Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesdays with Jesus #192

#192 "Winning"
March 30, 2011
Thanks to one famous celebrity, the catch word recently is "Winning!" I don't think that I need to tell the story. If this strikes you as unfamiliar, just Google the word. I'm sure you'll come up with more information than you would ever want to know. A quick synopsis reveals the story of a man who is supposedly the highest paid actor today. He lives in a mansion. He has ex-wives and children. He lives with women who he calls "goddesses", that are at his beck and call.  He has fame, fortune, and everything this world has to offer at his fingertips. His life's description, in his own words, is "Winning!" Millions of folks are captivated by his every word, his every tweet, and his every movement.
Personally, I prefer the story of another Man. During the days that He breathed our air and walked our sod, I don't think anyone would have ever described His life as "Winning." Here is a bit of His self-description:
"Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Matthew 8: 20)
"I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting." (Isaiah 50: 6)
"We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified." (Matthew 20: 18-19)
He was never taken seriously by His family. He was watched from a distance by those who sought to trick Him, trip Him up and turn Him over to the authorities. He suffered such anguish that His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. He was betrayed by a close friend. He was arrested and beaten so severely that He was unrecognizable. His inner circle turned tail and ran. He carried a cross beam. He died a violent, excruciating death. Winning? I think not! Or was He?
Never for one moment did this Man consider Himself a loser. If He had access to Twitter here's what it would've said:
"Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who is he that will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up. Winning!" (Isaiah 50: 7-9*)
*except for the Winning part*
Things are never what they appear to the human eye. One would think that with all of the possessions, fame and fortune our celebrity has that he would be full and satisfied and at peace. One would also think that the Man who lived an earthly life with none of those things to His credit would have been the one losing his mind. The kingdom of God is an upside down Kingdom. Give to receive. Lay down your life to take it up. Return good for evil. Pray for enemies. A life that is truly a winning life doesn't always bear the marks of success, fame or fortune. It is often characterized by heartache, loss, grief, trouble, trials and tribulations.  It is often a life that is classified as a losing life by the masses. But it is a life with the sure promise that the Sovereign Lord is right there in the middle of it, working out His plans and purposes.  
The life of the One and Only shows us that there is purpose behind our trials and our pain. He assures us that we are not "losers" in this life, no matter what it may look like to the human eye. In every season of heartache, there is a purpose. A lesson to be learned. A character quality to perfect. A movement toward making you more like the image of the Son. There is not one "losing" situation that is wasted. Set your face like flint. You will never be put to shame.
Be encouraged by the closing words to a song by Carman:
Forty days and nights they fought, and
Satan couldn't touch Him.
Now the final blow saved for the final round.
Prophetically Christ's hands came down
And Satan struck in vengeance!
The blow of death felled Jesus to the ground.
The devils roared in victory!
The saints shocked and perplexed as wounds
appeared upon His hands and feet.
Then Satan kicked Him in His side, and blood and water flowed.
And they waited for the 10 count of defeat.
God the Father turned His head,
His tears announcing Christ was dead!
The 10 count would proclaim the battle's end.
Then Satan trembled through his sweat in
unexpected horror, yet...
As God started to count by saying,
"Hey wait a minute, God..." "...9..." "Stop!
You're counting wrong..."
His eyes are moving...
His fingers are twitching...
"Where's all this Light coming from?"
"He's alive!"
"Oh - nooooo!"
"And yet,"
He has won!
He has won!
He's alive forevermore!
He is risen, He is Lord,
He has won!
He has won!
He's alive forevermore,
He is risen!
He is Lord!
Proclaim the news in every tongue,
Through endless ages and beyond
Let it be voiced from mountains loud and strong
Captivity has been set free, salvation bought for you and me
'Cause Satan is defeated,
And Jesus is The Champion.

Winning? Oh yeah!!!!!!!!

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  1. This one ROCKS!!!!!

  2. Hi Donna:

    I wanted you to know I appreciate your 'Tuesdays with Jesus' articles. They speak to me in a personal way, they encourage me to get through the week. I have created a folder and save your articles to share with friends. Keep up the good word.

    Blessings to you and your family,