Daily Devotional for Thursday October 20, 2005
Never Forget that if You Know Jesus You are on the Winning Side
(John 16:33; Romans 5:17; Matthew 16:18; John 12:31)
Never forget that if you know Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith, YOU ARE ON THE WINNING SIDE! I know most days I am dealing with the real day to day issues of living in this sin-filled and evil world. The message I share with you each day, regardless of the topic is to accept Christ by faith if you have not, and work towards being more like our Lord if you have. In the midst of dealing with all that is happening in our world each day, dealing with the sin we all fight in our own lives, lost at times can be the TRUTH that if you know Jesus Christ by faith, YOU ARE ON THE WINNING SIDE!
I don't want you to ever forget that what I am doing each day is my best to challenge the lost to make the most important commitment a person can make in this life, and that is to come to know Jesus Christ by faith, while encouraging those who have already made that commitment to fully surrender your lives to the Lord and fulfill His plan and purpose during your brief journey. Satan is not playing games, and is relentless in his pursuit of leading as many as possible into everlasting damnation while doing all he can to destroy the lives and testimonies of those whose souls he can't have.
This is a very real war for the souls and lives of people and war is never pretty. I realize that each day it may be the only opportunity I ever have to bring the Truth of God's Word to a person, or reach someone that is battling with the issue I am dealing with on that day. I can't afford to candy coat the Truth of God's Word or hold back in challenging people to rise above this world and be all God has called them to be. Time is too short to play games and we have got to be as bold and relentless in bringing the Truth of God to people as satan is in bringing them lies.
Today I want to take this opportunity to let you know that if you know Jesus as your Savior by faith, YOU ARE ON THE WINNING SIDE! I am afraid that truth gets lost at times and needs to be repeated over and over. The fact is, satan has already lost, he has been defeated, his eternal home in the Lake of Fire has already been prepared and where he will be shortly. Sunday night I sat down and watched the DVD of my Ohio State Buckeyes beating the University of Miami Hurricanes 31-24 in double overtime in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl to win college football's National Championship. It was one of the greatest college football games ever played and there were many times that it looked like Ohio State would lose the game. But I wasn't worried since I already knew the final score!
THAT IS THE MESSAGE I WANT YOU TO HEAR TODAY. IF YOU KNOW JESUS CHRIST BY FAITH, YOU ALREADY KNOW THE FINAL SCORE!!!
Let that precious Truth never be forgotten as you live your life each day. No matter what battles you may be facing, no matter what unexpected things may happen, there is nothing that will ever change the fact that if you know Jesus Christ by faith you are on the winning side. Jesus Christ insured that victory as he shed His precious blood on the cross so that your sins could be forgiven, He insured that victory when He took His last breath and declared "it is finished" and died as that one-time perfect sacrifice for all of those who would believe in Him by faith, and His victory was confirmed when on the third day God raised Him from the grave!
I love you and care about you so much. I know many of you today are dealing with the battles of this life and need to be reminded that you are on the winning side. No matter what it may look like, remember that the victory has already been won and as a follower of Jesus Christ you are on the winning side. There is no such thing as defeat for the child of God. So start fighting your battles with the assurance and knowledge that you have already won. Because of Jesus, you are the victor! Say it with me, "Because of Jesus, I have already won. I will live my life each day like the winner I am. I cannot be defeated because Jesus has already won the victory. I am on the winning side!"
Let me leave you with an additional word of encouragement today. As we have discussed in the past, the "church" is not a denomination or building, but it is all of the people who know Christ as their Savior by faith regardless where they live or what building they worship Him in. The church is not a man-made idea, it is a Christ-made idea. It is still God's number one instrument of change in this world and will be until our Lord returns. Despite all of the sin and evil in this world and how bad things may be, despite all of the work of satan and those who serve him, despite how those who know the Lord have failed Him at times, the church, God's people, is still alive and well.
Every day all over the planet people are coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by faith, the Truth of God's Word is being heard, miracles are being performed, and lives are being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit because of those who are faithfully serving the Lord. Back in the mid-'70s a dear friend of mine Roger Breland, who founded and for 30 years faithfully led the group TRUTH, did the best rendition ever of Bill and Gloria Gaither's song "The Church Triumphant." I want to leave you today with the words from the monologue my friend Roger boldly proclaimed thousands of times all over the world in TRUTH concerts. May they be an encouragement to you today as you never forget, if you know Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith, YOU ARE ON THE WINNING SIDE!
"God Has Always Had A People! Many a foolish conqueror made the mistake of thinking that because he had forced the Church of Jesus Christ out of site, that he had stilled its voice and snuffed out its life. But God Has Always Had A People! The powerful current of a rushing river is not diminished because it is forced to flow underground. The purest water is the stream that bursts crystal clear into the sunlight after it has fought its way through solid rock.
There have been charlatans who like Simon the magician, sought to barter on the open market that power which cannot be bought or sold. But God Has Always Had A People! Men who could not be bought and women who were beyond purchase. Yes, God Has Always Had A People! There have been times of affluence and prosperity when the Church's message was nearly diluted into oblivion by those who sought to make it socially attractive, neatly organized and financially profitable. It has been gold plated, draped in purple and encrusted with jewels. It has been misrepresented, ridiculed, blotted and scorned. These followers of Jesus Christ have been according to the whim of the times elevated as sacred leaders and martyred as heretics. Yet through it all, there marches on that powerful army of the meek, God's chosen people that can't be bought, flattered, murdered or stilled. On through the ages they march. The Church, God's Church Triumphant, is Alive and Well!
Now listen child of God. It's alive! Discouraged pastor it's His Church and it's alive! Lonely Missionary sow your seeds with confidence! It's alive my broken hearted friend! Old saint you're not alone and forgotten, the Church is alive! Busy mother cast your cares on Jesus! It's alive young student. You're not alone in serving the Lord! Faithful father there's rest in the Lord! The Church is alive! Cynical skeptic you haven't killed God with your noisy unbelief. He's Alive! So family of God raise you hands and praise the Lord. For the Church, God's Church Triumphant, Is Alive and Well!" (words written and copywritten by Bill and Gloria Gaither)