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In his book, In the Grip of Grace, Max Lucado 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, pumped 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 then followed.
By the world's standards, Jesus completely and miserably failed as a "winner" in life. Yet read the following piece and decide for yourself:
One Solitary Life
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself...
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.
Perhaps today you are feeling like a loser. Broken relationships, shattered dreams, messed up jobs, and physical problems can lead you to believe that you are the sorriest schlimazel ever spawned. Believe me, my friend, Jesus knows exactly where you're at. Talk about someone who has 'been there', it's the King of the universe. Bring your pain to the Prince of Peace, and remember that just when you think that life is creaming you, Jesus hops in your huddle and obliterates the opposition.
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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