GET TOGETHER- PASSION
Mt 6:19 -21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
This one today is one that I am really trying to dodge from writing. First of all, I don’t want to come across as hypocritical, or fault finding. On the other hand, I know that the Lord is giving me this message and when we ask Him to give us one it is our responsibility to deliver the message.
Over the year in my life I have either played some type of sports, coached, or have been a fan. I watch college football on television, our son is a college basketball coach, and our grandchildren participate in youth sports. I must admit that at one time in my life some of these things were idols. Meaning that I had a greater passion and desire for them than I did for God. One definition of passion is a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.
I am thankful for the many athletes and coaches that take public stands for Jesus Christ. I know that can be a very unpopular stand on many college campuses, certain cities where there are professional teams, and even for high school players and coaches in certain parts of the country. I know that these players and coaches put in a lot of time and effort to excel in their various athletic endeavors. I also know that we can learn things through healthy athletic competition that can help us as Christians in advancing the Kingdom of God here on the earth.
So, with that said here are some things that the Lord has dealt with my heart about. Is my passion greater for Jesus Christ and serving Him than for not only just another sports team, or school, but greater for Him than for anything else? Am I known more for what team, or school that I pull for than for who is my Lord and Savior? Do I share the good news with Jesus Christ with others more than I share how my favorite team is doing? Can my behavior when I pull for my team bring glory to Jesus Christ? Can the Lord use my enjoyment for sports to build Kingdom relationships? That means relationships with people who have a different favorite team than I do.
With that said I have fallen short in those several times since I have been a Christian. Sometimes in the church we just write some of those things off and say well I am not perfect. And we are not. But on the other hand, God wants us to go from glory to glory and when the Holy Spirit deals with us on some things He is wanting to help us to go from glory to glory. He is wanting to help us to store up treasure in Heaven that will last forever and ever.
One day all of the trophies will be turned to rust. One day all of the banners will be destroyed by the moths. The last few years when I pray for the teams that I pull for and for those that play against them I pray that the Lord will teach the players eternal things through their experiences on the fields and on the court. Again, I haven’t arrived yet. But the Apostle Paul who sometimes used terms from the sporting events from his day to teach a spiritual principle said it this way : Php 3:12-14 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” It is my prayer that God will use this devotional in some way that all who read it will one day receive that prize that never ever will be destroyed by moths nor rust. And that in whatever we do that we will bring glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Let Us Pray
Lord we thank You for the gift of healthy athletic competition. We pray for all who participate that are Christians that you will help them to bring glory to Your name. We pray that these will learn Kingdom principles and practice Kingdom principles in their athletic endeavors. For those that are not Christians we pray that in some way that You would reveal yourself to them. May they see the difference in their team mates and opponents that follow and serve You. For all of us that enjoy athletic competition help us to learn to enjoy it in a way that brings glory to Your Name. Please begin with me. Help us all to press on and be moving toward the upward call of God in Christ. We thank You for the eternal rewards that You have paid the price for and have laid up for us in Heaven.
In Jesus Name
This message stepped on my toes some. When the Holy Spirit steps on our toes it is to help us walk in a better way that brings glory to His Name. Love you all!