Thursday, April 7, 2016

Devotion 4.8.16

My favorite quote from any fan of any team or individual athlete is this one, usually occurring during pre-season games (or non-major events such as the Shell Houston Open):  "Well, their record is bad right now because they don't play pre-season to win."  Rubbish.

It is not in an athlete's DNA to lose.  An athlete of excellence plays to excel when he (or she) is placed in a field of play.  "Tell you what Pete, it's preseason, so go out there and really just swing the bat, but a hit which can score a run is not one of my top priorities right now.  Really, just go through the motions, and if you get on base, none of this 'Charlie Hustle' stuff."  Sure, the manager may play the athletes who are trying to make the team.  The manager may put certain starters on the bench and play the untested player, but "losing" is not in the vocabulary.  The owner may not put the pressure on winning in a preseason event the same way he or she would in the regular season, but "loss" isn't a word they use lovingly.

God's clearly not fond of creating us to begin our lives and commit them to mediocrity either.  Mediocrity, as defined through observance, is doing what it takes to put a check-mark in the "done" column and moving forward.  Did it get done?  Yes.  How well did it get done?  That is up for discussion.  We know in our hearts when it isn't the best we can offer. 

Want to hear how much God detests mediocrity.  In Revelation, Christ talks to the church in Laodicea this way, "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit (vomit in some translations) you out of my mouth." Yet like that church, we are offered a second chance, "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent." (Revelation 3) Be zealous and repent is reminiscent of Joshua 1:9's, "Be strong and courageous...for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Christ is with us.  Christ forgives our timidity, our mediocrity, our lukewarm.  Yet we know he despises it, so we pray that God's Spirit is with us and that we respond to God's love and forgiveness by exhibiting excellence in our faith.

Hope Men's Ministry

Hope Men's Ministry

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