Hayden Carlo, 25, was pulled over by Plano police because he had an expired registration. He said he told the police officer that he was struggling financially. He said he had to choose between updating his registration and feeding his kids.
Carlo recalled their conversation. He flatly said he doesn’t have an excuse for the expired registration except he can’t afford a new one.
“I don’t have the money,” he told the officer. “It was either feed my kids or get this registration done.”
The police officer then handed the driver a citation, but when Carlo unfolded the paper, he saw a crisp $100 bill.
He said he “broke down” in his car. “What else can you do?” he asked.
Grace is my most beloved word in the world. As I study Jesus’ life, the notion of grace keeps hitting me in the face. All his stories made the wrong person the hero: the prodigal son not the responsible older brother, Lazarus not the rich man, the Good Samaritan not the Jewish rabbi. And I began to see grace as one of the great, often untapped, powers of the universe that God has asked us to set loose.
The French philosopher Simone Weil wrote a book called Gravity and Grace which describes two different ways of approach. The world runs by rules like gravity. As Isaac Newton studied the universe, he came up with fixed rules like “Every action deserves an equal and opposite reaction.” Athletics runs that way, as does the economy and politics. Stop making your car or house payments, and the bank repossesses them. Bomb my country and we will bomb you back. Against that pattern comes a strikingly different pattern. From God we deserve anger and we get love; we deserve punishment and we get forgiveness.
Grace is unfair. We deserve God’s wrath and get God’s love, deserve punishment and get forgiveness. We don’t get what we deserve. Paul put it ironically, “The wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life.” We work hard for wages, which vanish at death; we do nothing to deserve grace, and get life eternal. It’s unfair that a human rights abuser like Saul gets forgiven, or a murderer/adulterer like King David, or a thief hanging on a cross who has a conversion just before death. Yes, it’s unfair—gloriously unfair I would say. Coach Campman
There are two common wrong attitudes to sport – some dismiss sports as merely a game, while others worship sports as nearly a God. When viewed through the lens of Scripture, however, we will see that sport is more than a game, less than a God, and when transformed by the gospel can be received as a gift.
As people we were created to play. Play does not have a secondary purpose. It is simply creatively delighting in and enjoying God’s good creation for its own sake.
Like a father who builds a sandbox for his children, God is honoured and takes joy when his sons and daughters delight in his workmanship. John Calvin called the world “the theatre of God’s glory” but it is also the playground of God’s goodness.
Sports and competition are gifts of God in creation to be richly enjoyed with thanksgiving.
Why do people play sports? On the one hand, men and women play sports because they are created to play and want to use their gifts to glorify God. On the other hand, people often play sports as a way to justify themselves, to prove themselves to the world.
When sinners understand that they are justified by the blood of Christ, this frees them from having to justify themselves through their accomplishments. Sports then become a gift; they no longer bear the pressure of being the way that we prove ourselves to the world.
Paul wrote to the Hebrew church and said, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise”.
Understand patience is not a natural trait. Some people have a natural tendency to be flexible, tolerant, resistant, lenient, or reserved, but this isn’t patience because pushed to the limit this will run out and what we think is patience will quit, give up, turn away, and fail to stick with
You’ve been through too much – stick with it.
It’s too hard – stick with it.
Victory is yours – stick with it.
God has a blessing for you – stick with it.
Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world so – stick with it.
Your future depends on it – stick with it.
Home or away
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.Corinthians 4:8
Death is the ultimate reality for humans. It is a subject people prefer not to talk about. Paul has no such reluctance to face the issue. For him death – no longer being in his earthly body – means that he is at home with the Lord.
When we understand that it gives us a perspective on life. God has put us on earth and expects us to be active – to work and play. It is totally right that we take our career seriously, that we strive to achieve our potential.
Wanting to do the best that we can with the talents he has given us is 100% the right thing to do. At the same time we need to keep things in perspective. I recently had a Bible Study with a group of athletes at a Diamond League. We joked about meeting again in 1000 years. For all the athletes the next day’s races were really important – and rightly so. But we also agreed that when we met again in 1000 years who had won the Diamond League 100 metres in 2018 probably wouldn’t seem that important!
When you think ahead to a time when your earthly life is over, is “at home with the Lord” the image that comes to mind?
It should be.
My friend, Steve Springer, recently said, “Even good infielders get bad hops during a game, but they don’t let it ruin their game. They put it behind them and move on. In life, we all get ‘bad hops.’ And we shouldn’t let a ‘bad hop’ in life ruin our lives.”
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2)
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 4:3
Do you ever wonder why your friends cannot see their need of Jesus? Paul addresses that question in his letter to the Corinthians.
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (verses 3 and 4)
What can we do to help our friends find Jesus? In the following verses Paul gives us some answers:
1 Recognize that it is a spiritual battle? Logic and human cleverness will never bring a person to faith in Jesus?
2 Pray for the person and pray specifically that God will open their eyes to the truth, remembering that the god of this age has blinded their minds to the truth.
3 Live before them in a way that demonstrates the truth of the gospel.
4 Pray for an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with them.
Is there a colleague, friend, training partner etc you should be praying specifically for?