Winners and losers

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Ever notice how society paints us into two categories?  You are either a winner or a loser.

As a parent I see this illustrated often in the world of youth sports.  Hollianne and I spend quite a bit of time at fields or courts watching our children compete in a variety of activities.  The thrill of seeing them push themselves and improve is often diminished by the actions of other kids- but more often their parents.

It extends into our work lives too.  Office competitiveness often takes the place of teamwork and collaboration.  People need to “win” in order to succeed at a task- and in the process you will have to lose.  It might be taking sole credit for an idea or a project’s success, or it might be something more devious- as belittling a colleague behind their back to make themselves look better.

I win.  You lose.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

We are fortunate to have a presence in our lives that has leveled the playing field for us.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

We can take comfort that Jesus came to earth and achieved victory over this world.  Sin and worldly strife are all around us in our daily lives, but we have peace and comfort through the One who has the ultimate power over darkness.

One of my favorite visuals in the Bible comes from Deuteronomy:

When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.  Deuteronomy 20:1-4

Can you imagine how the Israelites  must have felt upon hearing these words?  Do not fear- the Lord your God is with you….and will give you victory.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  I Corinthians 15:57

We are winners through Jesus.  He has fought the battle for us.  Let us take comfort in His love and protection.

God bless.  Pray for me- and let me know if I may pray for you.

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Election Day

“If I were President of the United States I would:  make some new laws, no drugs and no smoking, give soldiers medals, and make the world a better place.” Britton Carver- kindergarten (2011)

I am grateful for the opportunity to live in a democratic society.  It’s a blessing to be able to vote and participate in the election process.  Hollianne and I don’t take this for granted- and we stress the importance of voting to our kids.

As much as I enjoy the political process, I am happy that this election day has come and gone.  It was a particularly ugly campaign season in East Tennessee.  Negative ads littered our mailboxes, radio speakers and televisions.  Many candidates not only wanted to tell prospective voters about their credentials and accomplishments. but also went on the attack.  Anything to earn a vote, it seems.

Unlike this somewhat tough political realm, we are blessed to have already been elected.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  John 15:16

Jesus elected to be persecuted and die on the cross to take away our sins.  His decision afforded us with the opportunity for the ultimate freedom.  Freedom to live with our Lord and Savior.

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.  2 Thessalonians 2:13

We have been elected.  It is our choice whether to accept this appointment or not.  Will we accept or reject this generous gift?

Behold I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.  Revelation 3:20

We have already been given the benefit of a win in the world’s greatest election event.  Jesus paid the ultimate price on that cross to give us victory.

Thank God.

 

 

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