II Timothy 1:8-14 8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
John 17:1-5 17After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Cover the cross.
It’s one thing to cheer for an underdog, but to cheer for someone who’s already lost? Now that’s stupid. Who cheers for a loser? How many people, when selecting for their fantasy football leagues, pick the biggest losers? How many people long to fail at their heart’s desire? How many parents look at their children and think, “I hope that my beloved child marries a loser.” It’s dumb. No one wants to be associated with a loser.
So why do we have these? Why do we put up crosses in front of our churches? In our homes? Why do we wear them? All a cross is is a reminder of the biggest loser in history. It’s a reminder of a guy who dreamed big but ultimately died without glory. (more…)