“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (NIV)
Happy New Year!
I’m just back from a week’s vacation. It was great. I went tobogganing, rediscovered the board game “Sorry!”, and even slept in a few times. I know, I’m spoiled.
I’m even crafting a New Year’s resolution, the old custom of changing something in your life for the better at the start of a new year.
But it’s not just about exercising more or vanquishing those post-9pm raids on the fridge. (Not that I have that problem, of course.)
It has to do with a black arm band.
In sports, there’s a custom of wearing a black arm band when you’re playing for someone else. The whole team puts it on as a reminder that it’s not just another game, and that they’re not just playing for themselves.
They’re doing their best for someone else; they’re playing for someone else’s honour, not just their own.
I think that’s a great perspective for your 2017 because in the life of faith you’re not just playing for you.
You’re doing your best for someone else. You’re living to the glory of God—and you’re playing for Jesus.
In Galatians 2:20, Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
The reason you’re not living for YOUR glory and playing for YOU is because you’re dead! The black arm band is for you! You’re not technically dead, of course; but the selfish, cynical and scattered part of you is.
So as 2017 begins why not re-commit yourself to living to the glory of God and playing for Jesus.
When that happens you get discouraged less and fortified more. (After all, the proud, impatient and petrified part of you is dead, remember?)
Instead, you can play like a champion. Why? Because you’re on Jesus’ team…
And he’s already won.
By Matthew Ruttan
- “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday) and returns today after a one week break.
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