Jesus became flesh, because until He did the prophesies were unfulfilled, the promises were waiting, the symbols had no meaning, the type had no antitype, and the story had no happy ending. Imagine Cinderella without the Prince showing up to save her from her tormentors, or Sleeping Beauty never to rise again to the kiss of her Prince Charming. Imagine, the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird,” with no Atticus Finch, or Paul Harvey without “the rest of the story.” Without Jesus, there is a gaping hole in the plot of the Old Testament and main character never shows up.
Living the overcomer’s life is not about living a miserable life now and hoping to have a good life someday. It’s about living a victorious life, a triumphant life, an abundant life now, even if it means denying ourselves as we take up our cross daily to follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). Even if it means we stand against the current of a perverse media-driven culture and refuse to go-along to get-along. We do it gladly, give cheerfully, and live joyfully because we know that the “sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18).
It’s not about becoming overcomers, but about living as overcomers, because when we gave our heart to Jesus, we became an overcomer. We overcame the chains of sin. We overcame guilt and condemnation. We overcame death, hell, and the grave. We overcame, because when we put our faith in God’s grace, we tied our destiny to Jesus and our victory is guaranteed through His victory.
Have you ever been promised something, but then the person who promised it was either unable to fulfill the promise, or simply refused to keep their promise? Broken promises often result in broken hearts, broken homes, and broken dreams, leaving people cynical and bitter. But when it comes to God, the Bible tells us in Numbers 23:19, that
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
There are many and precious promises to the believer in the Bible, and we can be sure that if God said it, He will do it. However, of all the promises in the Bible, I don’t think there are any more powerful or profound than those found in the book of Revelation; especially the powerful promises to the overcomers.
Paul tells us that we do not have to be overcome by evil. Notice also that Paul isn’t telling us to learn to tolerate evil. He doesn’t say, “Hang in there till Jesus comes.” What does Paul say? He says “overcome evil”! We can be the victors and not the victims. We can live the overcomer’s life! And then Paul tells us, as Jesus did, how to overcome evil; he says “overcome evil with good.”
The Writer of Hebrews bluntly tells us Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” Jesus is our example, He is the one who breaks the mold and shows us that we can live the overcomer’s life, even if we are just flesh and blood. Jesus gave us many examples of overcoming, but today I want to highlight three important areas where Jesus shows us that through faith in Him, we can be overcomers: We can overcome temptation, we can overcome unforgiveness, and we can overcome fear
The promises of God to overcomers are so extraordinary and powerful that I decided to explore the topic of “living the life of an overcomer,” which will be the title for this series of sermons. This should be a very exciting journey and you need to invite your friends and family to be with you in church over the next eight weeks. If you have people in your life that always seem to be defeated, depressed, or discouraged, let them know that the preacher at you church is sharing a series of messages that will provide truth from God’s Word that will help them experience a profound turnaround in their life. Yes, they can be transformed by grace, into an overcomer to the glory of God.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t preach or teach much on the topic of giving. The reason I don’t is because I have heard so much foolishness from so many preachers on this topic that I’ve just shied away from it. I don’t want to be associated with people who appear to be marketing God’s blessings. They talk a lot about “seed faith,” but the soil they want to plant that seed in is often their own bank account. They call it their “ministry,” but too often their “ministry” is their own salary, house, clothes and cars.
It seems the concept of “personal sacrifice” is foreign to so many in our Western culture. In our materialistic world, the focus is on self, about getting all I can, canning all I get, sitting on the can, and selling the rest. Following the sacrifices of World War II, our nation has fostered generation after generation that has no idea what it means to sacrifice for someone else, or for a belief or ideal that is worthy of our very best. Why is the concept of sacrifice to foreign to so many? It is because a sacrifice cost something.
I tend to believe the best in people, and I want to believe we are all being faithful in tithes and doing our very best in offerings. And I know what it feels like to do my best, and then have someone come along and tell me, “That’s not good enough.” That discourages a person, and makes it hard keep doing our best when we are made to feel like our best is never good enough. However, if we are faithful, God knows, and He always blesses the faithful. As the old song said, “There’s gonna be a payday, someday for all who have been true.”