Sunday, November 7, 2010

Where the winning really is

Last week an article in the newspaper caught my eye, "Opelika woman writes on faith, illness."
This woman, Lynn Fox Adams' ailment has no cure and somewhat rare even to her doctors, and has her pretty much just coping and medicated to survive day in and day out. She is diagnosed with dysautonomia.  What was amazing I thought is her faith. She say's her condition has no cure, but she says she's a winner. She may feel bad physically and emotionally, but spiritually she's winning the battle. Now that's what Christianity is all about. She's carrying her cross and her faith is the stronger for it. And other thing that really touched me about this woman with a condition affecting her autonomic nervous system, is her attitude. In the article her quote was, ''usually when people get sick the first thing they do is they turn to God and say help me. But what we need to do is say, 'God let me help you.' " Now that's profound in my opinion. She's not looking at what she can get or what she's lacking. She's looking at her relationship with God and what can she do for Him by giving of herself to help others build their faith and get through tough situations. Even though her life is consumed with medications, IV's, not feeling well and not being able to do the things she used to do, she's not being selfish or depressed or crying how miserable her life is.

Sometimes you have to give even with a bleeding heart
Photo credit: jdurham from

This type of faith is very strong. The type of faith I want to have. Reading of her faith has touched me.  I've been debating to share a video or not, because a part of me doesn't want to share it, but another part of me does to show by comparison what faith is and isn't.  I came across this video while I was searching for a good YouTube video on the subject of how to get saved. One video I noticed a young man-I initially thought he might be Jewish,  so I viewed it. To my surprise he talked about his conversion to Islam and how Allah has made his life go good. Since his conversion, he now has money, and everything is going his way, he's getting everything he asks of allah. To me this shows selfishness- he's excited for himself because he has more things and his life is going so well. That's not faith. I've decided to insert the video below so you can see the difference in this man compared to the faith Lynn Fox Adams' has in her God. To me it's not about how much you get, but how much you grow spiritually and then from that, how much you share what really matters with others, not how well your life is being blessed with things. What makes you a winner is how much you rely on God in spite of what's going on around you. Life's situations change, but God remains unchanged. Having a close relationship in God makes you a true winner.  It's praising the giver of all things, not being excited that you get the things. Things will all pass away, but love and relationships and how you give will last forever. That's what Jesus did. He is our example. He suffered profoundly for us and still his ministry is affecting the lives of many every day. Serving others- that's where the winning really is.

Give and you shall receive- Personally, God wants me to be his hands and heart and feet to be of service to my fellow man, and have faith in Him that he will keep his promises to me, and lean on Him while giving of my heart so to bring others to Him. To those people with an unquickened spirit, this makes no logical sense. You may be asking, How can you give in order to receive? How do you lay up treasure in heaven while on earth?  How does serving others make you a winner?  The answer is this in a nutshell- God's ways are far above the most advanced human logic-that's why it's called faith.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen- Hebrews 11:1

I also think of Mother Theresa, God rest her soul. She was someone who lived with little need for material things, but she made a powerful impact upon many lives, and still does. To me she was a person who cared so much about others and was content owning few things for herself. Here are some of her quotes. See if these quotes touch you and build your faith. But without any doubt, Mother Theresa was going by the example of Jesus in caring for others and had little need for things. There are other people who've lived with the gift of helping others and haven't been drawn under by the need for many material things. I believe it's because they'd come to realize the most important things in life aren't things, but in loving others, and when you love them you serve them. That's the Word all wrapped up, love others. And we have the example how to go about this in the life of Jesus. He has the most powerful impact upon lives still to this day.  I understand the following scripture a lot better today than I did years ago. This is powerful. Maybe some day someone will tell the man in the video below about it. You will lack nothing that really counts or is important- you're a winner when you put first things first- just follow the example of those who do these scriptures-

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Then drop down a bit to verses 31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Scripture references:
Lay your treasure up for heaven- Luke 12:15-34; entire Luke 12 chapter; 1Tim 6:17-19
Faith scriptures -2 Cor 5:7; Hebrews chapter 11
More blessed to give than receive- Act 20:35
Worship in spirit and truth- John 4:24
Differences- 1 Cor 11:19
False prophets- 2 Peter 2:1
Bear your cross- Luke 14:27
God can turn around any situation for the good- read about Joseph in Genesis chapters37-42

Here's that video below. When you view it you'll hear of this man telling how much he's received since turning to allah, how well he's doing, in other words- what he's gained. Nothing about how he's helping others and he says nothing about his sins being forgiven. There is only one that God has approved of for that and that's Jesus, not allah.  There's no other way to God but through Jesus. If that's overlooked, in the end, you are not a winner.

I say God's blessings are not always things, but rather that which will build character and will last forever. God can use you no matter what your situation or condition if you'll only be willing, just as Lynn Fox Adams.  I think that will make anyone a winner in God's eyes, and after all, that's what really counts.

I have one more comparison to show. The man in the video above has his mind and heart turned away and closed to the Truth. Compare him to this man who says he was the biggest Bible skeptic. (read his testimony here). The difference here is this man wanted to know the truth and researched to disprove the Bible. But after countless hours spent to disprove it, he found the Word of God to be true and discovered God's mercy and grace and got saved. So how does one man search and discover the Truth, and another man can't see it?

To sum it up, the real, lasting winning is through Jesus. 

Until next time, I'm keeping my face and my faith directed toward the author and finisher of my faith. And remember- with God nothing is impossible. He can turn around anything and make it work together for good- Romans 8:28  (be it health, finances, or whatever)

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