SPORTSPASTOR


Snapshot # 1 – Jesus Heals a Paralytic
May 31, 2009, 10:26 pm
Filed under: sportspastor | Tags: , , , ,

Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV)
1Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7And the man got up and went home. 8When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.

Matthew focuses on things that Jesus does that point to his divine nature. First he sees the bold faith of the paralyzed man’s friends. He knows the thoughts of his critics. He shows God’s power to heal. The crowd who had witnessed the healing of the paralytic, praised God saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” The Greek word for filled with awe is the same word for fear. When they realized that Jesus had the power to forgive sins they were filled with terror. This was the first time that this crowd realized that Jesus was God and that they were in the presence of God. Some esteemed him as God – meaning that they believed. The teachers of the law called it blasphemy and left the scene to begin to devise a plan to kill him.

Think about it. They came face to face with the truth that Jesus was God, the one who could forgive their sins. They either accepted and believed in Jesus or rejected him. What if we lived our lives in such a way that people saw Jesus in us so undeniably that they came face to face with the truth of God’s love in Jesus Christ? What if our lives reflected the character and nature of our Savior? Then others would see “evidence that demands a verdict.” Maybe God could use our witness to cause in their hearts and minds a crisis of faith that begs for them to see and believe or explain it away.

Just like the friends of the paralytic, we have a tremendous opportunity to bring our friends to Jesus. If any one of us has a friend who does not know Christ, or who does not care for Christ, or who is even hostile to Christ, it our Christian duty not to let that friend go. We must bring our friends into Christ’s presence. We cannot force people against their will to accept Christ. We cannot make people Christians, but we can do everything possible to bring them into Christ’s presence.



Live a Life Worthy of the Calling You Have Received
October 26, 2008, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Life and Leadership, sportspastor | Tags: , , , , ,

“Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” These words are an exhortation of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:1b. What are the characteristics of a life lived in such a way that it is worthy of the calling we have received from God? To discover the answer to this question you must first identify your calling. I believe that God will give you the passion to do what he has called you to do. For example, I am passionate about the calling on my life to equip believers to make the most of every opportunity to reach out to people who are far away from God through the most creative and relational means possible. Now if that is my calling, then how do I live life in such a way that it would be worthy of this calling I have received?

Colossians 4:5-6 offers further insight into my calling and the answer to this question: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” I looked at a number of Bible commentaries and based upon careful exposition have drafted a version of this selection of Scripture in my own words: Believers should live in such a way that they will attract, inspire, and convict non-Christians, giving them a favorable view of the Gospel and the church. Believers should have a verbal witness that is winsome, full of character and worthy of respect.

A healthy balance of faith and practice make a lasting, positive impression on a person who is far away from God. This means that we are responsible for living a life worthy of the calling we have received.