction. Not many souls are seeking the Lord, there appears to be a total disinterest in the things of God. People will talk about the weather, money or current sporting activities, but speak to some about their soul and silence pervades.

When you read the Bible you will find that there are winners and losers from cover to cover. Adam disobeyed God and lost out, he was driven out of paradise because of his sin. His son Cain was also a loser; he murdered his brother and suffered the consequences. When you get to the last Book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, we read from chapter six to nineteen the wrath of God falling upon a godless world. I met a Chinese lady in Wales and she told me that she was reading Revelation chapter fifteen. She was angry with God and said that she did not want to be a part of that. I told her of the events that she was reading about and asked if she intended continuing reading the Book. She said “Yes”, so I directed her to chapter nineteen which is about the marriage of the Lamb. I told her that this is what she needed to be a part of, part of the Church, the Bride of Christ, and that she needed to be born again to be part of the Bride at that marriage in Heaven. If she has placed her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ since then, she is a winner, if not she will miss out and be a loser.

Paul used the imagery of the Athenian Games, he said in Philippians 3:13, “This one thing I do, forgetting those thing which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” He wanted to be a winner in the Christian faith; he had the winning line in front of him. Earlier in v.8 he said, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” That is how he started and continued to live for Christ, and when the end was near he said to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:24 “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Later when his end was near he said in 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” That is winning, but ‘To lose one’s wealth is much; To lose one’s health is more but to lose one’s soul in Hell is such that nothing can restore.’ Be a winner, receive Christ now and run a good race for Him. God bless.

Written for Stephen Baker by Stan Burditt June 2012

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