Game Time!

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the Earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Psalm 100:1-2  (ESV)


Series: Games People Play

You may have heard it said, “Life is like a game.” But is it? There are certain similarities that stand out. Games have rules, as life has rules. Just like in a strategy game, the choices we make and the direction we go may bring us joy (win) or could bring us disappointment (loss). Some games require competition, others may require cooperation to take part. Real life is similar in that individuals often compete for opportunities, but they also cooperate with others to achieve shared goals.

Do you see life as a win or lose situation? Do you roll the dice with your decision making? Flip a coin for answers? Wherever you land on this today, be encouraged—when you live life with Jesus, you are on your way to the championship round. 

Growing up in a family who loved playing games, I’ve had my share of winning and losing. From outdoor games like Wiffle Ball, to sitting around the table playing card games—I loved them all. I looked forward to every holiday because I knew at some point someone would shout out, “It’s game time!” Now, deciding what to play was a little more challenging, since we all had different favorites.

As in most families, some of us were more competitive while others were more analytical. Some went along with whatever everyone else wanted, and a few chose to “sit out” of the fun. Undoubtedly, someone would reference the rules and suggest the rules we would be ignoring. To eliminate a rule, we all had to agree, of course. I mean, who really wants to pay “income tax” in Monopoly?

I landed somewhere between being competitive and being VERY competitive. Whoever said “it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game” must not have won very many games. (You know I’m right.) All joking aside, the joy of gathering, laughing, shouting, and simply being together, truly was the best part of playing any game.

As we embark on this new series, “Games People Play,” we explore what we learn from the experiences often accompanying this type of recreation. If you aren’t a big game player, stick with us. There will be plenty of morsels for you to glean as well. You might be thinking, how do games fit into my faith walk? Well, we are too! Let’s do this together one week at a time.

Genesis 1:26 reveals to us that God created us in His image. He designed us to be in a relationship with Him and with each other. Just like participating in a family game, our relationship with God can be intense, overflowing with joy, full of struggles, and even a lot of waiting. But as we persevere in our faith and trust in Christ, our path is laid before us, clarity is given, and peace is upon us. Paul writes about the prize in Philippians 3:14:

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

There are many stories in scripture relating our life to running a race, and the prize we receive is eternal life with our King. In addition we learn in God’s Word that He gets the victory over the battles before us. His presence is always with us and we can count on Him in every moment. God’s love and protection are not earned by a “win” but by living in Christ Jesus. Here are a few scriptures to help you focus upon this: 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT)

“but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57 NASB)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASB)

Living life is not a game, but it can feel like one. The pressures, the ups and downs, reaching the finish line—these are very real obstacles and it can be daunting. But you have Christ. Even when you land on a spot that says “lose a turn” or “go back three spaces” you can be sure God is with you and will help you. Stay in the race. God has given you life that you may live fully and abundantly. He has fashioned you for His glory to go share the Hope you have in Jesus—it’s game time!

Holding Fast to Hope,


Scripture References: Psalm 100:1-2; Philippians 3:14; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Joshua 1:9; John 10:10; Genesis 1:26


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