I have often taught on this verse (and most of the time about the misuse of it); yet tonight it came alive to me even more…
As I arrived in the old gymnasium where the event was held I immediately started taking some mental notes about the kids that where there and praying/contemplating what I was going to share. It wasn’t a typical basketball crowd and there were a few young kids. It was a small crowd and as we did the basketball interaction time it was obvious not a super athletic or skilled crowd.
I shared about a time in my life when I was very committed to playing the game of basketball. It was following my senior year of high school; I had finished my high school career thinking I was quite a player. I had scored a lot of points and felt I could play with anyone, yet college coaches didn’t quite see it that way (they happened to know I was playing out of position and not ready for the next level as a point guard.) Therefore I began working on the skill set I needed to play at the next level; multiple hours a day; every day; a lot of sweat; jump shot after jump shot; pounding ball handling drills; jump rope; etc. And if I do say so myself I got pretty dang good… only to have my knee snap in a church league game and it all to be over.
That seems to be a bit over-dramatic. It wasn’t “all over.” Yes my dreams of college hoops had taken a hit but there happened to be more to do in life other than college hoops. (And I’ve ended up with quite a gig with teaching basketball taking me all over the world!)
I have often taught the truth from Philippians 4:13 that Paul is sharing that he was content when things were good or bad in his life; and thus I needed to be content in spite of the circumstances I was in. I have recently taught that Paul was able to do that because his “chains were in Christ” and not to his circumstances. (See Phil 1:13) Yet, tonight it hit me even a bit more as to how that is possible…
I was talking about what gives us value. The reality is that I was fortunate to have teachers of the Word that let me see that my value as a teenage boy was not found in how good of a basketball player I was. Although I would have loved to keep playing, I am so glad that I learned where true value comes from!
Know that your value is based upon the fact that God loves you (and me) enough to have paid for our wrongdoing with the life of His Son. My value is found in Jesus – not in basketball – or how much money I make – or how popular I am – or… And because of that we can be content even when life is not going as we hoped. We can do “all things through Christ.”
Thank you God for loving us enough to purchase our redemption; thank you for showing us how valuable we are in your eyes!
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.