Our lives don’t have to be hopeless and without God. The love and grace of God are good news for everyone.
Ephesians 2.13-16 – But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us,
Abolishing the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace,
And might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.
Win-Win and Win-Lose
Steven Covey introduced me to the concepts of “Win-Win” and “Win-Lose.”
When interacting with others, we should strive for a “Win-Win” situation. In this case, both sides get something out of the deal and leave satisfied.
War is an example of what happens when two sides adopt a “Win-Lose” position. If I am determined to win at all costs and you adopt the same perspective, then one or both of us are on a collision course and certain to lose.
The war between Russia and Ukraine is a dramatic example of two nations with a “Win-Lose” mentality. The best technology on earth is being deployed to kill, steal, and destroy property and human life on a vast scale.
Satan is the author of the “Win-Lose” mentality.
On the other hand, God is the author of a “Lose-Win” way of life. Jesus’ willingness to “lose” on the cross made way for all humans to “win.”
The Ultimate Peacemaker
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5.9).
He counseled his followers, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
“But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5.43-45).
Jesus lived what he taught. He was willing to “lose” on the cross to bring peace to a broken world.
The Good News Message
The truth of Jesus’ “Lose-Win” mission is good news for humanity. He absorbed the hurt caused by human rebellion and iniquity in his sacrificial death on the cross.
Jesus “lost” on the cross, so we could “win.”
— Verse 13 – The far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
— Verse 14 – He is our peace . . . and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.
— Verse 15 – He created in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace.
— Verse 16 – He reconciled both [Jews and Gentiles] to God in one body through the cross.
Jesus sacrificed for a great purpose. He defeated his enemies by making us his friends.
His love conquers our rebellion and in turn, causes us to love in return.
We see his behavior and choose to adopt a “Win-Win” relationship with other people.
As we imitate Jesus’ behavior, we become peacemakers and adopt a “Lose-Win” attitude when that becomes the best response.
We take seriously Jesus’ message about retaliation. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
“But I say to you: Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also” (Matthew 5.38-39).
The good news is that God has removed any barrier between humans and himself. It is equally good news that God uses us to restore the relationship between people.
He wants to empower us to live “Win-Win” relationships with others and at times to employ the “Lose-Win” approach.
YouTube Video and Prayer
Rudy Ross and I have produced a YouTube video on this subject. You will enjoy Rudy’s thoughts on this passage. The video can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.