The hidden half of domestic violence
How to have eternal life
The Agony of Defeat!
The figure skater went onto the ice. It was his turn to perform at the World Figure Skating Championship. He did several loops, a couple of flips, a Lutz or two flawlessly. The crowd was cheering him on. Everyone thought he would get the gold.
Just as he was was performing his last maneuver, an axel, his skate must have caught in a groove left by a previous maneuver and he fell! The crowd gasped and there were looks of despair everywhere. His cough even had a tear in his eye. He knew how much effort went into his getting to this point. Even though he fell, he recovered almost instantly and finished the routine. but the damage was done. Still his scores were high but not good enough for the gold.
Few would condemn him for falling. We all know that figure skaters do fall once in a while. In fact, it is no surprise to any of us that they fall often in practice when they are perfecting their routines. What would surprise us is if they stayed there.
I am sure many potential champions have quit after falling many times. Others have gotten up time after time and gone on to win the gold in skating championships.
Many of us remember ABC's Wide World of Sports and their "Agony of Defeat" clips where we saw clips of those who failed just moments before victory. At times this defeat was not even their fault.
In relay races, others have dropped the baton and cost the team a victory. In the Olympics, we have seen times in which potential gold winners fell because another runner feel beside them and became a stumbling block to them. In the last few seconds of a major college bowl football game, a player intercepted a pass and could easily have gone for the winning touchdown but got confused and ran the wrong way. Oh the agony these people must have felt over these incidents.
All of these things show the agony of defeat but I know of no agony more intense then the agony of our far too often failure in serving our LORD. I have personally heard the agony in the voice of many that have told me that they have fallen time after time again. Some have suggested that it was useless to try anymore. They were ready to give up!
My friend, do you feel like this now? If so, please remember that you are not alone. You have and have had some good company.
All of the prophets have feel like they had failed. Job, David and Moses all felt this way. Paul focused on it in Romans and in several of his other letters.
I want to talk for the next few moments to those who are now experiencing the agony of defeat and are ready to give up. I want to assure each of you that YOU too....can be a CHAMPION!
In our study, we will focus on Paul.
Recently I talked to several that have expressed what they feel is constantly falling and getting up. They have done it so many times, they think that God does not care about them, that HE will not help them.
1 Corinthians 9
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
We need to notice a few things here. Paul was relating a spiritual race with a physical race. It is only in this physical race that only one can win the prize. In our spiritual race, we each can win prizes called crowns. The purpose of crowns are to give us something to lay down at our LORD's feet. Sort of a wedding gift so that we will not have to go to our wedding with our LORD, the groom empty handed. Also, when he stated he feared being a "castaway" he was not afraid of losing his salvation. His fear was that he would be BENCHED and that God could not use him any longer. This is the same thing as a pitcher would fear going to the showers because it would mean being pulled out of the game and not allowed to finish the rest of the game. In this example, Paul kept working, kept practicing so he would not fail. He kept his body in control. just as we need to do today by avoiding things that will ruin our testimony. We are told to avoid the appearance of evil in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 You see, this could cause us to stumble or to be a stumbling block to others much as those that fell in the race caused others to lose the race too. Romans 14:13 states:
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
Stumbling blocks .. causing others to fall tells more about this.
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Agony of Defeat! Paul knew it well.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Wow...Just like us, Paul often found himself doing things he did not want to do and not doing that he should! We do know that Paul overcame that. We know he became a CHAMPION!
HOW? What did Paul do to stop falling and start succeeding? Let us look at the next couple of verses.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Ahhh the big question. Now the BIGGER ANSWER!
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Let's go on...it gets better...far better!
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
(note: verse one should read
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ
Jesus. Yes that is a period. "who walk not
after the flesh, but after the Spirit; is not in the original but may
have been copied from verse 4. )
Folks, it is not as much what we "do" that makes a difference. It is who we ARE! It is our POSITION in Christ that makes all the difference in the world.
14 For as many
as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Folks this should make us feel like shouting! Glory Halleluiah Praise the LORD for sinners slain! If we are redeemed by the blood of the LAMB...we are joint heirs with Jesus. We can call God OUR DADDY! This makes it a RELATIONSHIP.
I will always be my children's father. This can never change. Once God adopts us and makes us joint heirs with Jesus, it can never be undone. It is a relationship, not a contract. . Jesus said if we believed in HIM...we will never die. When we fully realize this, it becomes far easier to become champions. It is less likely we will keep falling when we realize who is holding us up.
This brings us to the point we have expressed before. WHY do we serve God? If we are serving God to keep from being punished, or to get rewards, we will fall time after time again because we will be walking in the flesh. If we serve Him because we LOVE HIM..we are then walking in the Spirit. Oh we can fall, but we still know our position in Christ
The way we do all of this is by changing
the way we think about what is needed to do this. Instead of thinking we
have to work harder, we start thinking like
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God
We change the way we think about being a Christian as a got to DO religion to a DONE DEAL!
Our salvation is not based on what we do. It is based on what Christ DID. Jesus paid it ALL..all to Him WE owe. When Jesus said "IT IS FINISHED!" ALL our debt was paid in full. If we realize that we can stop worrying about our performance and simply perform to please our LORD. In other words, we are no longer running the race to gain anything. We can not gain what is already ours. We are running to please HIM. Just like my wife cooks good meals not because she wants anything from me, but because she loves me, I do things to please my LORD because I love HIM.
Let's go back to Romans chapter 8 for a moment.
31 What shall
we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Are you in the Agony of Defeat right now my friend? Do not despair. Jesus Christ is holding up the score card for you. It is a PERFECT...TEN!
Please note, this does not give us a license to sin. As Paul said..God forbid
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Sin always has a pay day. Before salvation, the payment is death. After salvation, the payment is the loss of fellowship with GOD....something I treasure highly. If we sin we do have a recourse"
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God promises HIS children that they will be chastened if they sin This is The AWESOME PROMISE OF CHASTISEMENT
My friend, this message was written for those who know they have trusted Christ for salvation. If you do not know that you have eternal life, You can be sure of it....TODAY!
This message is from the ministry of Shattered Men
How to have eternal life
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month