Yesterday, the Minnesota Vikings Football team was in a playoff game here in Minnesota. My son had wanted to take me for Fathers Day even though that’s six months away. At 6 below zero, it was the third coldest game in NFL history yet the stadium was packed—every seat full. Maybe I shouldn’t say every seat was full. The fact is, every fan there stood for three hours cheering wildly in the brutal cold, never taking their seats! The people that organize these games make sure that there is always something going on to keep the people interested and visually occupied. I could not believe the level of excitement in the stadium. It was off the charts. The noise level seemed like it was off the decibel range chart. Many times the opposing team could not hear the quarterback yell out the calls before the snap! And hey, I was just as caught up in it. It was great fun and my fingers and toes survived the freezing weather.
So as a Christian, I would imagine that at some point, you’ve had this thought: If there is this much excitement for football and other sports, why can’t we get this excited for Jesus? Can you imagine what it would be like if we carried this kind of excitement about Jesus into our daily life? As Christians, we all know there is nothing more exciting that what Jesus did for us. We know His Spirit lives within us. We know His presence because we see Him unfold His plan for our life and His master plan for all before our very eyes. If we seriously sit down with our Bible to study and read, God brings revelation and insight. When He does, it is so stirring and exciting! When we listen to our favorite ministers preach the Word, it moves and excites us. We love when the word convicts us and compels us to step up to all God has called us to be. And so why do we experience lulls in our walk with God? He is the winning quarterback! He has a no loss record! Through Him we win! Why do we allow ourselves to forget that? Why isn’t each day, a walk into the stadium of the world to watch our team leader march us to victory?
Jesus, in speaking to and rebuking the Jewish leaders plotting to kill Him, said that they even briefly got excited about what was preached. John 5:35 (NLT) says, “John (the Baptist) was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message.” Through John the Baptist, God’s word preached, even got through to their hearts! Amazing! But they turned back quickly to their evil agenda. If God’s word can get to the hearts of those who are evil, how much more can it speak to our hearts and lift us up?
I believe a large part of it is because of what we spend the bulk of our time focused on and thinking about. The feelings of your heart and your emotions are stirred and stoked by what you give yourself most over to. Read newspapers and watch or listen to news and political broadcasts all the time and that will be what you find yourself thinking and talking about. Whatever you give yourself over to and fill your heart with, is what you’ll be filled up with. So lets not complicate this. Make a simple change and don’t over-think it. Just do it! Choose to pick up your Bible more often in place of what you’ve let become a more favored pastime. Do it with the desire to learn, study, and grow, and it won’t be long until you’ve stoked a fire. Do it more and more and soon your life won’t be about the ra-ra hype of football games or the fantasies of television and movies, or the intellectual blaa of the endless conversations of “experts.” Do it and your heart will be filled with inspiration and hope from ordinary Bible people being used mightily of God because they trusted Him, and had faith in His grace and promises.
Find a few friends that like to talk about the Bible and get together and share God’s promises. Encourage each other in them! They are for now and for your life today! Pray for each other’s needs. Do so and you’ll have an outlet for the excitement of the Word that grows in your heart. As you share it, your heart’s cup will run over and your enthusiasm and excitement will spill over to others! Unlike a pro football game, it won’t be a lot of meaningless, short-lived hype. It’s the place in God that you want to be and the place He wants you to be—excited about Him working mightily in you!
Romans 12:11-13 (MSG) “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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