2001-12-17 - Underdog Day
Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
You may not know it but today, December 17, 2001 is National Underdog Day. I suppose depending on our strengths and weaknesses and the particular situation we are encountering, we can all be underdogs at some point or another. If race car driver Jeff Gordon and I lined up at the starting line for a 500 mile race at Daytona, I have no doubt that the smart money would be on him. But in another forum, the tables might be turned and he might be the underdog.
There is, it seems to me, one great equalizer in life; Jesus Christ. For in Christ there are no underdogs. His redemption saves equally the one who has 100 billion sins and also the one who has 100 trillion sins. And His redemption is so much more than salvation from sin, great as that is. Redemption in Christ saves from sin, but it also restores our communion with Him, and will, in time, bring us into His glorious presence and eternity with Him. Salvation is more than forgiveness from sin and this is one of the wonders of it. Salvation in Christ is, as I like to say, overplus. It is more than we could ever have dreamed and all these things are applied to sinners who come to Christ equally. In the scheme of grace in Christ there really are no underdogs.
One of the great challenges in the Christian life is to live as if we were not underdogs. Christ taught us about the importance of meekness (Matthew 5:5) and turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:39), and I think this is an important part of living our faith. But our faith also gives us a strength that the non-Christian can never know or understand. Our consciences are clear, our sins no longer accuse us, and our burdens have been laid at the cross of Christ. "Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved," Psalm 55:22.
There is great freedom in these things to serve Christ boldly. One of my friends is a minister in a tough section of Philadelphia. There is a lot of crime there. I asked if I could do anything for his ministry and he said there was a heavily traveled bus stop right near his church. He told me he would like a microphone and speaker system so he could stand in the doorway of his church and preach the gospel. At the risk of his life he now does this very thing. Talk about using our freedom in Christ to serve Him boldly. He is an example to us all.
We may not all stand outside a crime infested section of a city and preach Christ (imagine if we all did?). However, there are many things that we can do right now in our own little circles that qualify as boldly serving Jesus Christ. Since we are not underdogs, we come to Christ and ask for the strength to do things we never thought ourselves capable of. In our own strength we are likely to accomplish little, but in the strength of Christ there is no limit to what He might do through us or how He might be pleased to use us. History is full of examples. Wouldn't it be a wonder to be one of those examples?
Soli Deo Gloria,