At the time of writing, many are caught up in the World Cup 2018 football frenzy. Some are following a team that appeared to have little chance of success yet now are thought of as championship contenders – even winners. Time will tell!
As they pose with the trophy, receive the accolades and walk the red carpet, the ultimate winners will, no doubt, agree with those who have called football the ‘beautiful game’. The losing finalists might disagree!
Everyone wants to be a winner.
On one occasion when Jesus was teaching His followers, He spoke of the need for every person to intentionally become a loser. He said: ‘whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it’ (Mark 8: 34-36)
Jesus said this after speaking about His own sacrificial death which would be the means of mankind’s salvation and was appealing to each of them tobelieve in Him, to follow Him fully, to reject a lifestyle of self-centredness, and commit to serving His great gospel mission.
Jesus was very clear about His criteria for discipleship – ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’
The mission of the church and every believer is no ‘game’, the path is often not ‘beautiful’, and His followers might never walk the red carpets of this world, but sacrificial obedience brings each person right into the centre of God’s will: a place of His greatest favour and richest blessings …. We choose to lose!