God’s Champions

finishing-line-convertedWhen I was young, there was a television commercial that touted, “Wheaties, the breakfast of champions.” Children wanted to eat Wheaties cereal because they admired the sportsmen who ate it and wanted to be like them. Everyone wants to be a winner. Whatever we attempt, we want to do well, but becoming a champion can be elusive. One’s life can be lived without ever feeling successful. With Christ, however, we can sense real accomplishment. When Christ is in us, he does it all.

In 2 Timothy 2:1-4, Paul instructs us to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus,” and offers guidance through the examples of a soldier, athlete and farmer—champions all. Soldiers endure hardships. Athletes compete according to the rules. Farmers sow, prune, fertilize and give loving oversight to their fields, partaking of the first fruits of their labours.

Champions are disciplined. They do not become entangled with the affairs of this world. We, too, can embrace this lifestyle. You may think you don’t possess a spirit of victory, but in Christ, you are a winner. He will work in and through you to accomplish what he has designed for you to do.

We are called to champion the cause of Christ, his cross and the Great Commission. One of my favourite songs says:

God can do anything, anything, anything.
God can do anything but fail!
He can save, he can cleanse.
He can keep, and he will.
God can do anything, but fail!

He’s the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
God can do anything, anything, anything.
God can do anything, but fail!

I used to sing this during my early years in a little Wesleyan Methodist Church at McCrae Brook, Eldred, Pennsylvania. Growing up with my godly mother and father, I experienced God through my mother’s singing, praying and work with missionary women. She would raise money for missions and help pay our church’s budget. I often wondered how this little church could survive. I was amazed that enough was raised to pay the pastor, support his family and supply the needs of the church family.

Seeing miracles result from prayer became a faith builder that has enabled me to trust God to do the most impossible things. In fact, only he can do what seems utterly impossible. Because our miracle-working God lives through his ambassadors on earth, he makes the impossible possible through them. We accomplish jobs, tasks and work that without him would be unachievable. As his strength becomes ours, we are able to work in unison with difficult people. When we take him at his word, we believe the unthinkable and a true champion spirit emerges in us.

Moses said, “I can’t speak eloquently.” Joshua may have thought, “The walls of Jericho are too high and too thick.” The disciples saw thousands of hungry people and questioned, “Where will we get enough bread to feed them?” But God said to all of them, “I know you can’t, but you can through me.” God is able to fulfil the impossible through each one of us. Will you let him?

General John Gowans (Rtd) said: “Jesus always asks us to do what we … are not equipped to do. He says to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stretch out your hand!’ To the paralytic man, Christ says, ‘Take up your bed and walk!’ To the dead Lazarus, Christ says, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ ”

What is Jesus asking you to do? All things are possible with God. Be his champion!

francis_marilyn_cmsr_medCommissioner Marilyn D. Francis is Territorial President of Women’s Ministries for Canada and Bermuda. Her husband, Commissioner William W. Francis, is the Territorial Commander. Commissioner Marilyn Francis is an accomplished vocalist and pianist. She has produced an audio recording of vocal and keyboard improvisation of hymns and gospel songs titled Just a Closer Walk. Commissioners Francis have two adult children, Captain William Marshall and Susan Marjorie, plus six grandchildren.

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