I am a NFL football fan. Each season I start out watching football and having a favorite team and hoping we will make it to the playoffs and then Super Bowl. But, as the season progresses and my team has not won enough games to make it to the playoffs but have another game or two to go and then win, it is a FRUITLESS WIN.

Right after Jesus had finished his last Passover meal with His disciples He told them, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and I set you that you should go forth and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you.” (John 15:16) It was not the mission of Jesus to send His disciples out to have fruitless wins. But, yet we have many fruitless wins. Why?

Jesus was a great coach to his disciples. Jim Zorn is a great coach for the Washington Redskins. Both coaching jobs are debatable. It is all in the wins! It is all in the fruit of our lives.

Jesus, the coach instructs his players, “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)

“This is the true joy in life,” wrote George Bernard Shaw, – “that being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. That being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for it’s own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it to future generations.”

George Bernard Shaw wanted to win, not just win for winning sake but win where and when it counts. A fruitful win not a fruitless win. Jesus won you and me by making an ultimate sacrifice that only He could do.

Jesus has called us to community. He has called us to teamwork. We are to work together with one another as a team to make a win count. If not, we can call our win a fruitless win.

A successful gospel singer and founder of Ernie Haase and Signature Sound writes, “A prominent Hall of Fame basketball coach once stated, “A team is developed to achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. All of us alone are weaker, by far, than if all of us are together.” That same Hall of Fame coach also stated, “There are five fundamental qualities that make every team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring and pride. I like to think of each as a separate finger on a fist. Any one individual is important, but all of them together are unbeatable.”

This is the same teaching Coach Jesus gave His players from God’s Word on using our gifts? I hope your life and mine as ‘team’ in ’09 will be double the wins that counts for the championship!