Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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What We Hope People Will Become
by Tom Goodman
November 5, 2014

"I wish before God that everyone would become as I am."

It's horribly wrong to wish that, or it's beautifully right.  It depends on what you're hoping for.

Paul expressed this wish in Acts 26:24-29.  As he expressed his confidence in the resurrection of Jesus, he turned to King Agrippa and said, "You believe the prophets' promise.  I know you do."

Put on the spot, Agrippa scoffed, "Oh, in so short a time you're persuading me to be a Christian I see!"

"I wish to God," Paul replied, "that you and everyone listening to me would become as I am."

Some of us want others to become as we are, but not in the way that Paul was wishing.  What we mean is, "I wish to God that everyone would adopt my political convictions."  Or, "I wish to God that everyone had my taste in films and music."  Or, "I wish to God that everyone was as culturally refined as I am."

While it is certainly right to have our own preferences and passions, the agenda of our church fellowship is not to ensure everyone aligns with us in these areas.

But there is a way that it is entirely right to say, "I wish everyone would become like me."  If we have met Jesus, we want everyone to know him as we do.  It becomes the subject of our prayers to God and the subject of our conversation to others.

Do you want others to become like you?  We need to repent of the wrong way to hope that, and we need to renew our commitment to the right way to hope that!

UPWARD Basketball Evaluations for 1st-4th Graders.  This Saturday, November 8th from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM.  Additional information can be found at, or contact Denise Hall, League Director at  Please help spread the word about this wonderful opportunity to learn the game of basketball.

Malawi Trip Challenge.  Help 18 Hillcrest members get to Malawi next March to serve 200 missionaries and their families.  Give to the Malawi Mission Trip by the end of November.  There's more information at

Special Guest Musician.  On Sunday, November 16, we're honored to have Becky Shaver join us for our 10am worship service.  Bring someone!  You can learn more about Becky at


Beacon Articles Available Online:  The staff newsletters that appear each week in the Beacon are also available on our website.  You can find them here.

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