17: Wienners and Losers

     Have you ever seen someone make the sign for the letter “L” with their fingers, and place it on their forehead? When this began to emerge amongst young folks I learned that it was the sign for a LOSER. So trying to fit in I awaited the chance to use this symbol. When I did, I used the wrong hand and up popped a backwards “L”. I was such a loser, I couldn’t even make sign for a loser.

     No one wants to be a loser. We all want to be winners. But we are born losers. And it is a good thing. Because Jesus came to save losers. God loves losers. God picks losers to be on his team. I’m thankful I am not noble, mighty, or wise after the flesh. Because God chose the foolish-weak-base-despised-not-sick-sinners, and ungodly.

     1 Corinthians 1:26 For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong; 28 and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are: 29 that no flesh should glory before God.

     Mark 2:16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and publicans, said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? 17 And when Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

     How chivalrous is it for one man to die for another. It is the ultimate act of benevolence for someone to take the place of a virtuous individual. But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

And while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6

Our Compatriots

And we are in good company, for there is a “great a cloud of witnesses,” who also were losers. They were the youngest, the least equipped, from the smallest tribes, the poorest families, with the most sins, and the fewest degrees.

1 Samuel 16:11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he is keeping the sheep.

Exodus 4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, Oh, Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Judges 6:15 And he said unto him, Oh, Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

1 Samuel 9:21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou to me after this manner?

1 Timothy 1:15 Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief:

The early disciples
Acts 4:13 Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

The Bigger the Loser, the Greater Glory to the Coach

     Good coaches love to take winless programs and turn them around. The greater the challenge the more glory to the man who can turn a losing team into a winning team. Don Shula took over as head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 1970. They lost in the Super Bowl in 1971 and in 1972 had the only perfect season in the history of the NFL going 17-0. Shula holds the all-time NFL record for victories, with 347. Former Oiler head coach Bum Phillips said of Shula, “He can take his’n and beat your’n and take your’n and beat his’n.”

     We all know in our heart of hearts that God alone gets all the glory for taking sinners and losers and accomplishing his purposes on this earth. HE is the greatest coach of all time. His strength is made perfect in choosing to slay a giant through “the youngest of eight”, speaking through one who was “slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” bringing victory through “the least in his fathers house, from the poorest family”, making a king out of the “smallest tribe and the least family”, transforming the “chief of sinners” into an apostle to the gentiles, and changing the world through “unlearned and ignorant men.”

So let us never forget from the pit from which we were dug1 but rather let us glory in our weakness that the power of Christ2 may rest upon us this New Year.

1 Isaiah 51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye were hewn, and to the hold of the pit whence ye were digged.

2 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.