Daily Devotional

Joni Eareckson Tada’s inspirational daily devotionals are biblical insights that will enrich,
enlighten, and encourage you in your walk with Christ Jesus.

Growing Churches God's Way

God has given greater honor to the parts [of the body] that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body... if one part suffers, every part suffers with it. I Corinthians 12:25-26

I picked up the sports page in a newspaper last weekend and was intrigued by a comment on from a world-champion boxer: "People listen to winners...so I'm going to keep winning!" I put the paper down and sighed. The boxer is right. 

Society idolizes the power and prestige of a winner. But God's different. He loves losers. His divine favor rests upon people who die to self, defer to others, serve in humility, and sacrifice comfort--all for the glory of God. This rubs against human nature. We hate losing.
This intoxication with strength has even dulled the church. We're bent on building bigger, better, and more beautiful churches. We even gravitate to churches that are "winning," whether it's an on-the-go youth group or a burgeoning building campaign. If we were God, most of us would "grow a church" by picking the smartest people to be on our team. Our strategic planning sessions would include Madison Avenue types. We'd have our best public relations people doing focus groups. Weak people need not apply. Our gospel team would be smooth in speech and skilled in technique. We would accept only the cream of the crop.
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Thank God we're not calling the shots. He is. And although there are aspects of "winning" which are good, God builds churches a different way. Jesus says, "go out into the streets and alleys... find [the weak]... make them come in... so that my Father's house may be full" (Luke 14). God wants his house filled with inadequate and weak people. That way, everyone focuses on the strength of the Lord rather than the skill and wisdom of man.   

Lord Jesus, cultivate in me a Bible-blessed spirit of losing. And help me today to reach out to the weakest people I can find.

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