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Seizing Life for the Glory of God

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Martyn Lloyd Jones, on Preaching the Cross

lloyd-jones-martyn“There are certain things which have to be said over and over again, of necessity, and yet this is the marvel and the wonder of the cross, that however many times a man may preach about it, he has never finished preaching about it.  There is always something fresh to say, always something new.  There is a great central message that is always there, but nothing is so wonderful as to see that one thing in different ways. … During these twenty-six years in my Westminster pulpit there have been times when in my utter folly I have wondered, or the devil has suggested to me, that there is nothing more for me to say, that I have preached it all.  I thank God that I can now say that I feel I am only at the beginning of it.  There is no end to this glorious message of the cross, for there is always something new and fresh and entrancing and moving and uplifting that one has never seen before.”

Martyn Lloyd Jones, The Cross: God’s Way of Salvation

Don’t Waste Your Sports: Tom Brady

You can be the most influential, powerful, rich, handsome or beautiful person in the world and still be miserable. Success does not breed or equal godliness.

A modern day example of this is New England quarterback Tom Brady.

After being drafted in the 6th round of the NFL Draft and sitting out his first season, Brady has taken his Patriots to six Super Bowls, which is the most of any NFL quarterback in history. Four of those Super Bowls the Patriots have won. Brady has won two league MVP awards, been to eleven Pro Bowls and helped the Patriots win more division titles than any other team in history.

Oh, and he has also won more playoff games (twenty-two) than any other quarterback in history.

In short, Brady is a one of the greatest quarterbacks in history.

But not too long after he won his 3rd Super Bowl Title in 2004, Brady was interviewed by Steve Kroft of CBS News. One of the questions Brady was asked was this – “This whole experience – this whole upward trajectory– what have you learned about yourself? What kind of an effect does it have on you?”

brady-tomListen to this surprising answer given by Brady – “Well, I put incredible amounts of pressure on me. When you feel like you’re ultimately responsible for everyone and everything, even though you have no control over it, and you still blame yourself if things don’t go right — I mean, there’s a lot of pressure. A lot of times I think I get very frustrated and introverted, and there’s times where I’m not the person that I want to be. Why do I have three Super Bowl rings, and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey man, this is what is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think: God, it’s gotta be more than this. I mean this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be. I mean I’ve done it. I’m 27. And what else is there for me?”

Kroft then asked Brady what else there is and all Brady could come up with is family, friends and football.

Just because you achieve the kind of success that Brady has does not guarantee you will ever be fulfilled in life. What is clearly missing from Brady’s life is a genuine contentment in God’s work for his life. And ultimately, unless I have missed something, what is missing from his life is Jesus Christ.

Listen, you won’t find complete and total satisfaction in anything of this world. Not your career. Not your toys. Not entertainment. Not your favorite sports team. Not your children. Not your spouse. Nothing compares to the satisfaction that can only be found in communing with the Creator.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11).

A Gospel Lesson from a College Football Game

The OU/Texas Tech football game this weekend was a game to remember, but not necessarily for good reasons. If you haven’t heard or didn’t see the game, the following data will summarize what kind of football contest it was:

  • 1,708 – the most combined yards in a NCAA football game (including all divisions and all levels)
  • 1,383 – the most total yards by two players (OU quarterback Baker Mayfield and Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes)
  • 1,279 – the most combined passing yards in a NCAA game
  • 819 – most total yards by a single player (Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes)
  • 11.2 – average yards per play (an OU record)

I don’t even remember if either team punted. I felt sorry for the scoreboard operator who must have felt like his finger was constantly pushing a score update button. I wondered how many extra calories the “1st down marker” guys got running back and forth as the teams went up and down the field.

The final score was 66-59. If you are a fan of offense, you may have felt like Christmas came early. But if you love defense or just good football, you would have either been bored (as I was), upset at the lack of defense, or embarrassed to call yourself a fan of either team.

In short, the game was a debacle.

The “scoring at will” reminds me of what it’s like to be unable to have victory over sin. I say unable, because the unbeliever may accomplish good things, but he is still in bondage to sin (John 8:34; Rom 7:24; II Tim 2:26). He “sins at will.”

ou-texas-techWatching this football game and expecting each team to score every time it has the ball is a lot like seeing an unbeliever and expecting them to choose to dishonor God. I am not surprised by the immoral behavior of those who aren’t Christians. I am not shocked when someone who doesn’t believe in God supports abortion or the homosexual agenda. Those individuals will not seek to live their lives for the glory of God (I Cor 10:31).

The good news is that no one has to live such a lifestyle. No one must remain in bondage to sin. No one needs to live a life where others expect them to waste is making immoral decisions that displease God. No one has to “sin at will.”

Jesus Christ is the Great Deliverer who cancels the power of sin and death (Rom 8:3-4).

If you are a reader of this blog and choose sin more often than not, it could be that you haven’t acknowledged Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Perhaps you haven’t repented of sin, trusted in Christ’s life and death as perfect atoning for your sins, and pledged your life to follow Him.

If you haven’t come to Jesus in this manner, today is the day to end a hopeless, doomed life without Christ. Today is the day of salvation (II Cor 6:2).

The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung’s upcoming animated short story, entitled The Biggest Story, has a 1-minute trailer I encourage you to watch (especially with your kids). This has received some pretty good reviews so far and I am anxious to see it.

Jungle Pilots Are Superheroes

The Thursday feature of the Worldly Saints blog will be sharing of a media clip (audio or video) that has either educated, equipped, provoked or entertained us in some way.

If you have never met a “jungle pilot,” than you need to watch this video. These saints only fly into places without roads and when a road is built, they find another location to fly goods and the Gospel into.

This video is a mini-doc on what it is like to be a “jungle pilot” for the Mission Aviation Fellowship.

 

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