Sermon shared by Betty Johnson
Summary: A sermon of encouragement from Daniel and the Lions.
Audience: Believer adults
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Congratulations! Youíre a winner! Those are the words everybody likes to hear. I know that because if we didnít like to win Advertising Agencies and Marketing Consultants wouldnít use the idea of winning to entice us to buy almost every product imaginable. This week alone for $100 dinner place I could have won the house Iíve always dreamed of owning, a 25 dollar ticket could have won me a car, a free draw could have won me a Carribean Cruise, buying four C.D.ís could have made me $250,000 richer, a $1.00 ticiet could have won me 2 million dollars and just one more dollar on that very same ticket might have won me $100,000. Buying a caramel flaky pastry this week did win me a íbuy-one-get-one freeí Whopper at Burger King and a Twix Chocolate bar won me a free Supreme Personal Pan Pizza at Pizza Hut. So if I look a few pounds heavier this week itís from all the healthy food Iíve had! But we all like to win and we all face many chances to win every day. And thatís just it, isnít it. Itís a matter of chance. We could win. But then again, we might not, too. It is not a sure thing. But this morning what I have to offer you is a sure thing. Itís a winner, and itís a winner every time. I used that phrase this week that we often hear. I said, "I canít win if I donít play." But to be on the winning team this morning, there are no games to play and itís not a matter of chance. There is some risk, but we will always win.
You see, Jesus said in the last half of the last verse we read this morning, he says: "In this world you will have trouble, But take heart! I have overcome the world." Now thereís something in that statement that really gets me excited. It gets me more excited than even the possibility of winning, because Jesus said, "I have overcome the world." Itís that little word "have" in there that gets my heart going a little faster every time I read it. Because you see, it tells me, itís already done. And for a little while this morning, I would like us to consider what it means to live as winning Christians. Because Jesus tells us three very specific things in this little phrase that give to us a kind of blueprint for what will happen when weíre on his team.
Just like any great coach would do, Jesus lays it on the line for us. He tells us what to expect, then he gives us instructions for our strategy - what it is weíre to do, and then, then he assures us of victory. And victory is guaranteed!
1. First, Jesus tells us what to expect. He says, "In this world, you will have trouble..." Now as much as we like winning, none of us really like trouble, do we? But how often do we hear someone say, "Oh, it was worth the trouble!" I expect Daniel knew it was worth the trouble. We read about him first this morning. In fact, Daniel got into so much trouble that he ended up in the lionsí den. Now thatís not the lionís den that the little boy talked about when he and his family came home from church one Sunday. The sermon had been about Daniel, and the preacher had described quite vividly about Danielís experience in the lionís den. On the way home from the church, the little boy complained that the preacher seemed to be making an awful fuss about it. Mother looked at the young lad and said, "About what dear?" To which the little boy replied. "About Daniel in the lionsí
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