Links Daily Devotional

‘It Is Not About Winning or Losing’

“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39, NIV)

“Live like you are dying.” We hear it in songs and as a popular saying, but what does an expression like that mean, especially when we keep the Bible in mind?

If dying means gaining eternal life in Christ because you have put your faith and trust in God’s promises, then death is a joyful ending to look forward to. It represents victory and a hope of perfect fulfillment, as well as freedom from hardship and pain. With heaven promised to us, dying for us simply means a new beginning for those who are in Christ. While we know there will be storms in this temporal life, we must hold steadfast to the fact that the ending is great. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. And that is for eternity!

In light of this truth, we can rejoice today knowing victory awaits us, no matter what the circumstances we face, no matter what situation we are in. We can boldly face our obstacles, because we know they will not overtake us. In the end we will win, simply because Jesus has overcome for us. This releases us from fear—fear of death, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of hardship, fear of sickness, fear of losing someone, even fear of losing a golf tournament!

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote about fruitful labor. In my life, I realize that fear sometimes hinders me from bearing fruit and yielding to the Spirit so that God can act in me. But I realize that God calls me to cast fear away and trust Him, no matter my circumstances. If you gave your children new bicycles, wouldn’t you want them to use the bikes? In the same way, God wants us to live using the proper perspective of the gift of eternal life that He has given us.

Looking at Jesus as our example, we see that He died before He was resurrected. This was not what people expected; they expected a king on earth! They expected Him to “win!” But God brought a victory greater than anyone could have expected through that “perceived” loss. In the moment, it looked like all was lost, but everything was restored in God’s perfect timing.

I know being willing to “lose” today seems contrary to all the self-motivation books out there, telling you that you should believe in yourself and you repeat a mantra 20 times a day saying, “I can win…” But God gives us peace and freedom when we believe in Him and submit to His will, not our own. It is not about winning or losing; it is about following Him. And His work in us is about more than just immediate results; it is about the whole person, including our hearts. It is not about us; it is about His Kingdom and the others He has given us to minister to there. From now into eternity.

We are called to set our minds on things above, not earthly things, and pursue what God has put in our hearts, with all the strength and courage He gives us. Don’t be afraid. If you happen to “lose” something on your way, remember the gift He has given you and the promise that is to come. Keep following Him!

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” (Philippians 3:7-8)

Isabelle Beisiegel

August 11, 2011

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.