by Pastor Tim Burt
We have had more days in the 90’s in Minnesota this summer, than any year I can remember. For that reason, I’m thinking about a cold day to help me appreciate this hot heat more…
It was January 10, 2016 and the Minnesota Vikings Football team was in a playoff game here in Minnesota. My son had wanted to take me for my Fathers Day gift even though this gift would be six months early. It was a beautiful sunny day but… it was 6 degrees below zero and would become the third coldest game in NFL history. Did that stop us or any Minnesotan? Not a chance. 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! I am not kidding! It was the first time I had seen such a thing!
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—almost euphoria in the stadium. It was off the charts. The noise level seemed was deafening. Many times throughout the game, the opposing team could not hear their quarterback yell out the calls before the snap! And hey, I was just as caught up in it! It was great fun even though I was seriously concerned my fingers and toes would not survive the freezing weather.
So as a Christian, I would imagine that at some point, you’ve had this thought: If there’s this much excitement for football and other sports, why don’t we see this level of excitement 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 greater and 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 in our soul. We love when the word convicts us and compels us to step up to all God has called us to be and leave worthless thinking, attitudes and behaviors behind. 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?
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. If you scroll the news or tweets, or social media comments on your phone all day long, 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. It’s what you spill over with. Your faith and joy will become wonderfully infectious to some!
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 instead of unprofitable and time wasting pastimes. Do it with the hunger and desire to learn, study, and grow in God! Before you know it, you’ll have 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. And euphoria for the Lord will stir in your soul!
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 you want to live in and the place He wants you to be—excited about Him working mightily in and through you!
Romans 12:11-13 (MSG) “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant…”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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