Friday, August 9, 2013

PED's for Christians?

Legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi, receives credit for the famous American sports quote,  

"Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." 

It's a motivational statement intended to inspire players to give their utmost to the goal of winning the game, or championship. (This wikipedia article suggests another origin.)

Apparently Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz and others took this advice to heart. (Read the full story HERE.) They risked their careers to obtain an unfair advantage over other players and gave in to the allure of performance enhancing drugs. (PED's) The drive to be the greatest, to achieve the most, and to go down in history was so strong that they risked what have already been outstanding careers in an attempt to ensure they reach the top of the baseball mountain.

I've written about PED's before, so this time I just want to ask a very simple question.

Is your relationship with God as important to you as success on the field is to these baseball players?

What would you risk in an effort to ensure your salvation? How far would you go seeking restoration with your eternal Father? How important is winning life to you?

Jesus went "all in" for us. That's how important we are to Him.

The question is, "How do we reciprocate?"
  • Do we struggle to get out of bed on time each Sunday? 
  • Do we linger as the collection plate is passed deciding whether to put in a $5 or a $10? 
  • Do spend hours on our fantasy football teams, or Monday Night Football but not have any time for prayer? 
  • Can we recite stats all day, but not remember any Scripture verses?

Paul, the apostle, expressed his commitment this way,
Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness. (Philippians 3:8-9, The Message)

It's all about what's important to us. We admire the single-minded focus sports stars have in pursuing their goals. The example of Jesus challenges us to have the same focus on the mission he's given us.

Of course, there are no PED's for Christians. The Bible doesn't need it's performance enhanced. Check out these performance descriptions:
  •  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, ESV)
  • There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, The Message)
God's given us a training regimen, if only we use it...   Paul did. In fact, Paul wrote a lot of it. At the end of his life he reviewed his life of service for God with this confidence,
I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming. (2 Timothy 4:6-8, The Message)

What will be God's summary of your career?

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