Monday, September 30, 2013
Friends of Faith:
“Compete well for the faith.” 1 Tim 6: 12
Volleyball season at our house can be a challenge, often stressful and overly busy. The past couple of weeks have certainly been that, as Stan’s team played their toughest two challengers, immediately followed by homecoming week, another two tough matches and concluding with the distraction of a tournament on the day of the homecoming dance.
Over the years, we both remind ourselves, others, the parents and the team—“it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.”
So the challenge in a week where you end up going from a decisively winning season to a so-so just over break even season, is to truly believe those words and to look for and find the good in “how you played (or coached) the game.”
The same can be said in a far more important game, that of our eternal faith life: “Am I competing well?” “How am I playing the game?” “Am I giving it my all?” “Am I working as a team, and bringing them up with me?” “Am I listening to and following the coaches (God’s) instructions?” “Would God, the final judge, call me a winner?” AND “Am I spending as much time on training for heaven as I am on winning socially here on earth?”
These are the team instructions:
“Those who are under the yoke of slavery must regard their masters as worthy of full respect, so that the name of God and our teaching may not suffer abuse. Those whose masters are believers must not take advantage of them because they are brothers but must give better service because those who will profit from their work are believers and are beloved.eaching and True Wealth
Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain. Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it. If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that. Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains. “But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession, to keep the commandment without stain or reproach.” 1Tim 6: 1-14
First we need a goal in life. Is it heavenly richness? Or is it earthly riches.
Next we need a game plan with the assistance of His coaches…The Church (His apostolic succession, trainers of the Word) and His Word--BIBLE (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.)
And finally we need to actually do the things we say we believe – we need to train for the game, give God’s instructions, the coaching manual, our utmost attention, and spend our time living for Christ at 100% so the rest of the team will win with us.
The instructions say: respect (the maker—God AND the players, those created in His image and likeness—every human being), serve (train well by doing good works), don’t listen to and be tempted by false teachings (societies“what makes me happy” goal), get back to the basic richness (food and clothing, the Eucharist), and find contentment with simple religion (the Church Christ instituted).
Heavenly Father, ultimate coach and trainer, You gave us all the means to win, by giving us Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for your constant forgiveness and mercy of my continual training errors (sins). Send Your Spirit upon me with the grace of courage and perseverance against the enemies of conceit, envy and earthly riches. Help me to have the discipline and focus to follow your moral truths and set aside my own selfish desires so that I will serve the team (my spouse and/or my family) and encourage my neighbors to an even higher level of competition. Amen.
There is only ONE Team Win that matters—and it’s how we live the journey that will accomplish the win for us all.