Deuteronomy 6:5 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Back to the Basics Boys

Just this past week here at the Peay we started our spring football practices. We geared up with three practices before out first scrimmage. Instead of simply picking up where we left off from last season we started with our base defense, went over our stance and starts, fine tuned our technique. We went back to the basics. Got back in touch with the little things, the important things, the things that make a difference when all else fails. Many times in the huddle I start the call with the simple phrase "Back to the Basics Boys...."

In the Book of Revelation Jesus tells the Church of Ephesus the same things. 2:4-5 "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works..." Jesus is saying you have left me, strayed away, turned your back on me, forgotten the most basic of things. You have left Me (Jesus), your first love. And like any love Jesus is not happy without us, he loves us so much that he wants us back. He provides simple instructions for us to come back, and its all about coming back to the basics.

First he asks us to remember from where we have fallen. He is saying look at where you were, what I was doing with you, what I was doing in you. Repent, the most fundamental of concepts for us as believers. Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." Why repent? Because we have fallen into sin, strayed away from the path that God has for us. We are told to the repent and do the first works.

What are the first works? Just like in football, the first works are the basics. For football players its tackling, catching, stance, technique, assingment, etc. For the believer its repentence, prayer, faith, love, etc. Do the first things first. Be restored unto God, ask for forgiveness and come back to the basics. You cannot instantly go back to where you were before. It takes time to restore and get back into the groove. In football when you start out you are never going to be as good as you were before. You are going to be rusty, after shaking the rust off you begin to improve and soar higher that you ever did before. The same holds true for Jesus. All we have to do is go Back to the Basics Boys...

Isiah 40:301 "But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More Flawed Thinking

I'm definitely no Rhodes Scholar, Albert Einstein, or Sheldon Cooper but I do believe I catch on to a few things. Although Anatomy class thoroughly confused me, I know for a fact this one thing, the brain is in the head and because of that the head is the most important. Every other body part has a function, some much much more important than others, but nothing trumps the brain. The big toe thinks he is important, but he doesn't make any decisions. He leaves that to the brain. The AC joint in the shoulder thinks he is important, but again he doesn't make any decisions. He leaves that to the brain. Each body part in the body is important to the body or it wouldn't be there, but each body part does nothing except for what the brain tells it to do.

The Bible makes it clear to us that as believers and members of the Church we are no different than the big toe or the AC joint. We are important to the function of the body, but not the decision makers. Colossians 1: 18 “And He (Christ) is the head of the body, the Church..." Going back to anatomy class if Jesus is the head of the body we can logically conclude that he is the Brain, the decision maker, the one who commands the rest of body. 1 Corinthians 12:27 "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually." This tells us that we are the body of Christ and serve as individual parts. As individual parts of a body we take orders from the head (Jesus). We do what the head tells us to do, not what we want to do or feel like we need to do. Unfortunately this is not how it works many times.

Many times we feel that we are in charge when in fact we are nothing more than the big toe. We feel that we are so important, too good to do the task that we are presented with, to follow the commands from the head. Instead we take what we know, what has been said as nothing more than a suggestion. We go off and do our own things. Imagine if the big toe told the brain he was not going to do what it was commanded to. That it decided that it was going to be in charge of breathing instead of balance and walking. Or if the lungs said guess what brain, I'm not dealing with oxygen today instead I'm going to hold things today. Our Body would be a wreck, it would die. There is no difference in the body of Christ. If each members decides to go their own way, do their own thing the body will die. To function properly each part has do to its own task. God places us where we are in his body because that is where we can best serve him. He has equipped us with everything we need to do the task that he has for us to do. All we simply have to do is trust in him, obey him, and go all our while we are doing that task.

We must realize that we are not more important that the head (Jesus). After all, he is the one who saved us. We need to realize that he designed us to be the part of the body that we are, nothing more and certainly nothing less. Remember, we are the body and the body doesn't work unless all of the parts are doing their task...

Check this Song Out
If We Are the Body

Monday, March 5, 2012

Flawed Thinking

Its late in the fourth quarter and your team has the ball... Instead of focusing on finishing the ballgame, focusing on winning they are focused on not losing. Their whole mindset is on not losing instead of winning, their way of thinking is flawed. Conseqently as the game comes to its closing seconds they commit a fatal error that costs them the game. This same mindset can be found in the mind of us today as believers, we are so focused on not sinning that it captivates our minds, demands our attention. As a result, we are caught, trapped by the sin that so easily snares us. Fortunately, the Bible offers a critical truth that helps drag us out of this mentality.

Colossians 3:2 states "Set your minds on things above, not on things of the earth." What does it mean to set our minds on things above? It means to set our eyes on Jesus, the eternal, and not on the things that we can gain on this earth. It takes our attention from the lusts of this world to the purity of the Cross. Takes us from the selfish pleasures of this life to the Joy and Peace that comes with seeking our Savior.

By setting our minds on things that are above, our eyes are opened to a new realm of pleasure. Instead of lusting we begin to love. Instead of hating our enemies we begin to pray for and love them. We begin to humble ourselves before Alpha and Omega instead of being filled with the pride that dragged us down before. It takes our minds off of trying not to sin and failing; to seeking the one and only God and forgetting about those sins. Our hearts will be so tuned into Christ that nothing else will even matter. We will pursue God with such passion and love that nothing will be able to come between us. He will captivate our minds, demand our attention, and fill us with peace and joy. Instead of focusing on not sinning, we will focus on God and the best He has for us.Setting our "Minds on things above" helps us to eliminate our Flawed Way of Thinking.....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Friend of Sinners?

If most of us were to be honest we have a hard time admitting when were wrong. Why is that? Because we like to think of ourselves as being perfect, being incapable of committing any kind of sin or mistake. However, when someone else makes the same mistake we are quick to point it out and consequently judge them as a result. We feel that we are superior to that particular person in that moment and instead of showing them love we condem them. Instead of building them up we tear them down farther than they have already fallen. Instead of being their friend we become their greatest enemy. Afterall Jesus isn't a friend of sinners, right? WRONG!!!

In John 8: 1-12 we find an example of Jesus befriending a sinner. The scribes and Pharisees bring a woman who was caught in the act of adultry to Jesus and ask Him what is to be done to the woman. They ask if stoning the woman is the right thing to do in which Jesus replies in V. 7 "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her." The people turn away one by one because each and every person that was there was a sinner except one, Jesus himself. Instead of picking up the stone he states in V. 11 "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."Jesus did not judge her, persecute her, tear her down, he built her up, showed her love, and presented to her and everyone else the way to life. V. 12 "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall no walk in darkness, but have the light of life.""

As believers many times we are quick to judge and condem those who fall into sin. Instead of following the example of Jesus, we follow the example of the world. Instead of remembering that we are sinners saved by the Grace of a savior (Romans 3:23-4), we see ourselves as being better than what we are, A SINNER, and begin to judge and condem. In this story Jesus makes it a point to remind everyone that they are all sinners V.7 and that the one that is without sin is the only one in position to judge of punish this woman. Even though Jesus had the right to throw the stond he did not, he showed her love, encouragement, support, and friendship. This is the example that we are to follow.... Jesus Friend of Sinners.

Jesus Friend of Sinners

The life of Jesus was spent showing that he is a friend to sinners. Look no farther than the cross 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him." He died to make us "SINNERS" like him "HOLY." He did not come to heal the "HEALTHY" but the "SICK." He did not come for just the "SAINT" but for the "SINNER" as well. Jesus is a friend to "ALL" and that includes "SINNERS." Let's follow the example of Jesus be a friend of sinners instead of casting stones.