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Message from the Monthly Flyer from August 2014

Champion of the World? Champion for Jesus

Germany is champion of the world of soccer game for the year 2014. Many months of hard work, intense training and total commitment have thus been rewarded. At last, the great prize that every nation wishes so dearly to possess has been won. Throughout the competition, the battle has been rough. Finally, the most expected moment had come: each player was able to hold the precious world cup of the soccer game made of pure gold in his hands. One after the other, they proudly held up the cup while shouting for joy. The all exited supporters did not cease to praise the winning team and shout out the names of their heroes. The whole competition was an unforgettable time of self-sacrifice and passion. The ecstasy was at its height as the cup was finally handed over to the winning team. This victory will be celebrated for many weeks to come and its remembrance is forever carved in the annals of history.

The spectacular victory of Germany over Argentina and the wave of rejoicing that it caused, is able to give us an idea of the great and majestic celebration that is being prepared in heaven for all the Christians who will fight the good fight of faith till the end (1 Timothy 6, 12). We are not fighting against individuals (Ephesians 6, 12), nor are we fighting for a temporary reward, but rather to "receive the prize of the heavenly calling in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3, 14). As Christians, our main goa is to receive the crown of life one day, the incorruptible crown that the Lord has promised to all those who love Him and keep His commandments (James 1, 12).

As it is the case in a soccer game, we also have to face our adversary on a daily basis. As Christians, we are often exposed to danger. We also get hurt and we go through numerous trials and temptations that may seem overwhelming to us. Tribulations and difficulties are sometimes our daily bread. But in all of this, we remember that our loving Father will not put on us more than we can bear. The Bible declares in 1 Corinthians 10, 13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” Moreover, these trials are not aimed to destroy us but to develop our Christian character, so that Jesus will be formed in us. They are also profitable to us and work for our good (Romans 8, 28). The Bible says that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who loves us and gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins (Romans 8, 37). With Jesus we are automatically in the winning team because He shed His precious blood at the cross of Calvary to redeem us from the power of sin, and victory is certain if we hold on to His Word. Jesus Himself is fighting on our behalf. All power has been given to Him in heaven and on earth and nothing shall ever been able to separate us from His love (Romans 8, 31-39). If God is for us, who can be against us? If we persevere till the end despite all the difficulties that we face, we will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away when the Chief Shepherd appears (1 Peter 5, 4).

The crown of life is not the only promise that we have received from God. Above all, we have the promise of everlasting life being next to Jesus, our Master, in the New Jerusalem, this glorious city with golden streets where there will be no more tears, sorrow or pain, and death will be no more (Revelation 21, 1-4). Moreover, we will be escorted by the angels to the banqueting table to celebrate the marriage of the Lamb. Then we will realize that our earthly trials and tribulations that we endured for Christ's sake will have been worth it all. That's why we rejoice over our troubles and hardships, knowing that "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8, 18; James 1, 2). We know that our trials will not last forever and we constantly look unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith (Hebrew 12, 2). The glory that is awaiting us cannot be compared with all the wealth of this earth. That's why we don't look after earthly treasures, but we strive to gather unto ourselves heavenly treasures and we seek for heavenly wealth and the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Matthew 6, 19-21; Colossians 3, 1-2). For what does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his soul and the purpose for which he was created? (Matthew 16, 28; Mark 8, 36; Luke 9, 25).

The joy and euphoria generated in Germany after winning the world cup of soccer game has been intensely reported through the media. The football fans are given the opportunity to just let go and rejoice every four years about this game. But all those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ do not have to wait for the year 2018 to celebrate their victory in Jesus. They can do so at all times because they always have the opportunity to make scores for Jesus and turn away the plans of their adversary. Jesus has come into the world so that we may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10, 10). His Word tells us that we have the right to rejoice all the time (Philippians 4, 16). He is the reason why we rejoice. In His presence there is fullness of joy and He can fill us with a joy that this world cannot take away from us (Psalm 16, 11; John 16, 22). So let's be champions for Jesus! To Him alone be the glory, and the honor, the worship and the praise, all thanksgivings and all the power, now and forevermore! Amen. mt

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