Jesus amazed his listeners in explaining deep spiritual truths by using common life situation and things around Him to illustrate a point: sheep, goats, coins, candles, salt, cities, sand, grain, wine, water, bread, family relationships, farming, fishing, storms, birth, death and a multitude of other metaphors. Life Lessons from Chess is an attempt to follow His model.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Keeping On Track

Key Bible Verses: I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (John 15:5-6)

In 1972 Bobby Fischer represented the United States by becoming the first American World Champion. It could be said that he did more to inspire people to play the game of chess than anyone in United States history. I personally watched several of those championship games live on television. Unfortunately, being an unofficial ambassador for the United States changed over the years. It seemed to reach an all time low during his interview on September 11 with Radio Bombo in Baguio City, right after the terrorist attack on the United States. Mr. Fischer said: "This is all wonderful news. It is time to finish off the US once and for all.” "I was happy and could not believe what was happening.” He had gone from being an unofficial ambassador to an anti-American. He lost his loyalty.

Remaining loyal to our faith in Christ is a key ingredient to our future. The Bible is clear that “assurance does not mean that our salvation is guaranteed to us against our free will. This is consistent with our understanding of the grace of God, who always leaves us open to respond freely to him. Freedom to live by grace includes freedom to turn away.” (The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, Salvation Books, London England, c. 2010, page 180)

Jesus said in John 15:4, “remain in me, and I will remain in you.”  (Other verses to consider:  1 Cor. 15:1-2; 1 John 2:24-25; Hebrews 6:1-8; 2 Peter 3:17; Hebrews 10:19-29; 2 Peter 2:20-22; Galatians 4:8-9; Rev. 2:4-5; 1 Tim. 4:1). Breaking this relationship can take many forms. It can occur through: a deliberate rejection of Christ; or knowing what God wants us to do, yet continuously choosing to do the opposite (Hebrews 10:19-39); or out and out neglecting our spiritual life (Hebrews 2:1-3).

My response: Lord, my desire is to remain loyal to you. Help me in this quest.

Thought to Apply: I will remind myself today that continuance in my relationship with Christ depends upon my continued obedient faith in him.

Just for Fun: In this diagram it is White’s move. Can you see a checkmate? This one takes two moves. I will give you hint. White first needs to move his bishop.

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