27 January, 2010

God's Utility Player

"Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work..."                   Titus 3:1 NKJV

Paul is writing to Titus, instructing him as he builds the church in Crete. Out of this letter comes this statement reminding the Cretans to be prepared for good work.
What does this mean to be ready?
Leading bible study a week ago, I had a member really hit this verse home. Here is an abridged version of what we found:

If we are able to see our Christian life as a baseball game and followers as players, then there would be many who are "called" to certain specific positions: apostles, preachers, prophets, workers of miracles, ect (1 Corinthians 12). These positions would be distinct and individual. As a 1st baseman is chosen for his skill at scooping a poorly thrown ball from the dirt, a prophet may be chosen specifically for his skill (granted by God) at rhetoric. As a catcher is often a combination of honed skills paired with an ability to lead the rest of the team while following the coach; so an apostle is identical,...only seen as the lead sheep following the Great Shepherd.

On the ball diamond we find nine players. They have trained day-in and day-out for one specific position...and they gather the praise...they have the lime light. That position is what they were created for, and they do it well. But, as spectators watch the game unfold in front of them, they are so often blind to another member of the team. The player with the U placed to the right of his name on the line-up card. The Utility Player. For a moment let's take the lime light and cast it on this ballplayer.

The utility player, not trained in a specific position daily often lacks the claim to being the best at any one thing. Even so, his attitude, his willingness to help in all places whenever needed, his desire to bring his team a win regardless of self glory, these things make him a player! He is the glue. His coach knows that if a fellow player has injury or another misfortune happens, he has a solid replacement, the job will get done. The utility player desires to serve. He is "ready for any good work".
"Centerfield? Yes.", 
"2nd? Sure.",
"Bullpen? Can do coach!"
"Run with the pitchers? You got it."

Not all the glory by any means. In fact no glory at all. But, is this not what makes him the greatest of all? His willingness to hold up the rest and point to another?
Is this not what is meant by this passage?

Even when we are key players on the field (preachers and teachers), we still have times that we will be a utility player. Times when we will be ask to do the jobs without any glory, times when we have to help another when we would rather run full speed ahead. I have little doubt that this is what Paul was saying, "Remind them to be ready for all possible opportunities to help the team. Remind them to be utility players."When Coach says,
"Love the unlovable.",
"Reach the unreached."
"Give in kindness."
"Speak to 'that' guy."
"Give to 'that' group."
What will your answer be?

In this game of life, as a Christian, as one who seeks Him. Will you rise to every opportunity; to give Him glory, to point to Him, to win others to His kingdom? Will you chose to serve Him as His utility player?

20 January, 2010

Beauty Reflected


"Few things...
match the beauty of sunlight reflected upon a murky pond,

no thing...
nears the beauty of the Son reflected upon a sinful man."

19 January, 2010


Often, I write a large amount...I tend to find it difficult to share a few statements without elaborating.

This is why it has been so long since I have posted...I just have not had the time...or I have lacked the formation of a thought to write extensively on it.

Today I hope to keep from elaborating. Elaboration can often water down.

• you will die. we all do.
• tomorrow is not promised. live today.
• you as a person, no matter who you are, you affect the world.
• don't complain, others have it worse.
• Christ died for our sins, that we may know Him.
• void of Christ in our life, none of us are worth anything.
• your family deserves to know you love them.
• the man on the street deserves to be seen as a human in your eyes.
• so does your boss,
• and your neighbor,
• and the stranger that just walked past you.
• today is a good day.
• spend a minute to talk to God.

02 January, 2010

Patience of Noah.

Genesis 6:1 - 9:17; We all know the story...most of us heard it several times as children.

Noah's Ark and the Flood - summarized.
God saw how great the wickedness on earth had become, he then decided to take mankind from the face of the earth with a great flood. However, there was one righteous man among all the people of that time. Noah, found favor in God's eyes. God told Noah to build an ark for him, his family, and sets of every animal on the earth, in preparation for the global flood that would destroy every living thing on earth.
Noah obeyed all God had commanded him to do.
Once entering the ark, rain fell on the earth for forty days and nights. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days, and every living thing on the face of the earth was destroyed. As the waters left, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The occupants of the ark stayed in the giant boat for nearly eight more months while the earth dried out.
Finally after over a year, God invited Noah to come out of the ark.
As soon as Noah left the vessel, he built an altar and worshiped the Lord. God was pleased and promised never to flood the world again. As a sign of this covenant, God set a rainbow in the clouds every time it rains.

Noah, obviously a man of God: He was (other than Enoch, who walked with God) the first biblical character to have a close relationship with God.
Noah, obviously had a solid record of listening to the direction of his heavenly Father, and of obeying those guidances (otherwise he would have never been the one spared from the flood event).
Lastly, Noah, obviously was a man of patience. It took Noah approxiamtly 35,800 days to construct the ark. Can you imagine? Day after day, building a giant boat in front of all your neihbors during a drought? I have little doubt that Noah had loads of patience.

The thing that is most astounding to me is Noah's endurance in his patience:
  +      35,000 + days to build the ark
  +     40 days and nights of rain
  +     150 days of floating around in the ocean
  +     40 days resting on the mountain before releasing a raven, then the dove (which returns)
  +     7 more days before releasing the dove a second time (which returns with a fig leaf)
  +     7 more days before releasing the dove a third time (which this time does not return)
  +     90 days beforing seeing dry land all about
                     This is were I am MOST impressed.
      +      58 more days till God spoke to him saying, "Go out of the ark".

    Why am I impressed with the last 58 days of patience? Because, it followed Noah's seeing with his own eyes that the ground was dry and worthy of habitation.
    It always seems easiest to follow His commands and guidances when: it is something different and out of the ordinary (examples: building a boat in the middle of the dessert, or going on a mission trip to Timbuktu), or when we see where we are headed or for the reason we are doing what we are (examples: when the boat is surrounded by water, when we are unable to catch our breath without His strength, or when His plan matches our plan).
    Noah obeyed in both of these scenarios...but more than all that, he obeyed when his human instinct pointed toward it not mattering (examples: staying in a boat with smelly animals, their previously ingested matter, and relatives that you have been with for about a year. Also, giving even when no-one sees you, offering a helping hand even when no-one else will, moving for money or other reasons when you are where you are suppose to be, praying even when you don't want to, the list goes on and on).

    Today was the first time this ever stuck out to me in my reading of this portion of scripture. It opened my eyes, and it shook me up a bit. I hope that it does the same for you.
    Thank you for letting me share.

    -Do you believe in Noah's Ark and the Flood? Join the ongoing discussion -