Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013 - Change the Momentum of the Game

During any game it is usually easy to see where the momentum lies… what the flow of the game is like. As I talked with a friend last night he was telling me about a 6th grade girls game last weekend where the halftime score was 20-2. The game ended with a score of 26-25; the team that was so far behind still lost but made it into an exciting nail-biter game… My friend told me that the second half run was fueled by a full-court press that led to a few early baskets that led to a shift in momentum. The coach of the winning team found himself at the end of the game with no time-outs because he had burnt them all trying to stop the flow (and it almost cost his team - as my understanding is that the team that lost by one point had numerous shots at the goal in the last 40 seconds but just couldn’t hit the shot…)

As a “coach” on the spiritual sidelines of life I am concerned about the flow of the game right now. I need to call, “timeout”, and remind you of a few things…

 First being last week’s devotion that dealt with us giving up our rights and focusing on the real job that we have as believers – sharing the good news of great joy to all people that there is a Savior! I talked about what a great story it is that the God of the universe stepped off of His throne and into our world to touch our lives! Our job is to share that message!

At the end of the devotion last week I added in a graphic that I have used in past years when speaking of CHRISTmas. The picture reminds us to “Solve for X”; in other words to share what the X stands for instead of spending so much time demanding our rights to write the word the way we want… Our job is not to demand our political rights but to, as Christ showed us, willing give up some rights in order to focus on sharing joy, hope, and peace this CHRISTmas!

And now the coach has to step in… I am very fearful as I look at the “flow of the game” that our opponent has found another noisy distraction to the Gospel this CHRISTmas. Believers that should be busy about the Great Commission are instead focusing on the rights of Duck Dynasty… I am sure we have all heard, read, and maybe even posted about the rights of Phil Robertson to share his beliefs about sin. Most that read my blog are in agreement with Phil that the Bible is God’s Word and thus we stand by it. Yet to claim he lost his first amendment rights is first of all incorrect; and secondly should not be what we are making the most noise about a few days before we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

I know some of you are thinking now that I am wrong; some may even be calling me a liberal. Believe me, I am a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, Biblical-values man! So I must use the Bible as my “coaching”/ministering guide. And Jesus did not call us to make noise about our rights; but instead to make much about Him!

Phil was allowed to speak his beliefs; He was not arrested – showing he had the right to say those things. And even though I disagree with A&E’s stance on the matter, I do believe they have the right to put what they want on their network; and unless they are professing believers in Christ, I don’t expect them to agree with my value system.

I am now seeing the “game” focusing on the wrong things; we have diverted from our game plan to share the Gospel and instead started on a game plan of demanding our rights. “Momentum” is on the opponent’s side right now.

When you leave the “timeout” of this devotion be focused on the game plan – focus on sharing the good news – declaring that our Savior has been born; declaring that our Savior died to pay the penalty for sin; declaring that our Savior rose again to give us new life! The angel of the Lord focused on introducing the shepherds to Jesus; the shepherds, after meeting Jesus, focused on sharing that same message… (See Luke 2:10-17)

I’d love to see more on Facebook this week about Jesus than about Phil Robertson (and I think Phil would rather see that too.) We have got to “change the momentum of the game!”

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