Thursday, April 26, 2012
..."and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
The verses leading up to this verse lay the groundwork.
Verse 4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always."
Verse 5 says, "Let your gentleness be evident to all."
Verse 6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything..."
Verse 6 also says, "..in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
What I realized for myself is that I am real quick to look at verse 7 and say that I want that! I want that peace that passes all understanding, but the groundwork has been laid before verse 7. These aren't just suggestions but these are marching orders for life. Obviously in and of ourselves these are impossible and we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead. But what comes first, the peace or the actions? IF we are rejoicing and have a gentle heart and are not anxious and have thankful prayerful hearts doesn't that sound pretty peaceful to you. And all that only occurs through the power of the Holy Spirit and realizing that our Savior did something for us that we could never do for ourselves.
- Andrew Kown
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Life update - so as for my client appreciation dinner; God tee'd a great opportunity for me to bless the food for everyone so I did, and I think it was well received (not that it really mattered, Romans 1:16). I was debating my decision all the way down to the end, and God gave me some helpful hints to make it happen as He always does. I feel really good about it so that's encouraging. Praise God for answered prayer.
- Ben (Jules)
Friday, April 20, 2012
It is always important when interpreting Scripture to set the context of the passage or verse. The particular context of this verse was that it was written to Christians living in the pagan city of Corinth. The Christians that lived in Corinth faced a serious dilemma that caused a lot of controversy. The question was, now that they were Christians were they allowed to eat meat that was sacrificed to idols then sold in the market? Would the act of eating this meat be dishonoring to God? Paul's answer was that the meat was not affected by the sacrificial rituals; therefore, Christians can eat the meat. However, if Christians went to the pagan banquets where the animals were sacrificed and participated in the rituals, then they would be sinning against God and committing idolatry.
So according to Mahaney, the point is that "the important thing for the Corinthians was not the origin of their food, but the nature of their worship" (17). Consequently, Paul says "so, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
In regards to sports, many over the years have made an idol out of it. In baseball I grew up hearing about the "baseball gods," and referred to my favorite players as my "idols." In sports we hear words like curses, redemption, meaning, purpose, and hope. Naturally, many Christians would say that, as a result, we Christians should stay out of sports. But not so, according to Paul. Paul would say that sports are just another "opportunity for us to glorify God" (17). Like the meat issue in Corinth, the problem was not the meat, the problem was the heart of the person eating the meat. Like the sports issue in our culture, the problem is not the sport, the problem is the heart of the person playing the sport.
The question is: are you playing to glorify God?
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
For Mahaney, he was driven in sports as a young man by a "passion to be admired" (10). He said that "swimming was merely my stage, my opportunity to impress others with my athleticism. Each event was a platform for drawing attention to myself" (10).
I look back on my sports life and sadly I realize that much of it was spent drawing attention to myself as well. The problem with sports is not sports, despite what some might say. The problem with sports is the human heart. We have taken what God created to bring glory to Himself, and turned it inward. As Mahaney says, "sports are a gift from God. But as soon as you introduce the human heart, things get complicated" (11).
The good news is, those of us who have put our trust in Jesus Christ have been given a new heart, with new desires to please Him and bring glory to Him.! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away: behold, the new has come." Now that our identity is in Christ, we are free to play sports for Him and not ourselves.
- Who's glory have you been playing for these last several weeks?
- Are you more concerned with what others think of you on the baseball diamond or how you are representing your Savior on the baseball diamond?
- Are you experiencing joy playing your sport or are you overloaded with anxiety and fear?
- Tyler Durham
How do you stay anchored in a local church in the midst of all the travel required in your vocation? How does your church remain part of your life as you travel?
It’s hard. When you’re on the road consistently, it makes everything about
following Christ alongside others harder. It’s harder to be home every Sunday,
it’s harder to build deep relationships, it’s harder to disciple young men, it’s
harder to be discipled by older men, etc. It takes commitment and
intentionality. Sometimes I have to cram all my relationships into 3 days of the
week, and it gets old. But I know I need my church, and I have a responsibility
to help build them up.
There are brothers who always know where I am,
they check in on me, and ask me hard questions when I’m home. I sit down with my
pastor every couple months, and he helps me plan out my schedule. I think
through how often I want to be gone, and whether or not I’m making it too hard
for myself. Plus my church is really a praying church. So they pray for me when
I’m gone, especially if I’m overseas or on a tour. I’m grateful for their
Read the whole interview here.
- Tyler Durham
"Do you you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified"
Jesus, thank you for your daily grace and mercy that is very undeserving. Thank you that we don't have to be boxers beating the air, but that b/c of the cross you have set us free to run with endurance and perseverance. Gives us the grace and desire to pursue you and godliness so that YOUR Glory shines through!! Every day is Easter in the eyes of the believer for taking upon my sin and giving me your righteousness!!! You have risen!!
- Brett Carroll
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Thursday, April 5, 2012
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Ephesians 1:17-18
First let me start off by saying that the power of prayer is unmatched. The power of intentional prayer like this...WOW. This prayer is so intentional and poignant that it pumps me up and challenges me at the same time. To pray this over yourself is one thing, but to pray it over others is even more profound. This challenges me at the core level of my prayers. What am I asking God for? Am I praying for others? The shift in my prayers needs to be towards praying that God would give me eyes to see and give me a spirit of wisdom and pray this over others as well. I want to know and comprehend the hope to which HE has called me. I don't want to tell him what my plan is for me because I am continually understanding that what HE wants for me is far greater than what I want for me. So my question is do we know?
Do we know HIM?
Do we know THE HOPE TO WHICH HE HAS CALLED US?
Do we know THE RICHES OF HIS GLORIOUS INHERITANCE?
Do we know THE INCOMPARABLY GREAT POWER FOR US WHO BELIVE?
Well for me the answer is another question...... has God revealed those things to us individually? As I look back again at the verse the key words are, "may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.." I am continually learning that we can't boast in our understanding of the Word. Its God revealing Himself to us over and over. God is giving us that, "Spirit of wisdom and revelation" in order that we may know Him better. This all comes from a guy who just wants to know HIM better.
Be comfortable being uncomfortable,
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
- Does your passion for sports exceed your passion for the Savior, your church, or your family?
- In an average week, how much time do you invest in sports, and how much time do you invest in reading Scripture and participating in your local church? [Of course for the professional athlete this needs to be put in context. Nonetheless, it is a question that everyone should consider.]
- What is your plan for consistently reading and studying the scripture? [Athletes are creatures of habit. I would recommend establishing a set time and place for your daily devotions.]
- Is it possible to be both competitive and humble at the same time? How so?
- What are some ways you currently encourage your teammates and your coaches? If you don't, what are some ways to begin doing this?
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Wowday!!! That is crazy talk right there. I assume that many of you have been taught like me that "once in always in". This verse clearly states that some of those people who are in the faith now will fall away and won't come back to repentance. That's scary to me, that helps me to put my guard up and live with intense effort eachday to pursue the truth and seek His face. I want to know Him, I want to be in and stay in, I don't want to be lukewarm (Rev 3:16). Chapter 5 in Hebrews tees this "falling away" issue up nice. Check it out and be blessed.
How does this verse effect the verse that states that "none can be plucked from His hand". I'm not sure of the verse. Comments?
“who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)
As spring training comes to a close, I’m getting ready for the upcoming season with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The Texas League AA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. I knew when I agreed to sign with the Royals that they were more than likely going to start me in AA, and so I stand ready to embrace this opportunity. However, I’m not going to lie. There is a part of me deep within that has despised the thought of going back to AA. It prowls within like a caged lion just waiting for an opportunity to break free and devour everything in its path. This part of me is that master of deceit which goes by another name... PRIDE! “Terry, you’re too good to go to AA! You’ve put up 4 good seasons and 2 All-Star seasons in AAA! You’ve played in the big leagues! You don’t deserve this!”
Get behind me pride! I refuse to let you continue to rob me of peace and joy. What if I decided to let pride reign? I wouldn’t be playing baseball right now because I wouldn’t have agreed to go back to AA. I would have missed out on what was my best and most enjoyable spring training of my entire career. I would have missed out on being apart of what I’m starting to believe is the best run organization in baseball. And I don’t know what God has in store for me during this upcoming season but whatever it is, pride would have caused me to miss out. Too often we miss out on the unexplainable peace and joy God has for us because we think we deserve better. The greatest place in the world to be is right smack in the center of God’s will. Man, if we could just get over ourselves and embrace the hand that God deals us (much easier to say than do, I know).
What if Jesus would have had this mentality? “Forget this cross, I don’t deserve this! I’m the Creator of the universe, forget these unworthy creatures. I’m God in the flesh, I don’t have to deal with this!” What would this mean for us? (I think you know!) Thank you Jesus for counting others more significant than yourself. Thank you Jesus for looking out for the interest of others. Thank you Jesus for not clinging to your equality with God and becoming one of us. Thank you Jesus for humbling yourself to obedience even when that obedience led to the cross. (Philippians 2:3-11)
May every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. With peace thanks to Jesus,
- Terry Evans