Winning at Life: Jesus' Secrets Revealed

(Paperback - Aug 2002)
$8.99 - Online Price


The Reality Check series makes just one assumption: that you re serious enough about your spiritual journey to investigate Christianity with an open mind. This isn t about joining anyone s religious club it s about being real with yourself and with the others in your group. Since no one has all the answers, there s plenty of room for discussion. After all, if there is any truth to the Bible s stories about Jesus, then one thing he d welcome are questions and opinions that come from honest, earnest hearts. What does it take to win at life? A good education? A lucrative career? A loving family? Jesus had a lot to say about winning and losing in life. He also had a way of connecting with his listeners through stories that cut straight to the heart of their personal lives and values. Winning at Life revisits six of those stories. Some will challenge you. Some will encourage you. All of them offer a clearer vision of what life is really about. Winning at Life includes these sessions: Rollover Investments Four Kinds of Dirt An Unexpected Homecoming Warning Signs Lame Excuses Unlikely Hero For the Group Leader Reality Check is for spiritual seekers of every persuasion. Uncompromisingly Christian in its perspective, it steers wide of pat answers and aims at honesty. This innovative and thought-provoking series will challenge you and those in your group to connect heart to heart as together you explore the interface between Jesus, the Bible, and the realities of this world in which we live."


  • SKU: 9780310245254
  • UPC: 025986245252
  • SKU10: 0310245257
  • Title: Winning at Life: Jesus' Secrets Revealed
  • Series: Reality Check (Zondervan)
  • Qty Remaining Online: 2
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Date Published: Aug 2002
  • Pages: 80
  • Weight lbs: 0.26
  • Dimensions: 9.08" L x 5.96" W x 0.24" H
  • Features: Price on Product
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Category: STUDY GUIDE
  • Subject: Christian Education - Adult

Chapter Excerpt

Chapter One



Think about the magazines you are likely to find in a grocery store line or a bookstore magazine rack. How do magazines like Glamour, Sports Illustrated, GQ, Maxim, or Cosmopolitan answer the question, "What is valuable?"

Justify your answers with articles, quotes, pictures, or ads.

Read Luke 12:22-34

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."


1. Jesus tells his followers not to worry about life's mundane needs. Look back at the things the magazines consider valuable. How could valuing these things cause worry?

2. Contrast the magazines' message with Jesus' message.

3. What is valuable according to Jesus' teaching-and do you think this is a realistic way to live?

4. In what ways are people similar to and different from the flowers and birds used as Jesus' examples?

5. From Jesus' words and your own experience, how do you imagine one might gain "treasure in heaven"?

Jesus' final statement, "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," is illustrated well in a story Jesus told to a greedy man.

Story (adapted from Luke 12)

Daniel Mulligan was an investing genius. In the mid '80s, he joined a tiny software firm that was about to hit it big. They paid him a decent salary with great stock options. By the time he cashed them in, Daniel was a multimillionaire. He continued working as an executive for the firm, carefully investing and growing his cash.

Sara Mulligan married Daniel just out of college. She stuck with him through years of seventy-hour workweeks and bore him two beautiful children-now 15 and 17. Daniel was a good provider, but wasn't home much. When he was, he spent most of his time on the computer, surfing sites like Just like he was doing tonight.

By this time in their life and marriage, Sara didn't mind so much. She'd lived this way for years, and she was used to it. But tonight was different. Soon their life together would change. Over the years, Daniel had made enough money to allow them to live in luxury off the interest. Next month he would retire, and they could begin living the life they always wanted!

Sara and Daniel looked forward to traveling, reading, and spending time with the kids. "As soon as life slows down," they had always said, "we can care for the poor, visit our families, and do the significant thing we have always dreamed of." All their lives they had wanted to become more spiritual people, but the time at work never allowed for it. Next month would be different.

As usual, Sara went to bed while Daniel was still working on the computer. Like many other nights, she awoke about 3 A.M. with nobody at her side. Knowing she'd find her husband asleep at his desk, she slipped down the stairs to rouse him. Sure enough, she found him slumped over his computer . but tonight something was different. When she touched his shoulder, he was cold and his arm fell limp to his side. His skin was clammy, and he didn't awaken at her voice.

Above his lifeless body, the computer read "disconnected by"

When the paramedic arrived, he told Sara that Daniel had died of a massive heart attack. At his memorial service, people lauded his friendly demeanor, business savvy, and hard work ethic. But that night, at his gravesite, an angel of God had another adjective that best described him-expressed as he traced his finger over the tombstone, carefully and slowly tracing the letters F-O-O-L.


6. What's the sobering point of this story?

7. What characteristics of Daniel or Sara do you recognize in people you know?


Experts say that the best two indicators of your real priorities are your checkbook and appointment book or Palm Pilot. If someone else browsed your calendar and finances, what would they say your priorities are, and why?

One of Jesus' primary keys to winning at life is getting your priorities straight. How closely do your real priorities match up with what you want them to be? How well do they match up with God's priorities?



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