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Be a winner, become a Christian - James C. Bell

Everyone wants to be a winner, to be successful in what they do. We want to win in sports, and most people have a number of teams they root for and support.

Some fans are so serious about their team winning, they get really down in spirit when the team loses.

We want to be winners in life as well. In our jobs, we want to do well and be promoted to greater responsibility and higher pay.

Most are competitive in whatever they do and push hard to be leaders, in their work and in their community.

Successful people generally work in volunteer jobs, seeking to help others, either their kids in school, or to support organizations that help the poor and less fortunate.

All of these activities are good, and honorable, and serve to make our world a better place to live. I salute all who give their time and energy, to help in their communities.

They are good people and deserve our applause and recognition, as well as our support. I know many of these are Christians and include the Lord God and His Church in their support system. I think this causes them to be blessed and happier in their work and activities. One of the most important parts of being a volunteer is the influence you have on others.

Leaders have a unique opportunity to affect the lives of those they serve, at places of work, in the community, and at church as well. We must be careful to set the right example and to encourage all to live honest, productive lives.

From my experiences in life, I believe everyone should be a Christian, for I know how God blesses and guides the lives of those who believe in Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

We all have to make choices as we live, and many times, these decisions have a profound effect on our lives. I want to choose wisely and make the very best choice, which will be of great benefit to me, my family and my friends. If we believe in Jesus Christ, He will help us to know and do the right thing in all our decisions.

You may not have thought of coupling being a winner with following Christ, however, the Bible clearly tells us of God's blessings and good will toward all who believe in, and serve, Him. Jeremiah 29:11 says: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

These plans are meant for Christians, for those who believe in, and love, the Lord, for He is the ultimate source of prosperity. The Lord's gracious gift of prosperity is contingent upon His people's willingness to repent of their sins and turn to Him for the words of life. Verse 12-13 says: "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

These verses are great assurances that when we get serious about God and realize we have sin in our lives, and ask Him to forgive us in prayer to Him, He will hear our prayer and forgive our sins.

Have you been to the place in your life when you knew you were living in sin and against God? Have you been to Him in prayer and asked for His forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ?

This is the only way to God. Jesus said in John 14:6: "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." First John 1-8 says: "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." Verse 9 says: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Everyone can be a winner through our Lord Jesus Christ -- just put your faith in Him today.

I pray you will!