DayBreaks for 4/09/14 – Winner or Loser?

DayBreaks for 4/09/14 – Winner or Loser?

1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)  For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

What does a Christ-like mind look like as we live in the world? We can see it clearly in the great saints and martyrs, such as Mother Teresa or Albert Schweitzer. I’m drawn as well to the idea William Placher suggests in his book Narratives of a Vulnerable God as he uses an illustration from the world of basketball. Professor Placher writes, “In basketball the players who are always asking, ‘How am I doing? Am I getting my share of the shots?’ Those are the ones who never reach their full potential. It is the players who lose themselves who find themselves. And it’s that kind of self-forgetfulness that makes the best players.” And isn’t that the case with all of us in whatever we do?

Joanna Adams wrote: “I read about one of the fastest growing churches in the world, with branches in 32 countries already. It is called the Winners Church, and according to its leaders, it lives by a motto that comes from America’s religious culture. Here’s the motto: “Be happy. Be successful. Join the winners.” People flock to that kind of church, I guess. But it all depends, doesn’t it, on how we define winning? I wonder what kind of church you would have if your motto were “Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant.” Or about this one for a motto, “Those who want to save their lives will lose them and those who lose their lives for my sake, will find them.”

Would you join a church like that? On Palm Sunday, it looked like Jesus was going to be planting the “Winners Church”, didn’t it?  The crowds were adoring, voices raised in raucous celebration of the one that they welcomed to the city!  If anyone looked like a winner that day, it was Jesus!

Five days later he looked nothing like a winner as he stood before the masses, stripped, beaten and bloodied, a crown of thorns on his head, spit (from others) dripping off his face.  Hardly the picture of a winner at all.

Yet, we have Jesus’ promise that the way to win is to lose.  It proved true in his case.  On Sunday morning none of the spit lingered as he rose in glory – the greatest Winner in the history of the universe.  This Winner is eager to share his victory.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to attend a church that called itself something like this: “Servant of All Church”, or “The Victorious Fellowship of Losers”? 

Remember: what looks like victory to the world is not victory.  Don’t be fooled by false values!

PRAYER: Lord, ! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 08/01/11 – What We Really Need

DayBreaks for 08/01/11 – What We Really Need

To become the image of Christ

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. – Romans 8:29

“I wish I were a better person.”  “I wish I could stop this-or-that-sin, but I just can’t ever seem to stop.”  “I wish I didn’t have those awful thoughts.”  “I wish I could forgive them, but it’s impossible.”

We do a lot of wishing when it comes to our behavior and our thoughts.  I suppose it goes hand in hand with being a Christian: we see the standard as demonstrated in the life of Christ but when we look in the mirror of the Holy Word and see our lives, we see that we fall drastically short of what we should be.  It can be discouraging.

Yet, long as we wish to be better people, perhaps we are longing for the wrong thing.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a better person, but that will never be achieved by resolve or our own human effort.  In a recent post at Patheos.com, I thought one of my sons put it well: “We do not need a better us.  We need more of Christ in us.” – Tim Dalrymple

Rather than trying to live better or make ourselves better (very self-focused), let’s try to have less of ourselves and more of Christ living within (Christ-focused).

PRAYER: Father, let us not strive to make ourselves better, but to daily let more of Christ live within us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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