Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016 - Going to the Floor

Lately, due to my health, I am finding I need to get back to what was the original idea of these weekly devotions… way back in late 2001 as we prepared to launch the weekly devotions the first Monday of 2002, we envisioned some “quick hitters” or “fast breaks” that were more like commercials for the readers’ lives… Tonight I was set up well to do that.

As I watched the first half of the Kentucky-Arizona State basketball game the commentator, Dan Dakich, pointed out a truth I always tried to get across to my players… teams have to play with a hunger or desire that surpass their opponents.

The game was an obvious mismatch on paper but I expected Arizona State to put up a fight because their coach, Bobby Hurley, was a scrappy player that always found a way to compete; yet it was clear that has not yet become the culture of his team…

Time after time on loose balls UK players were seeing diving to the floor and playing “hungry.” One play had the UK player on the floor and an ASU player just bending over at the waist reaching for the ball; which led Dakich to proclaim that UK “has more talent and works harder.” That is a dangerous combination… and a sad commentary about ASU. It’s not their fault that UK is bigger, stronger, and faster; but there is no excuse for lack of effort! Every player has the choice of “going to the floor” for the ball… EFFORT is a choice! It was ASU’s only chance to try to compete, and they weren’t.

Proverbs 28:19 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!

Are you willing to dive to the floor to pursue your dreams? Are you willing to do the extra stuff to reach others in your outreach to others?

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016 - Dumb and Dumber

Earlier today I was watching a college basketball game and the commentator (Bill Walton) made the following remark about how a team handled coming out of a timeout: “They obviously didn’t listen to their coach in the huddle.” (…Or something close to that.)

But he had a great point in that it is always assumed that what players do on the court or field is a direct reflection of what they have been taught. That is as ludicrous as assuming that everything our kids do we have taught them… Yet the reality is that generally when players do dumb things, fans say the coach is dumb. (Makes me think of my favorite assistant coach, who often reads these devos, he was “Dumb” and I was “Dumber.”)

The same is often true of God… people make their assumptions about Him based upon what they see in His “players.” In other words, if people you are close to think poorly about God then maybe you are not representing Him well…

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ,….

What a high responsibility! Think about your life and how it compares to the life of Christ. You, and I, are called to represent or be like Him. Do you love like He loves? Do you serve like He serves? Are you humble like He is humble?

Ambassadors, it’s time to REPRESENT!

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016 - Win the Down!

This coming Friday night I have been asked to share with the Statesville Christian Lions in their locker room before their football game. May not sound like a big deal but it is not just any game… it is the state championship game and our boys are just in their 2nd year as a program. It is obviously an exciting time and I am pumped to get to challenge and encourage them… (pray I am physically able to be there as my cancer treatments are kicking my butt.)

I love big trophies but the state championship is not what I hope to talk to them about… a trophy is a prize at the end of a journey… it is found at the top of the staircase and if you focus too much on the top you will inevitably miss a step and tumble to the bottom…

I want to encourage them to focus coming of the locker room on the game not the prize. I want them to not think about scoreboards in the 4th quarter but instead on execution in the first quarter. I want them to be their best by striving to win each down… Win the Down!

Our tomorrows depend on what we do today! We need do what is right… in the now! What should you do now to help you achieve your future goals? Or more importantly, what should you do now to fulfill what the Lord is asking of you?

James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016 - Trophies From God

Here we are at the dawn of a new hoops season and players are being asked to push themselves in preparation. In fact, the first few weeks of a season are often gruesome in regards to how hard players will push themselves physically… well at least some players… the ones that are champions in the making!
Future champions are willing to pay the price today for the trophies they envision tomorrow!
In our Christian walk God uses Heaven and rewards as motivational tools. We are told to remember where our citizenship lies… that to die is gain… that we can receive crowns… that we should eagerly wait for the Savior… etc.
In other words, our destination should be motivation for our dedication!
Philip Yancey (in his book Vanishing Grace) stated that “having the proper destination in mind should transform life here and now.” He goes on to quote CS Lewis: “If you read history you will find out that the Christians who did the most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.” Lewis is also quoted as saying, “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in.’ Aim at earth and you get neither.”
We see that those who are Going MAD (Making A Difference) are those that are:
1.       Thankful for the gift of salvation that purchased entrance into the Kingdom
2.       Thankful for the opportunity through faithfulness to receive “trophies”
To be a difference-maker you need to live today in light of eternity!