Extending God’s Glory 11/6/13

I got to watch a really neat 3-4 minute video on my computer this morning.  I’ll admit that I like sports, although a whole, whole lot less than I did a few years back.  But this is one sports video that I think everyone ought to watch.  I hope that even if you don’t like sports you’ll go ahead and take a few minutes and read this because it really isn’t about sports.

The video tells the story of a middle school football team; MIDDLE SCHOOL mind you, boys who are 12, 13, 14 years of age acting more adult than way, way too many adults.  These middle school football players, every one of them on the team made a decision without the knowledge of their coaches that was incredible.

There is a young man who is developmentally and physically disabled who went out for the football team and was made a member of the team.  As you can imagine he doesn’t play much because physically and mentally he doesn’t have the capacity.  However he was made a part of the team and every member of the team has accepted him and includes him just as if he were the most important member of the team.

A few weeks ago, again without any of their coaches’ knowledge, the team had made a decision that if they got an opportunity to score an easy touchdown that whomever had the ball would purposefully take a knee on the 1 yard line and not score . . . on purpose.  Then, they would bring the aforementioned disabled young man onto the field and they would make sure that he scored the touchdown.  Which is exactly what they did. 

It was interesting to me that whomever was making the video of the two plays that I’ve mentioned and that were shown on the video clip that I saw, also had the sound of the fans included as well.  On the first play, when the ballplayer with the ball ran toward the goal line and was assured of easily scoring, when he purposefully took a knee at the 1 yard line and did not score, the fans, whose voices could be heard on the video, weren’t happy.  But that didn’t matter to the team.  They made sure the disabled young man then came into the game and every one of those other 10 young men on the field surrounded that boy and made sure that he scored the touchdown.  As you can imagine, the disabled young man was overjoyed and ecstatic when he was interviewed about what it meant to score the touchdown.

All of that was incredible and those young men on that football team are amazing.  But what touched me more than any of that was when they interviewed one of those young men on the football team.  He admitted that it was not his idea; he admitted that before all of this took place that basically all he cared about was himself and his friends.  But as the newsperson interviewed him about this decision and resulting incident this young man, with tears running down his face, talked about how his whole perspective had changed.  THAT was amazing.

For those of you who are sports fans, this story is even more amazing considering what has been going on in the “adult” world of the National Football League over the last week; DISGUSTING!

I told you that this really isn’t about sports, so let me change gears just a little here.  I’m going to go back to David Platt’s book Radical again to talk about us, you and me and what we are doing in our little corner of the world.  In his chapter on “The Great Why of God” Platt is talking about God’s grace and blessings.  I’m going to copy and quote a couple of his paragraphs.  He writes:

“On one hand, we were created by God to enjoy his grace.  Apart from everything else God created, we were made in his image (Genesis 1:26-27).  We alone have the capacity to enjoy God in intimate relationship with him.  The first word the Bible uses to describe that relationship is blessing.  God blessed the human race, not because of any merit or inherent worth in us, but simply out of pure, unadulterated grace.  God created humankind to enjoy his grace.

“But that was not the end of the story, because on the other hand, God immediately followed his blessing with a command.  ‘God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it’” (Genesis 1:28).  God gave his people his image for a reason—so that they might multiply his image throughout the world.  He created human beings, not only to enjoy his grace in a relationship with him, but also to extend his glory to the ends of the earth.”

Now in light of what I’ve written here today, I submit to you, that is what those middle school boys on that football team were doing.  There was no mention of Christ in the video; I don’t know if the young man or men who thought of doing what they did were Christians, had Christ in mind when they did that or not.  But what I do know is that they were extending the glory of God to the ends of “their” corner of the earth whether they know it or not.

The thing is, that most all of us who are reading this, at the very least call ourselves Christians.  Most all of us who are reading this love to enjoy God’s grace in a relationship with Him.  Most all of us who are reading this claim to believe the Bible is the Word of God.  So I want to ask all of us, myself most of all, what are we doing to extend His glory to the ends of “our” corner of the earth?  I think you know me well enough to know that I’m not talking about preaching a sermon; I’m not talking about talking to someone about Jesus.  (By the way, both of those things are good things, but the problem is that sometimes we limit our idea of “extending God’s glory” to things that we classify as “church stuff” just like I’m talking about.) 

I purposefully shared the story of the middle school football team and more purposefully told you that there wasn’t anything in that video that talked about God or church or witnessing or sermons or anything in the world like that!  These were just boys playing football.  There are boys, who are created in the image of God, who are extending the glory of God to the ends of the earth in their little corner whether they know it or not.  You and I are created in the image of God and MOST of what we do doesn’t have anything to do with church or witnessing or sermons or anything in the world like that!  BUT THAT DOESN’T CHANGE THE FACT THAT WE ARE CALLED TO EXTEND GOD’S GLORY TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH IN OUR LITTLE CORNER every-day of our lives, every-where that we go, to every-one that we meet!  (I did that “hyphen” thing on purpose trying to emphasize the “every” in them!) 

Of all people, we who have tasted the glory and grace of God ought to be the first ones to be extending His glory.

Here at Angus Church last Sunday we talked a very little bit about what we are going to be doing during the Advent Season this year to do just a little bit of that.  I hope that you are planning on being a part of that.  I hope that you will plan on doing everything that you can to make sure that you are a part of extending His glory to the ends of Lincoln County during the Advent Season.  It starts this Sunday with folks who are going to be small group leaders and they’re going to be talking to you and asking you to be a part of their small group for 3 weeks during the first 3 weeks of December – wow, I hope you’ll be a part of this.

Are you extending His glory to the ends of the earth in your corner today . . . at work . . . at the grocery store . . . in your neighborhood . . . with the server who is waiting on you . . . with the driver who cuts you off in traffic . . . with the neighbor who loves to do everything that they can to irritate you . . . well . . . are you . . . will you?

Rick

Upcoming Activities

 

Today, Wednesday November 6 – Why not join us this afternoon around 5 o’clock for dinner here in the gym?  It’s a great time to fellowship and enjoy some good company and if you aren’t involved in the teens or children’s activities then you could join either our Hispanic study or our prayer group in the sanctuary.

Sunday November 10 – We will have a wonderful day of worship and praise.  We will begin to put small groups together for our celebration of Advent so that we can extend His glory and we hope you’ll be a part of that.  And for those who want some exercise and fellowship, our Sunday Adventure Club is going on a walk at the Links in Ruidoso, meeting near the picnic tables and the parking lot at the White Mountain Complex at 2:30. 

Thank you for your continued prayers for Johnny Bundick.  Johnny had a stroke on Sunday morning and was rushed to the hospital and eventually moved to Albuquerque.  Johnny is doing wonderfully well; he has some weakness in his right leg but otherwise is doing very well.  He will be in Albuquerque for a few days for rehab and we thank God for His touch on Johnny! 

 


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