Saturday, November 28, 2015

Devotion 11.30.15

In week 12 of college football, Ohio State, a ranking team and perennial powerhouse, lost to Michigan State by a field goal.  What followed was a rant by Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott openly questioning Urban Meyer's game plan.  My thought as I read about this was, "Gone are the days of Vince Lombardi, Darrell Royal, Tom Landry, and other coaches who coached without compromise."  As one story goes about legendary coach John Wooden of UCLA basketball fame, Bill Walton once questioned the team's shaving policy.  Wooden said (paraphrased), "You obviously are mature and have brought the question to me.  That's to be commended, so I will be glad to provide a great reference to you as you seek a new team."

The modern day athlete is his or her own organization and can Tweet their thoughts as part of (Athlete's Name) Inc. Within seconds it can be on the 24/7 sport's news/websites/blogs.  I know your thoughts, because I have heard them from most men, and they are the same as mine.  "These young punks just don't know respect.  They should be told to hit the road."  But, as Jim Walsh, school lawyer and presenter likes to say in his presentations on school law, "Got a call one day from a superintendent.  He said he had a head coach hit the principal.  I asked, 'What's his record?'" 

It's not just in athletics.  It is in life.  The president used to be respected because he was the president.  There are pictures of a war-time FDR at the desk with the press surrounding it.  They wouldn't take pictures of him in his wheel chair and they would hold stories if he asked.  There was a film clip I saw of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley interviewing JFK, and in the raw footage, they asked if he would like to change anything he said before they put it on the news. 

We've done the same with God.  We really no longer fear our Lord.  We've minimized him, compartmentalized him, and in effect, look to anything other than Him for solutions.  We pick and choose the meaning of his Word and how it applies to our lives.  We ask if God is such a loving God, would these kinds of things happen, so we shape him in our image to make him more loving, open to our interpretation of what He says and means.  Sometimes I think we believe we have grown so impressed with our own thinking that we seem to view God as someone who has been given a term limit with the date open to when we need Him.  "Sorry God, you're not God today, I am." And as John notes in 1 John, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us," so no one escapes limiting God in his own mind.

God is still God.  Solomon saw his father, and himself, deny God and take on their own wisdom rather than God's.  So, in the introduction of Proverbs, the stated purpose is, "To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight." (1:2)  He then states directly, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction."  To fear God is to put him in the realm worthy of worship and honor.  The note in the study bible says, "He desires His people to regard him in awe, respect and love."

Yes, I can respect God, but I have a fear of him and his greatness that puts that respect in a proper perspective.  Pray that we seek to understand the fear of God as God desires from us and that we seek to respect the relationship of God and creation.  We also thank God for his forgiveness, as again we turn to 1 John and read, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Hope Men's Ministry

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