The Winning Team
"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."1
"Max Lucado, in his book, In the Grip of Grace, tells of his boyhood days when he and his friends would gather on the street each afternoon to play football. One dad in the neighborhood, a die-hard football buff, would sometimes join them. This dad always played for whichever team was losing that day. Max Lucado writes, 'His appearance in the huddle changed the whole ball game. He was confident, strong, and most of all, he had a plan.' The kids, fired up by his leadership and emboldened by his plan, played with new determination.
"Lucado makes the point that Jesus did the same thing for us. He came to join the losing team, and his appearance in the game changed everything. He was a leader who inspired hope, confidence, courage, and love in his disciples. And he had a plan, a plan so outrageous and amazing that no one, not even his disciples, truly understood it at first. But they trusted him as their leader, and so they followed. And now all of Jesus' followers can be sure that we are going to win this game in the end."
On January 8, 1956, five young men, Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Roger Younderian died in the prime of life as they were seeking to take the gospel to the Woarani [Auca: meaning "savage"] Indians of Ecuador. They were all slain by the very tribe to whom they were seeking to bring the saving message of Jesus Christ.
And even though they all lost their lives, the words of Jim Elliot, the pilot of the five martyred missionaries, are as real today as they were the day Jim said them: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." This is because all who are on Jesus' team will ultimately and eternally win, for Jesus Christ is still and always will be King of kings and Lord of lords, the Creator of the universe, the Great Creator who became our Savior.
Suggested prayer, "Thank You God for Your great salvation and that, no matter what my circumstances are today, knowing that I am a child of Yours and on Your team, in the end I will win forever. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. 1 John 5:11-14 (NIV).