October 24, 2023
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One Sunday afternoon, my son and I were chasing a Giants football game wherever we went. When we were near the TV at home, of course, we were glued to that. And then we were in the car, and so we'd listen on the radio. And when we got to a place where one of us had to go in, only one of us went in so the other one could stay in the car and could get an update. A little fanatic! Yeah.And then the one who went in got back as soon as he could.
You can see why the word fan is short for fanatic, right? We were in bad shape! But, you know, it was a decisive game and the outcome was up for grabs. When the Giants took the lead, my son said, "Dad, I'm wearing my Giants sweater to school tomorrow." I said, "Good. What if they lose?" He paused for a moment and then he very proudly said, "Either way." I respect loyalty like that, and I'm not the only one.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Wearing His Colors, Win or Lose."
There's a man in the Bible who didn't always wear Jesus' colors. In John 19:38, our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus has been crucified. Later it says, "Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away." Now, listen, it's interesting that Joseph of Arimathea probably, well, figuratively had a jersey that said, "I belong to Jesus Christ." But he took it off when he was in settings where it could be embarrassing or where it could cost him something like in the Sanhedrin.
Jesus has a lot of followers like that-maybe you. You're probably His when that's the winning idea; when that's the thing everybody's doing, is singing the songs and maybe give a testimony. You voice His values when you're in His meetings, and then you go to the office or your workplace where being identified with Jesus might give you a loser status. Or you go to school, or you're with that group of friends, and suddenly you submerge faster than a submarine. See, we're like "fit in" people; changing our allegiance as the environment changes.
Well, there's good news for people like that, because people like that can change. Joseph did. Notice he came out of hiding. He took his stand for good. He said, "Jesus can be buried in my tomb." He would be forever identified with Jesus from that day on. There was no turning back. Why? Because he saw what Jesus did on the cross for him.
Isn't it time for you to go public with your commitment to Christ - to let people know where you stand and who you stand with; to let them know you're not ashamed of the Man who was not ashamed of you as He hung on a cross?
The fans who can truly celebrate when their team finally wins are the ones who were loyal when no one else was. Jesus will win. Every knee will bow at His name. The real winners will be those who stood by Jesus when it cost them something.
So, step up to the freedom and the adventure of finally saying, "I belong to Jesus Christ no matter what it costs." And if someone should ask you, "But what if it means you lose?" You'll answer proudly, "Either way."