In recent conversation with a friend, I was kindly reminded how sometimes my competitive spirit gets the better of me. My friend sent me a picture of some beautiful flowers for Easter and a tasty seasonal drink. I replied by saying, “I don’t know which one is better.” Two completely different things and I wanted to rank them; to know which one was better, which one I would choose given the option. They told me, “It’s not a competition.” They were right.
That conversation got me thinking about how there is a lifelong internal competition within each of us. The reformer, Martin Luther, said we are both “sinner and saint.” The Apostle Paul said, “There is the new self and the old self.” Both were pointing out the same thing. Our sinful nature competes with our righteous nature for supremacy. There are times when the old self wins out. There are times when the new self is victorious. It is a constant back and forth. Martin was so concerned about his old self he spent eight, ten, or more hours per day in the confessional. He did not want his sinner nature to win out and keep him from eternal life.
Eventually, Martin came to understand that nothing he could do or not do, say or not say would separate him from the love of God in Jesus Christ. He realized there wasn’t an internal competition anymore. Victory had been won by Jesus when he was crucified on the cross. When he was buried in the grave. When he raised back to life. Victory was one and the internal competition between the sinner and the saint came to a close. The final victory had been won by Jesus!
I’m hanging on to the picture my friend sent me as a reminder that everything is not a competition. There once was an internal competition between the old self and new self in all of us. That competition has come to a close, because Jesus won and now nothing, not ever the sinner in us, can keep us from God and eternal life. When your competitive spirit pops up, I pray it reminds you that victory has already been won for you and you don’t have to rank everything and pick what is best. The best has already been won for you.
Working on behalf of the Church
If you have a question or comment relating to any FUPC ministry or program please contact an elder listed below:
Building & Grounds—Brad Kunz
Christian Education—Susie Benson
Evangelism—Mary Lee Muniz
New Members/Visitors—Lyle Hill
This month we lift up in our hearts and prayers
Todd Tillman and family in the passing of Todd's father.
Chuck and Anne Tennant.
Mary Beth Dellamano and family in the passing of Mary Beth's father.
Do you have a prayer concerns that you would like listed in the Presenter? If you have persmission from that person to be added and published, please email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have something you would like to share in the presenter for next month, please email it to the church office email address before Tuesday April 27, 2021