By: Darrelyn L. TuttAnd the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.Luke 18:13-14Today's Read: Luke 18; Psalm 103------The Winter Olympics are now winding down in Pyeongchang, South Korea.Life returns to its regular ebb and flow for the majority of folks,but life is newly beginning or unraveling for the winners and losers in the Olympic games.The United States will walk away with 23 gold medals putting them in fourth position behind Norway, Germany, and Canada.Since a historic gold was earned in women's ice hockey and the game is being touted now as a "watching necessity," I would anticipate a new familiarity of faces peeking at us and speaking to us from the advertising world of elite companies, with a line-up of the women hockey players in the lead. These individuals have now proven themselves "marketable" and companies will select them based on "success recognition."Put the product with the face and you'll have a winner.Hmmm ....------In contrast to the world, God has given us in His word, an entirely different outlook.God highlights people, to be sure, but His selection has a tendency toward sordid, unlikely, unusual candidates.For what reason does God do this?God is not looking to promote His name through our virtues and our successes but on the contrary, God is looking to promote His glory through man's most "unglorious" state.Lives that speak and reak of sin end up conformed by God and changed by Him ... and point to Him in an entirely beautiful and different way, and the last ones on the podium and the "no-names" off the podium find their names in the hallmark of God's elect.... and the last shall be first.Men who think themselves to be something have very little to offer God.Men who think themselves to be nothing wield unlimited potential in the hands of God.With consideration alone to "God's selection" maybe we ought to be highlighting and looking for a different kind of "lost, despised, and rejected" people.Maybe God's favorable ones turn out to be our most "unfavorable ones."Hmmm ..."But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And base things of this world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.That no flesh should glory in His presence.But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. That according as it is written, he that glorieth let him glory in the Lord."1 Corinthians 1:27-31------This is the only "true" list that matters ...It is God's list.Our boast must be in Christ alone.We don't make a declaration of Him based on gold medals He places around our necks;But on gold medals we continually place around His.God is on the throne and His beloved Christ is seated beside Him.The One and True Olympian Glory, Jesus Christ, is situated firmly and for finality at the right hand of the Father.And man is essentually "non-matterable" beside the glory of God.Make sure you live your life by the standard He has composed,And not your attempts at refining it and defining it.God be praised for who He is and who He chooses.------Three Study Suggestions:1) Meditate on today's scripture and highlight individuals selected by God and rejected by man. What does this tell you?2) The virtues you tout about yourself are meaningless to God and not likely to enhance the glory of God in any way. Record your weak points and ask God to reveal Himself through them and you'll find a new adventure just beginning with Him.3) Begin to pray for the "losers" in your life and you will see a very different view of life. You will begin to see with the eyes of the Father and you may begin to truly see "yourself."
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