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Registered user
Username: Ric_b

Post Number: 2091
Registered: 7-2004

Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 3:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Iím not very good, but I love doing it. I have a long list of activities about which I can say this: playing trumpet, hunting antelope, playing basketball, barbecuing steak. Well, no, Iím pretty good at barbecuing steak. Still, I immensely enjoy doing many things, even though my level of expertise is pretty pedestrian.
I play basketball a couple of times a week, more if my body allows it. Iím not very good. Iím not that tall, canít jump, and, born slow, Iím getting slower every year. I set a pretty good screen, and can shoot a little, most of the time, unless itís a contested lay-in, which Iím sure to miss, along with a fair percentage of uncontested gimmes. And yet, despite my limited skills, I absolutely love playing, because Iím not worried about how good I am. If I can make a pass or set a screen, drag myself up and down the floor, and not get injured, I go home a very happy guy.
It wasnít always this way for me. Iíve always loved basketball, but as a teenager, my enjoyment was clouded by a desperate desire to prove myself, to make the team, to maybe even be a major contributor. Which, given the limitations I detailed above, was problematic. I worked hard, but never shined, and gave up basketball after my sophomore year, when my efforts to prove my worth were contradicted by a coaching staff that perhaps had a more objective perspective. Make me, a sophomore, play C-Squad, with freshmen? Iíll show you. I wonít play anymore.
Thankfully, I got over it. In Godís providence, He got me to the other side of youthful pipe dreams, and my ego.
I remembered that I just love to play, even more now that I donít have unrealistic expectations. Just to be in the game, even an early morning game of relatively low quality, is a great joy. Iím not very good, but I love doing it.
My experience with basketball is a useful frame for us to use in considering freedom and joy in the Christian life. You, Christian, are a sinner. You see the example that Jesus lived, and because of your gratitude for His self-sacrificing love, poured out for you on the Cross, you want to live like a child of God should. But youíre not very good at it. You cannot free yourself from sin.
Itís easy to start pressing, thinking that your worth as a Christian depends on how good you can live. But that is a lie of the devil. Your worth as a Christian depends on Christ, who died and rose, for you. In Him, you are free, your inheritance in Godís Kingdom is guaranteed.
And so, free in Christ forever, you are also free to live, today.
The Good News that your standing with God doesnít depend on your works frees you to try to live as a Christian, without fear, freeing you to live joyfully, because Jesus is your Savior, and that makes you a winner, forever.
Registered user
Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 14710
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 5:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rick, thank you. This is good! What an amazing truth that we are sinners forever when we are in Christ!

Registered user
Username: Rioranchoprays

Post Number: 7
Registered: 3-2014
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 6:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice analogy. Someone once said, nothing you do can make God love you any more than he does right now. And nothing you do can make God love you any less. God loves us because, well he just does!

I love your last point that we are free in Christ! Free to live as his child, and free to live joyfully, because Jesus is our Saviour and in him we are a winner, forever.

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