Sometimes in life we meet what look like impossible situations, situations where we cannot win, a dead end street. This is where man finds himself; separated from God and unable to reach Him by our own efforts. I remember learning a valuable life lesson through the game of draughts or as our American cousins call it chequers. A simple game with simple rules but yet a game of strategy and skill, a game that has been around in various forms for several thousand years, perhaps one of the oldest known games. I used to play this game with my grandad whose skill level was way beyond my young brain, though he did let me win sometimes! My grandad taught me many tricks and tactics in this game but one of the most difficult for a young mind to grasp was that of sacrifice. We have a mind-set that in order to win we must always be capturing our opponent’s men and protecting our own at every cost. However, sometimes it is wiser to sacrifice men at strategic times to draw the opponent in and win the game. In fact sometimes it is impossible to win without this strategy. Paul says in Philippians 3:8 I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Paul was willing to sacrifice or give up everything in order to gain the most important thing, Christ, he had learned the truth that oftentimes the way to win is to loose! In the Christian life the way up is always down. The way to heaven and to God is not by might but by humility; recognising our own inability. We must bow the knee to God; or to put it in more understandable language, we must bend or allow our will to be bent to Gods will. To go a different way than Gods way is what the bible defines as sin. To express our will in a manner that is contrary to Gods revealed will is sin. The selfish choices we make on this path of self-determination might appear minor but ultimately because Gods way is best we know they will cause us damage. By choosing our own way we have become independent from God, we have become independent from the source of eternal life and in doing so we have brought ourselves under death and condemnation. The missionary Jim Elliot once said. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Sacrifice is not only a key strategy in draughts, and in life, but is a vital attitude in the Christian life. The Christian life means sacrifice in order to win the greater prize, sacrifice of our self-will to Gods will as He reveals it to us through the Bible. However, here is the rub, thanks to Adam humanity starts from a place of independence in our very human nature no amount of self-sacrifice, no amount of good works, could bring us into fellowship with God, we are just too broken, the sacrifice required is greater than any can achieve. Our faith and obedience to Gods will only finds its power in the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf; we cannot earn our way to God through a religion of self-sacrifice but only by trusting in the sacrifice that Jesus has already made for us on our behalf. I pray that if you have not already done so that you will trust and believe that the sacrifice that Jesus has made on your behalf is sufficient for your need, is sufficient to restore your relationship with God bringing you into eternal life. I will not deceive you it is a hard step, a difficult choice to place your will under the subjection of Gods will. A battle may rage within your soul with lots of reasons coming to your mind as to why you should not take this step. However, no reason is worth it, no treasure is worth it, no pleasure is worth it, and no leisure is worth it. This is a step you will never regret and one that will take away your load of sin; it will bring peace between you and God, it will give you a new life through the Holy Spirit dwelling within, and will give you a new destiny for all eternity.