Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pastor Youcef, A Winner Is Him

"A WINNER IS YOU" The grammar is so terrible, but somehow satisfying and endearing. You really think, "Self, you is a winner." This funny phrase according to comes from the 1986 game Pro Wrestling for the NES...
...wherein the player was given a short congratulatory message after beating the match opponent. Similar to other poorly translated videogame messages, its broken English grammar certainly stuck with those who’ve seen it and continues to be celebrated today.
We all like to win, but if there is a winner there is usually a loser. There aren't many win-win situations in life. When they come around it's something really special. I mean the worse that could happen is that a winner would be you. And that ain't bad.

The Church had a win this passed week! Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released form prison. We had been praying for his release for years. Every day I would see tweets counting the days he had been held in prison awaiting his execution. To be honest with you, I thought it was over for him. Sadly, I had lost faith. But thank God he is out.

That doesn't mean the danger is gone. I fear for his life and the life of his family. Now that he has been freed and won't face execution, I fear he may still be killed by radicals in Iran. We must continue to pray for Pastor Youcef and his family.

This kind of treatment isn't anything new for Christians. It's been happening since John the Baptist. The Apostle Paul had a weird way of looking at the many times he was locked up. Just like in the case of Pastor Youcef, Paul's life was hanging in the balance. In Philippians 1:21 he said, "For me, living is Christ and dying is gain." John Piper calls this a win-win. You live=a winner is you. You die=a winner is you. Once you know Christ you can't lose.

I pray for Pastor Youcef's safety because I want him to be able to continue serving God, but realize that no matter what happens to him he wins. I guess you could say, a winner is him.

The same is true in your life. If you are a follower of Christ there is nothing you can do to lose. You is a winner.

Question: What would you do for God if you knew there was no way you could lose?