Tuesday, 02 September 2014 16:03

God Loves Underdogs

Written by  Mark Jackson, Ministry Executive, Mulder Memorial UMC
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Remember Rocky Balboa? Here are some facts you might not know...

 

The entire Rocky series was the most successful sports movie franchise of all-time. The series was the recipient of three Oscars, while winning best picture.  With a production budget of $1.1 million, it grossed $225 million.  Rocky was filmed in a record twenty-eight days.  Sylvester Stallone wrote the script by hand in 3 1/2 days.

 

Who was Rocky Balboa?  He was a two-bit, 30-year-old fighter from the city of Philadelphia. He lived a lonely, simple life in a dingy, cramped, one-room, second-floor apartment in South Philly in a deteriorating, bleak area of the city. To keep him company, he had two pet turtles, Cuff and Link, a tiny goldfish named Moby Dick, and a curling wall poster of heavyweight boxing idol Rocky Marciano.

 

Because of an injury to champion Apollo Creeds’ opponent, Rocky is given the chance of a lifetime. Here is how the announcer described Rocky’s dismal chances as he approached the ring: “Rocky is a fifty-to-one underdog...”

 

What made this movie and entire series of movies such a huge success? Rocky was the underdog and everybody loves a good underdog story.  They inspire us, they give us hope!

 

Have you ever felt like an underdog? Like you don’t have the ability or confidence to pursue your dreams? The Bible is full of ordinary people the world considered underdogs. Yet God chose them to do His work.

 

One example would be the Apostle Peter.  Here are four reasons Peter could be considered an underdog.

 

 

He was an ordinary man.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. - Acts 4:13

 

 

He could be overzealous.

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear.- John 18:10

 

 

He would speak before thinking.

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. - Mark 8:31-33

 

 

He was hard-headed.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”  - John 13:6-8

 

 

Look how God used Peter despite his flaws.

He preached at Pentecost and three thousand people were saved (Acts 2:14–41). He and John healed a lame man (Acts 3:1–10). He was so powerful that people were healed in his shadow (Acts 5:15–16). He raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36–42). He introduced the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). And he wrote two epistles, 1 and 2 Peter, in which he featured the very same lessons he had learned from the Lord about true character.

 

It is easy for us to feel unworthy and allow our weaknesses to keep us from the Lord’s plan for our life.  In Ephesians 2:10 the Bible says we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

I want to encourage you today that God uses ordinary people (underdogs) because they can humble themselves and realize that God receives the glory.

 

Rocky was a smashing success because we all love underdogs.  God loves underdogs, too, and has chosen to use them throughout history to reveal His love and redemptive plan for mankind. Where will you allow God to use you?

 

Mark Jackson is ministry executive at Mulder Memorial United Methodist Church in Wetumpka. He is married to Jeri and has four children: Kyle, Chase, Stephanie and Michele.

 

 

Last modified on Sunday, 14 September 2014 16:08
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