Create an Advantage

At times we are in the winners circle!

Eight ballOther times we are behind the eight ball.

When I woke this morning I felt somewhat stretched between the winners circle and the losers edge. Stranded between two worlds. I do not feel the circle of winning, but I also do not feel the bump of the eight ball about to knock me for a loop.

One word poked into my conscious about 4:45 a.m.   Advantage. I thought about the rental car company but it did not seem to be the right use for the day. I thought about those who seem to be at an advantage because of marketing savvy, or a bigger paycheck, but neither of those felt to be the same.

Tennis JudgeThen I thought about my bride and I playing Wii Tennis and the announcement that our side has the advantage over the other side.

I checked it out and it is used when the one side wins the point after a deuce. The call is made by the judge who is ruling the game to help note the winner and loser.

I’m not sure about the whole scoring process,
but it sounded like it was  a great way of looking at life!

Having an advantage often means we are one up on the competition, or at least we have an edge in the game! Better skills, better resources, even better reaction time to the forces we face. Some may think the advantage is unfair, but if we all operate according to the same guidelines then there is nothing wrong with the way we are doing things.

There have been some blows taken in recent months.
Words. Actions. Negative results.
How you roll with the flow shows the core of your being.

Can you take the body slams? When the words prick your spirit can you be like a duck and allow the phrases to roll right off your back? If someone has the personality of an assassin, can you keep your guard up without losing your witness? When it seems like your friends desert you, can you keep your face set like flint and keep on going? When it seems like you are wounded in the house of your friends, can you forgive and forget?

I was thinking about Jesus when these thoughts flowed through my mind. Even the Apostle Paul faced much suffering for the sake of his witness, and even with his laundry list it was nothing like what Jesus faced.

Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.  (2 Corinthians 11:22-30 NKJV)

After an adult life time of witnessing he could still not equal the sufferings of Jesus.

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9 NKJV)

Jesus suffered death for all! With our repetitive losses to the war of sin, we continually put him back on that cross all over again!

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6 NKJV)

In our vernacular it would be like hitting a foul ball every time we swing at the ball. It’s like the curse of failure, you know, that “almost” grand slam home run. Eventually we walk, hit, or strike out. Those strikeouts create shame for our actions. But Jesus is not behind the eight ball… He’s in the Winner Circle. And that’s where I want to be! Every time it seems like I am at a disadvantage to myself, or to the witness of Christ, He comes in and shows me again!

Get in the Winners Circle!

That’s your advantage! You have the option every single time to get into that Winners Circle! You have the option to live behind the eight ball, waiting for the loopers ride, or use your advantage of the Holy Spirit to keep you living and acting right!

Praying for you!

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