While you can learn some lessons from defeat, let’s admit it “winning is a ton more fun”. This Sunday is Super Bowl 52. It’s also the final round of the Phoenix Open. Then later in the week the Winter Olympic Games fire up. In each of those events someone or some team will come in as the favorite to win and others will come in as the favorite to lose. Yet just because someone is favored to win doesn’t mean it will happen and just because someone is expected to lose doesn’t mean that will occur either. In fact, the most dramatic and talked about events are the ones where the long shot takes down the big shot (remember Rocky Balboa?).
Just as underdogs who win command our attention in the sports arena, they command our attention in the spiritual arena as well. Throughout most of human history, God’s guys have been the underdog and yet have beaten the odds to become unlikely champions over and over again. This Sunday as we conclude our series called Champions we will meet a man named Joshua whose team beat the unbeatable and made a wall fall without lifting a finger. As we look at the battle between Joshua and Jericho (Joshua 2-6) we will identify 5 things that God desires and requires for His underdogs to prevail. If you or someone you know is facing a huge challenge, big obstacle or stubborn opponent, you won’t want to miss this.
On a final note, I’ve sure missed you and am so looking forward to being with you this week. I was in Texas last weekend for my father-in-law’s memorial service (thank you all for your prayers, kind wishes and cards of comfort) and then two days after getting back to AZ, I got hit with the flu (let’s all say “boo flu”)! I think I’m on the mend now and am looking forward to learning from God’s Word with you this Sunday. Sure do love being your pastor and partner on this amazing North Ridge team. I hope you and your crew have a wonderful weekend.
Sure Do Love You,
P.S. Since our sermon series is Champions and it’s Super Bowl Sunday, why not join our staff this Sunday in wearing your favorite team (any sport) jersey or shirt this week?
Some Of This Coming Week’s Scripture Passages: (Your One-A-Day Vitamin)
Hebrews 11:30-31 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Luke 14:31-33 …suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.
Joshua 5:13-15 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for His servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Joshua 6:1-5 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.