Most of us love competing at things. It doesn’t even matter what the contest is, as long as we have opportunity to test and measure ourselves.  And to win.  As a kid, I never could understand why I was a pretty good shooter of the basketball but could never make a shot at the county and state fair or amusement parks.

A couple of years ago I watched SEC-record-setting Razorback shoot thirty basketballs at the rims at the Arkansas State Fair.  He missed every single time.  And I immediately felt better, having verification that the contest was rigged.  If “The Shootah,” aka Pat Bradley, couldn’t win at this game, why should I?

When we lived in Oklahoma, Pepsi launched their drink Pepsi One.  It was a pretty good diet drink.  When they had a contest titled FIND YODA, WIN CASH!  I thought, “Finally, a contest I can win.”  All you had to do to win was find the bottle cap with the name Yoda, that small, enlightened guru of the Force, written on it.  I drank cases of Pepsi One but never found Yoda.

It should be stated for the record that the last contest I won was when I called in to an Oklahoma City radio station and told them who Pudge Heffelfinger was, and was rewarded (actually, punished) with four tickets to see Starship in Chickasha.

But I digress.

For all humanity’s eagerness to win cash and prizes, no stone is left unturned.  For example, people still get excited when the letter from Ed McMahon arrives in the mail announcing “You may be a winner,” even though they know they may be a loser.  Chasing after the wind seems to be the national pastime.  But there is a much more important contest we ought to be entering.

The message of the Bible is “FIND JESUS, WIN SALVATION!”  Instead of being rigged, or the odds against you being infinitesimally high, you can win:

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:21).

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16).

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38).

Whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life (Rev. 22:17).

When you come to Christ through faith, repentance and baptism, you will win the gift of salvation – not because of any righteous deeds you have done, but because of God’s mercy (Titus 3:4-5).  Find Jesus and you will be a winner.

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