Success Attitudes

Some learning from hearing Joel Osteen's web cast
  1. Things don't happen to us, they happen for us - to bring us to greater height of growth.
  2. All things work for good Rom 8:28 - a seemingly bad things from our and other points of view will work for our good!
  3. Don't have a slave or victim mentality. Don't concentrate on blaming others for our failures or lack of trying; don't say we cannot; don't let others determine our future.
  4. Have the resurrection attitude - from death to life, from failure to stepping stone, from defeat to victory.
  5. Always have a positive and success attitude towards life and all the happenings.
  6. Covey's 10-90 principle teaches us that of the 10% of things that happen to us are beyond our control, 90% of the outcome of good or bad depends on our reactions. Convert every happenings to be an opportunity for good.
  7. We have an extra help in such times, it is our God.
  8. Some other preacher says that set-back is a set-up for us to come back again.
  9. Recall the sea-gull parable - the person who hurt you is the least able to help you. Don't wait for them to make good the hurt. Forgive and forget those people and go on with life.


Images and Picture Missing

Some how the images and photos in all my past postings are gone.
I waited a week to see if it recovers. It did not.
I will put back the image one at a time if I could find them.
Sorry for the missing mind maps and pictures.

I was told that images and pictures on the Blogger are all stored in Picasa's web album and it was most likely that I accidentally deleted them while using Picasa.


The Meaning of "More than Conquerors"

Most people define 'more than conqueror' as conquering completely and absolutely.  They said it was Paul emphasising the extend of conquering. But, if will look at the verse within its context, it means much more.  More-than-Conquerors are "Transformers of lives and circumstances to glorify God even through the suffering of love" resulting in converting enemy into friend and threats into opportunities.
A few weeks ago, an invited speaker to our church preached 2 weeks on the topic of "More Than Conquerors". I was much encouraged but felt I did not grasp the topic fully. So I went to do more digging into the Bible and was finally satisfied with the answer I found about the real meaning of "More than Conqueror".

A respected pastor first gave me an illustration of what the meaning of "More than Conqueror" was. A boxer fought hard and won a prize in a boxing match. He went home and gave the prize to his wife. His wife was "more-than-a-conqueror" - she got all the benefits and did none of the painful work. In a way, this is a great truth of the Gospel of Salvation- Jesus suffered and died on the cross and then resurrected for our redemption. We are unable and did nothing to gain the inheritance of Son-ship. It was freely given by Jesus. However, this illustration is not correct from the context of the verse where the phrase is found. It actually distorts the meaning in the context. Let examine this further.

The phrase is found in Rom 8:37 .....
Romans 8:37 (KJV) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

What are these things of v37? They are found in v35 tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword.

A keyword in v37 is "IN" and not out of it. When we are in the midst of tribulations and hardships, we are more than conquerors. We are to be IN the suffering with Christ in us.

I was at first puzzled by the reference in v36, "As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. " But it is the key verse to explain the meaning of more-than-conqueror.

More-than-conqueror should be very different from just conqueror. v36 gives us the cue to the differences. Conqueror overcomes the enemy by confrontation, by force, by elimination, by killing, and by fear to get them into submission. The victory is as lasting as the victor has the force and power.

'More-than' is entirely different in method and motivation.
  1. It is not by force but by love to draw you. It is about suffering for the enemy's sake to draw them out to be willing to choose your kingdom life & lifestyle for themselves. 
  2. Conqueror is about the benefits of the Conqueror - Me. 'More-than" is about the benefits of the others and not ourselves.
The Speaker cited Jim Elliot's story to illustrate the point. He had a gun with them. He could use the gun to kill his attackers. But he did not. The reasoning was that if he should die he would go to heaven whereas his attackers, without knowing the gospel yet, will go to hell. He chose to be killed (more-than-conqueror) instead of killing (Conqueror).

The final outcome, after his death, was the conversion of his attackers and their whole tribe. This is the meaning of "more-than-conqueror". It is not about overcoming the enemy but about converting the enemy to become friends by acts of the suffering of love.

This is the way of the cross that Jesus has gone through before us and Paul's motto of life in  
  • Philippians 3:10 (KJV) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; and 
  • Col 1:24 [ALT] Now I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf, and I am filling up [or, completing] the [things] lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body, which is the Assembly.
In studying the whole passage of Rom 8 and related verses in the Bible, I come out with the following definitions of "More than Conquerors".
More than Conquerors are "Transformers of lives and circumstances to glorify God even through suffering of love" resulting in converting enemy into friend and threats into opportunities.
It is the attitude of
  • Rom 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good and
  • 1Th 5:15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
  • Romans 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. [even in adverse circumstances ---- added by me]
We can find many illustrations in the Bible that show forth the acts of "more than conquerors"
  • Jesus on the cross for sinners
  • Joseph forgave his brothers for the greater good of the people
  • Paul's shipwreck resulting in the salvation of islanders
  • .....
Beyond Conqueror
In our Life Group discussion, the term "Beyond Conqueror" was suggested. Paul was not talking about more of the conqueror but an entirely different dimension of winning over the adversity of circumstances and people - transforming to convert the hearts of opposition to reception and breaking free from the stifling circumstances to greater success beyond expectation.

Following this understanding with living it out in "Living the More-than-Conqueror's Life".

Here is John Piper's exposition on these verses where he defines "More than conquerors" as "making your enemies to serve you for our good. as in Rom 8:28". This is similar but narrower to my definition because there is still a separation of the enemy and us.