Andy Stanley - Loser's Club
So Madonna and I, Madonna and I are the same age. I am glad you laughed. Some of you took speech in college or you took a speech class somewhere along the way. And Dr. Rifkin, when I was at Georgia State University said, now, when you start a speech, you got to have like an opening line that's an attention grabber. I just thought Madonna and I just, those three words, I just had everybody's attention anyway, so we're the same age, but we also have something else in common that is way more important. And I discovered what we have in common, believe it or not, reading a Tim Keller book, many of you are familiar with Tim Keller. And in this particular book he referenced an interview that Madonna did with "Vogue" back in 1991.
At the time, Madonna and I were 32 years old. She was killing it in her particular profession. And I was taking middle schoolers to Six Flags. A little bit of a difference anyway, since then, 'cause that's a long time ago, before some of you were born. Since then, she may have figured out how to manage the dilemma that she talks about in this particular interview. But it's something that I can relate to even now. And I think it's something that probably many of us can relate to. So here's what she said. She said, "I have an iron will", that's not the part I can identify with. "I have an iron will. And all of my will has always been to conquer some horrible feeling of inadequacy". She says, "I always struggle. I'm always struggling with that fear. I push past one spell of it and discover myself as a special human being" 'cause we want to be special, right?
And then, "and then I get to another stage and I think I'm mediocre and uninteresting," so don't raise your hand, okay? But do you ever feel mediocre and uninteresting? Well, it might be because you are, I'm just kidding. Okay, anyway, but I mean you might be, in other words, it's just this whole idea of I'm just, there's nothing special about me. And so here she is wrestling with us and of course we hear this from anybody who's famous and we think what mediocre and uninteresting, the fact that you're even being interviewed by an international acclaim magazine.
Anyway. And then she says, "And I find a way to get myself out of that. I feel mediocre an interesting and then I find my way myself a way out of it. Again and again this happens. My drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre. And that's always that fear that, and that's always, that's what's always pushing me and pushing me because", and then this was kind of the showstopper for me a little bit. "Because even though I've become somebody, I still have to prove that I am somebody. And my struggle has never ended and it probably never will".
So what she's telling us honestly is that she's a striver. She's successful. And in this case, she's very self-aware. And many of us can relate to that, that angst, that discontent, that fear of being mediocre, maybe in your profession or maybe relationally, that dread of falling behind. That thing that's probably in all of us, whether it's in you as a mom or in you as a dad or in you professionally or academically, that sense of never enoughness. That the constant pressure to compete and the constant pressure to win in the court of public opinion. And you may not think of it in these terms, but all of you have a court, all of us have a court of public opinion. Your your court of public opinion may be the people you go to school with that you wanna achieve and you wanna succeed and you wanna be popular, but there's a court.
Maybe your court of public opinion is at work. The people you're competing with, you're trying to measure up to please your boss. Or maybe you are the boss and you want the people that report to you to love you and like you. And you're constantly aware of what people are saying, what they're thinking and how you're measuring up. Maybe your court of public opinion is just one person and maybe your father-in-law because you married his daughter. And now you just feel a little bit judged and you feel a bit a little bit less than and you're constantly trying to navigate and negotiate in such a way that you feel accepted by him.
Or maybe your court of public opinion is your parents or maybe it's your older brother or your older sister or maybe you're a mom and you got little kids and the court of public opinion is all the other moms and they're coming over to your house and your house looks like children live there. And you can't have your house look like children live there because they're gonna judge you. They're your court of public opinion. And that hasn't even crossed their mind, but it crosses your mind. So the point is, we're all in some ways, we have a court of public opinion that we're competing. For me, sometimes it's other pastors and other churches and maybe you fear like I do sometimes taking your foot off the accelerator, falling behind. And again, it's a joke falling behind who? People who don't even know there's a race.
So I don't know if you can relate to that or not, but I can. So we're gonna talk about it. Today, we're in part two of our series we launched last time we were together, Icon, the empowering invitation of the cross. The cross, you knew this before you got here, before you tuned in the cross is the icon for Christianity. For most modern Christians, the cross basically represents a way of believing. But in the first century, the cross represented something else. It represented a way of living a lifestyle. And the cross was actually an invitation, an invitation to an alternative way of life. Alternative but not intuitive.
In fact, to outsiders looking in at this different way of living. In fact, maybe to you looking out from the outside into this different way of living, not it just seems foolish. In fact, the author of half the New Testament, that's the word he is gonna use, we're gonna look at it in just a minute. He says, from the outside looking in, the invitation of the cross, the way of the cross, the way of Jesus, it is foolish. It's crazy. In fact, you might even chalk it off as lazy because it's an invitation that's so contrary to our nature that we are tempted to decline the invitation, as we said last time, every single day.
Because every single day, if you are a Jesus follower or if you're a Christian, you are invited every single day to follow the way or embrace the way of the cross. It's an invitation. And you get to choose whether or not you do it, even as someone who's placed their faith in Jesus as savior. And if you're not a Christian or you're sort of anti-Christian, or you're still trying to figure it out, you are standing on the outside of our faith tradition, which is fine. And you're looking in and this way of life that we're gonna talk about, if it strikes you as crazy, lazy or just foolish, the good news is you're not alone in your estimation 'cause again, the gentleman who wrote half the New Testament, that's the word he uses to describe it.
Now, the challenging thing is that I'm convinced it's just, no scientific method here, just my opinion. I'm convinced that a lot of Christians don't even know this invitation to the way of the cross even exists. For them and maybe for you because of your Christian faith tradition. For them, maybe for you Christianity's, kind of like a one and done, right? I prayed a prayer and asked Jesus to come into my heart and then I was baptized or I went through a class. So now Jesus is my savior. Or to quote Crawford Loritts, I love this statement. He says, "for a lot of people, for a lot of Christians, Jesus is a point of reference". Oh yeah, I put a check in that box. Oh yeah, I'm a Christian. Oh yeah, I was baptized. I pray to sinner's prayer.
So for many Christians, Jesus is my savior and the cross is my good luck charm. The cross is just a reminder to other people that, oh yeah, I'm one of those people. I'm one of those Christians because I accepted Jesus. Jesus is my savior and I have a cross. And the cross is my good luck charm. Now let's get back to the real world. Let's get back to living. Let's get back to the stuff of life. To use a phrase that Solomon coined in the Old Testament. Let's get back to chasing after the wind. A race with no finish line. A race where we grade ourselves and compare ourselves to other people who are chasing after the wind. People who in many cases aren't paying any attention to us, even though we are competing mentally with them. It's the way of life that fuels.
And again, we've all been there or are there, it's a way of life. Chasing after the wind is a way of life that fuels discontentment. And the thing is, this discontent leaks. It leaks onto your family. It leaks onto your direct reports. It leaks into your friendships. Discontentment communicates to the people around you. And you may not even know this is going on, but it is. Discontent, if people begin to feel like they're competing with our quest for something that might not include them, as we said last time, ambition and achievement. These are good things. These are God-given things. This is a reflection of the image of God in you. I mean, it is in us to be ambitious and to get things done just like it was with our heavenly Father.
We were born to take things that are chaotic and to bring order. These are good things. These are God-given things. But if you hand these two things, the reigns of your life, they wear you down and they wear you out. They're good things, but they are poor masters. And if you're a Christian, you already have a master. We already have a master whose icon is not the checkered flag, is not a trophy and is not a crown. The icon for our master is the symbol of suffering and shame and loss. Our icon is the cross. And the cross serves as an invitation. And as we're gonna see today, it serves as an empowering invitation. An invitation to live for the approval of one rather than living for the approval of everyone to live according to the agenda of the one, rather than the ever changing, ever shifting agenda of the culture that we live in and work in and play in and go to school in every single day.
So last time we were together, I gave you a frustrating assignment. I heard from some of you, I got it. In fact, it was so frustrating that I think I said, I might've said this last time, I was hesitant even to even to offer this question. I ran the question by several people, like, is this just, is this too much? Is this too much too soon? And the question was, I said, I want you to consider something. And the goal was to get us thinking in terms of the way of the cross because it is so other, it is so contrary. It is so backward. It is so against the grain.
And so I said last time, if you weren't here, the assignment was, hey, when you find yourself this week at odds with someone at work or at school or at home, there's conflict, there's tension to ask yourself, not act on it because it's too risky, but to at least ask yourself as you're in that conflict or going back and forth or considering how you're gonna respond, what would choosing to lose look like in this situation? What would choosing to lose look like in this situation? What would choosing not to win, not to win the discussion, not to win the argument. What would choosing to let them go first even though you're the one who got there first, what would it look like to choose to let them take credit even though they don't deserve the credit? Maybe you deserve the credit, but what would it look like to let them pull ahead, have their way?
And in many instances, this is just too terrifying to do. It's just so un-American, doesn't fit your temperament, doesn't fit the way you're wire doesn't fit the way you operate. It's not the way, in fact, it's not the way things get accomplished. It's not the way of the world. And so you can say no because the cross is an invitation. So you don't have to accept the invitation. In fact, you'll be tempted, I'll be tempted every single day not to accept the invitation of the way of the cross.
Most Christians, I'm afraid don't accept that invitation. That's why we look collectively. That's why we act collectively. And most importantly, it's why it seems Christians react like everybody else. Now, as we said last time, the person who understood this and had the greatest clarity around the contrast between the way of the world and the way of the cross is the Apostle Paul. And the reason he had such extraordinary clarity, if you know his story is this, that he was a professional striver, okay? In his pre-Jesus days, he was a professional striver. He actually prided himself, which is so strange. He documents this himself.
This isn't what people said about him, this is what he said about himself. He prided himself as the best in-class Pharisee of the first century. He outworked, which meant he out obeyed everybody he knew. He was ahead of the class when it came to being a religious, law-following, God-following, God-worshiping old covenant test, old Testament law-keeping Pharisee. And then, and this is why he's so helpful to us, then he meets Jesus personally. And in a matter of moments, not weeks and years, in a matter of moments, he has clarity around the contrast between the way of the kingdoms of this world, which is all anyone ever knew and all he ever knew.
And the way of Jesus. And his clarity fueled his passion to take the message of Jesus all around the Greek-speaking world, all around the Mediterranean realm. He realized that Jesus was not an add-on, that the cross was not a good luck charm. It was a way of life and not just a way of life. It was the opposite way of life. It was against the grain in almost every component, every facet, in a way, the way of the cross was an invitation to join the losers club because by every first century measure, Jesus lost. Jesus lost on purpose with a purpose. And the purpose included you and included me. And He says, now I want you to come follow Me. And if you do it enough, if enough of you do, we will change the world and we will change the culture of the world.
So when the apostle Paul introduces this whole idea of the way of the cross to a group of Greek-speaking, educated, striving men and women in Corinth, he acknowledges right up front what he knew they were gonna think when they heard about this crazy idea, this crazy way of life. Maybe the thing that you've already started thinking about it, just based on what I've said so far. Here's what he said. He said, don't be shocked. I get it. I know where you're coming from. Common ground. For the message of the cross. I'll admit it's foolishness. It's crazy, it's backwards, it's lazy. I mean it's not, it just doesn't line up with anything that you've ever done or anything maybe you've ever even seen before. The way of the cross is foolishness. And now he's gonna tell us who sees it as foolish and who doesn't.
But the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are, and I know we're getting a little grammatical here. Present participle. We're gonna see another present participle in just a minute. All the English teachers sat up straight. Yeah, okay. Present participle, those who are perishing, that the message of the cross or the way of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, to those who are fading away. To those who assume that all there is to life is this life, to those who assume that what you see is all that you can possibly get. And when it's over, it's over. Who assume that this life is all there is.
And yet, in spite of that, they clinging to the life that they've made for themselves. They clinging to the life that they've made for themselves. Because after all, all you see is all you get. They clinging to their fading reputation. Their fading beauty, they're fading health. They're fading relationships. They're fading hopes and dreams. They clinging to the things that are perishing or the things that are fading, it's if they can stop the inevitable. Because the cross and the way of the cross, and this is where it's challenging for me and challenging for you, the way of the cross represents everything. Those who are perishing resist. It represents their greatest fear. Fading away, falling behind, becoming less and less and less relevant.
Now, his point that he's about to make 'cause this is so amazing, but Paul's words are a little dense. If you've ever tried to read some of the letters of Paul, part of the problem was he wasn't writing, he was dictating. So when you dictate, you just have a long run on sentences. So when you read some of the things that Paul wrote, it's like, wait, where is this subject and where are we in this? So it's a little bit clunky, but here's the point he's about to make. Here's the point is this, that scrambling to reclaim and maintain what can't ultimately be reclaimed and maintained, that scrambling and working and chasing after the wind to reclaim and to maintain what can't be reclaimed and maintained.
That's what's foolish. Not the message or the way of the cross. Here's what he says. He says, for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being another president participle and those who of us who are being, being saved, not a one and done, I pray to salvation prayer, I'm good to go. He says, no for those of us who are being saved. In other words, those of us who are in the process of renewing our minds, of growing in our faith, of growing, in our understanding, of giving a little bit and a little bit and a little bit more of our lives away, learning how to follow Jesus.
Learning what it looks like to follow Jesus. And what I'm gonna have to do differently to follow Jesus. He says to those of us who are in the process of embracing the way of the cross, of being saved, it, this is so amazing. It, the message of the cross, it, the message of the cross, ready for this? This is the point of our few minutes together today. It the message of the cross, the way of the cross is the power of God. Here's what he's saying. That God's power begins to work in and through us when we embrace the way and the message of the cross, that God's power has the potential then to show up and manifest itself through our daily meager lives when we get in sync with the way of Jesus or the way of the cross.
The invitation, when we say yes to the invitation of the cross, when we say yes to the invitation to stop chasing what can't be caught, the invitation to stop clinging to, what can't be kept. This is how we are personally, real time, real world transformed. It's how we and this is what I talk about all the time. It's what I want us to get. It's how we begin to participate in the kingdom of God right now, not heaven someday, one day. To participate in the kingdom of God right now. You follow Jesus through the gospels and nothing could be clearer than the fact that he ushered in or he brought some manifestation of the kingdom of God. And those who are inheriting the kingdom of God are invited to play along, to live out kingdom values and to live our kingdom life right here, right now.
But Paul is saying, and he's gonna say it in a little bit different way in just a minute. You can't do that if you're chasing after the wind. You can't do that if you wear a cross and put a check in the I-love-Jesus box and then join the fray and join the race that doesn't have a finish line and doesn't bring about anything that lasts anyway. You can't do it that way. Nothing changes. It's how you participate in the kingdom of God and experience the power of God. The power of God that you see demonstrated every once in a while is the stop and stare power of God. Like, wait a minute, wait, wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa. She forgave them. Who? Who does that? Wait, wait, wait. He decided to give to them in spite of what they took from him, are you kidding me? The stop and stare contrary to culture, power of God.
When you see it, you recognize it. And the strange thing is this, when people of any faith tradition are no faith, tradition, see it, they stop and they stare. It's why it changed the world in the first century, because these Jesus followers took this seriously. The way of the cross wasn't represented by a single decision. It was represented in daily decisions to embrace the way of Jesus. And because they did, they manifested the power of God in visible ways that the way of the cross is where change begins. It's because the way of the cross is when we begin to live in sync with the life of Jesus, we live in sync with the spirit of Jesus. What the New Testament refers to as the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the spirit that produces through us, what we will never produce ourselves as long as we're chasing the wind.
You can't have it both ways, Christian or not. The spirit that produces through us. We're gonna talk about it in a minute. What we can't produce ourselves as long as we're chasing the wind because as long as you're chasing the wind, I'm chasing the wind, I'm striving, I'm competing, I'm comparing, and the Spirit of God and our Savior sits back and says, that's not how we do it. That's kingdoms of this world. And you're really good at it. You built the biggest one and you got the fastest one. And your beauty outlasted most of the other people's beauty. I mean, your kids are the smartest kids, but wow, that's not how we do it.
That's not the kingdom of God. That doesn't change anything. And it all fades and it all goes away. And what does this new way produce? What does the Spirit of God produce in us? And here's the interesting thing most of us can quote the list because the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Christians living in the Roman province of Galatia, he gives them a list of, hey, when you surrender to the Spirit of God, when you surrender to the way of the cross, when you surrender to the way of Jesus, here's what's gonna be manifested in you. He says, it's the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of good behavior in order to get the date, not the fruit of good behavior in order to do well in the interview.
We all know how to do that. The fruit of the Spirit is a response to the world around us that causes people to stop and stare because it is so otherworldly. It is so against the grain. It is so different. It's so admirable. These are the people that you wanna marry. These are the people that you want your kids to date. These are the people you wanna work for and work with. And here they are. Again, many of us can quote them. He says this fruit of the Spirit is love and joy and peace, patience and kindness. We talk about this all the time. Kindness.
You know what kindness is? Kindness is, I'm gonna loan you my strength rather than remind you of your weakness. We live in a world that's constantly reminding you of your weakness and the Jesus followers come along and say, I'm not gonna talk about your weakness. I'm just gonna loan you my strength. Patience. You know what patience is? Patience is I let you set the pace and then I walk at your pace and I don't say, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on. No, you set the pace. I'm gonna walk at your pace. Who does that? People living in sync with the Spirit of God. Do you know what these are actually? These are all responses.
So you don't get up tomorrow morning and go out and say, today I'm gonna be patient. Well, you gotta wait and see, right? Patience is a response. I'm gonna have self-control. This is, you know what self-control is? It's a response. It's a response to when you wanna control somebody else and you realize, oh no, I've embraced the way of the cross. I don't control other people. I surrender to the Spirit of God to control myself. I don't control outcomes, I don't control people. I don't control the circumstances. I don't control anything. I'm gonna allow the Spirit of God to control. These are all responses. And do you know what these responses require? Power, not weakness. Impatience, weakness, unkindness weakness, unfaithfulness, weakness. Not gonna be good 'cause you don't deserve it.
Weakness, you see, this isn't weak, this isn't passive. This is extraordinary. This is the power of God through you, through me. Not because we gen it up, but because we lay it down. Two verses later, he says this to the same group. He says, look, the same, the Apostle Paul again, since we live by the Spirit, since God placed his Holy Spirit and you as a pledge of the fact that you belong to God, since you live, since you have eternal life because of the Spirit. He's like, come on, let's do the next reasonable logical thing. Let's keep in step with the Spirit. In other words, this is an invitation to live in a different direction.
When your salvation is just a one and done, but you don't embrace the way of the cross or the way of Jesus or we don't embrace the way of the cross or the way of Jesus, you know what happens? We don't experience the power of God. And collectively, do you know what that means as a church, when the church doesn't get this right, it means we don't make a dent and we don't make a difference. And people look at the church like they're looking at the church in America right now, just to be honest. They just look at the church from the outside and they conclude. In fact, if you're not a Christian or not a believer, you're gonna love this next part. Okay? You're just applaud.
This may be your favorite part of any sermon you've ever heard before. They just look at us and they conclude that Christianity, it's just another religious, it's just a religious cover for a group of people who want things their way. Their candidate, their policy, their thing. They're just an ideology. They're just against the things their group is against that we're for the things our group is for. I mean, come on, there's nothing special about that group. They just all believe the same stuff. But there's no difference. And there's no difference because there's no power. There's no difference because we're just another group of people trying to have our way.
They notice that we use the same strategy and tactics as everybody else to get our way. Because once the church, once the body of Jesus embraces the strategies and tactics of the kingdoms of this world, we have already lost. It's the very thing we talked about last week. It's the very thing Jesus said no to in His third temptation. And do you know what we lose first? Or I should say, do you know who we lose first? We lose the next generation of potential Jesus followers. Because the next generation of potential Jesus followers, they wanna know, hey, before I decide and commit to follow Jesus, because to follow Jesus is gonna cost me something. To follow Jesus means I'm living against the grain.
Hey, before I choose whether or not to follow Jesus, are you following Jesus? Before they decide they are, they wanna know, are we? Are we, are you, am I? Or are we just a group of people who want our way in the world? Dang it. Back to what Paul said to the group in Corinth. This is amazing. He taunts them. He says this, I love this. Hey, so where are the wise people? Come on. He says, show me the wise people. Where are the wise people? I mean, he's talking to this group, they're in court, they're very educated, very sophisticated. They got all this cool rhetoric. It's very cosmopolitan. He's like, oh, come on, come on. You don't wanna do the way of Jesus because it's too counter-cultural. You don't wanna do the way of Jesus because it won't work. You wanna chase the wind.
So tell me, show me the wise people. It's amazing. And then he says, this is so good. Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? Translated, hey, haven't you seen enough? Haven't you lived long enough to know it doesn't work? That the predominant way isn't the way? Show me the wise people he says. The predominant way isn't the way because the predominant way, with the predominant way, everything eventually slips away. Come on, make it super practical. Haven't you, haven't we attended enough funerals to know what really matters, what really gets celebrated? What's worth celebrating at a funeral? And because of what I do, I go to too many funerals.
I did a funeral this past Thursday for a guys few years younger than me, was in our wedding. I've known him longer than I've known Sandra and his parents are there. And in 2020 I did the funeral for his older brother. They've buried both of their sons. I've known him for years and years and years. It's tragic. And yet their faith, I'm gonna talk about it in a few weeks, I'm gonna tell you some of that story. It's, their faith is amazing. But the point is, as we're sitting there celebrating Keith's life, what are we celebrating? What do you celebrate at a funeral? Have you ever, and because of what I do, I've been to a few funerals where you got to look hard for something to celebrate. Because in the end, we know what matters.
And that's what Jesus, your Savior, who says, there's more to this life than this life invites you and invites me into what do we celebrate? Do we celebrate winning at a funeral or serving? Achievement or character? What they clung to or what they gave away, what they fought to preserve or their willingness to fight for the rights and the benefit of others? See, we celebrate selflessness. In those moments, we realize that the value of a life, that the value of a life is always measured by how much of it was given away.
And Paul says, so show me the wise people out there chasing the wind. What do they have to show for it? Nothing. He says, you think the message and the way of the cross is foolish? That's foolish. You should follow Jesus and embrace the way of the cross. It is the way that is saturated with what really matters, what really counts and what really lasts. And you're smart enough to know it when you see it 'cause you've celebrated it and you're smart enough to see it in culture when somebody just works against, decides against the grain and their story stands out in contrast to everybody else's story.
The other's first way of the cross isn't foolish. We are the fools. We are the fools because we're so easily confused and so easily baited away from it. We know better. Our problem is we're afraid to live better. We're afraid to commit to it and I understand why because nobody else around us is, everybody else is chasing the wind. So we just run along with them except we pray, dear Lord, help me to win the race. Where's the finish line? I don't know, it's just everybody's running that way. So I'm running with, I have a cross and I have Jesus in my backpack. Me and God, I got a Bible. Jesus is like, Hey, wrong race. I appreciate your faith and I appreciate you inviting me into the circumstances of this. It's just the wrong race.
So let me just ask you this and we're gonna wrap this up. This, and this is kind of a crazy, silly question that it's rhetorical. Do you wanna experience the power of God in your life? Well, yeah, four of you do. Good. It's good. I think the online audience, they really, they want it. But four of you do. So here's how to think about this and we're gonna wrap it up. Okay? This is important. When this is when I got to this part in preparing the thing that came to mind.
I asked this question. Here's the question, when was the power of God most evident in the life of Jesus Our Savior, who came to explain what God is like? Two things came to my mind. The power of God was most evident when Jesus did His miracles. But who are those for? Do you know He never leveraged His power for His own benefit. The way I say it and I get in trouble for this 'cause you're smart, but people in other parts, they want to criticize me. I love, I say all the time, Jesus never played the God card. And I don't mean He didn't claim to be God. I mean, He didn't show up at the restaurant and say, we'd like the corner table.
I know there are eight people that just sat down there and they got kids, but I'm Jesus. So either you move them or I can. Okay, so. He never played the God card. All of his miracles, all that power of God was for not His benefit, everybody else's benefit. In fact, it was so much for other people's benefit. His power, His demonstrations of power were actually used against Him at His trial. And at His trial, they tried to get Him to defend himself, not my kingdom. I'm not that kind of king and I love it. And Pilate says, don't you realize I have the power to crucify you or set you free?
And Jesus smiles and says, you think you do. I mean in your realm of kingdom, you do. That's not my game. It's not why I'm here. In fact, I wish Jesus had said, hey, Pilate, but I got some good news. You're gonna be famous. You're gonna be a footnote. And my story, the story of the Kingdom of God come to earth. When's the other time Jesus manifested the power of God? Golgotha, the hill where He died? We would've been most horrified the moment God was most glorified. We in our kingdoms of this world way of thinking, we would've looked away. We would've gone inside because the smell on that hill would be enough to drive you away. The ultimate loss was the ultimate expression of God's power.
Do you want to experience the power of God in your life? By losing, He won? And don't be confused. I talked about this last week. I'm gonna probably say this every time. Look, this is not an invitation to being passive or just folding our arms and being lazy. Well, God's just gonna work it. Uhuh, follow Jesus through the gospels. Follow the Apostle Paul through the Book of Acts. This is not about this. The way of the cross. This is so important. The way of the cross is an invitation for you to leverage your talent and your opportunities to their full potential for the glory of your King who loves you and invite you to follow Him against the grain.
But the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But to those who are perishing, Paul says, okay, how's that working for you? Show me the wisdom. Show me the wise person. But to those of us who are being saved in the process of transformation, the message of the cross is the power of God. So I'm gonna frustrate you a little bit. We're just gonna leave it there. And if I were you, I'm thinking, okay, wait, wait, wait. Andy, I'm not arguing with you. I just don't understand. I don't know what that looks like. What does this mean? I mean, losing? And I can't answer that question for you personally.
But here's a breadcrumb. This week when there's conflict and you got there first, but they say they did and it was your idea, but they say it was theirs and they're fussing and griping and in the middle of that with just school, work, home, just ask yourself, you don't have to do anything yet. Just consider, let's take this as far as we can mentally. What would choosing to lose look like in this situation? And again, I can't tell you exactly what it'll look like, but I know what this represents. In that moment. You ready for this? This is so amazing, in that moment it represents an opportunity. It represents an opportunity for the power of God to be demonstrated in you. And we will pick it up right there next time. An icon, the empowering invitation of the cross.