VIDEO The Playing Field

June 18, 2013 by ifightforgod

Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

You are the quarterback of a football team. Let’s call it Team Jesus.

Your coach: God. He calls the shots. He formulates the plays. He encourages you and supports the players on the field.

Next we have Jesus, standing in front of you, forming the offensive line. He blocks the attacks of the other team or in this case, the enemy. You are playing against the evil one, Team Evil. When the evil one has the ball, he entices you to come to his side; wants you to think that his team is the winning team. But Jesus separates you from the evil one. He protects you from temptation and the enticing calls of the evil one.

The Holy Spirit constitutes the other players. The Holy Spirit backs you up, supports and encourages you. The Spirit helps to bring guidance and to help you make the right decisions.

So now you have a team, a position and team mates. As the quarterback, you make the plays. You can decide to follow the plays that God recommends and has laid out for you or you can go your own way. But here’s the deal: if you decide that your decisions are better than the one true coach, God, well your own decisions could lead to a bad relationship between player and coach. If this occurs, you could be traded to the evil one’s team. Therefore, you need to work hard to maintain a good working, positive relationship between you and God. Relationships take work. Winning the game takes work. Don’t let the evil one get a grasp on the ball.

Further, the crowd is a swaying factor. You can let them encourage you as you strive for a win on Team Jesus. You can play the game for them. In essence, you can serve and put others first. Yet, if you let the cheering that’s meant to encourage become pride and an over abundance of self-confidence, the evil one starts winning the game again. In another instance, the crowd can be cheering for the other team, and encouraging the actions of the evil one. If we keep company such as this, we are at risk of being swayed over to the other side. Let the company you keep strengthen your faith.

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33

If we let God lay the foundation, we are a winning team. You and God. If we let others falsely build on the foundation, we start to stumble, and the foundation isn’t as strong as it should be.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:11

In summary, the rules of the game ares:

One: we need to decide which team we are playing for and stick with it.

Two: we need to keep working at our relationship with God.

Three: we need to decide on the swaying factor of the company we keep.

Four: we need to consciously decide to live third putting God first, others second, self third.

Five: we need to be aware of the evil one’s schemes and make every effort to avoid developing a relationship with him instead

After all, that’s what the game of life is all about!


With great power the apostles were telling people that the Lord Jesus was truly raised from the dead. ACTS 4:33

Remember [Christ’s] followers’ fear at the crucifixion? They ran. Scared as cats in a dog pound … But fastforward forty days. Bankrupt traitors have become a force of life-changing fury. Peter is preaching in the very precinct where Christ was arrested. Followers of Christ defy the enemies of Christ. Whip them and they’ll worship. Lock them up and they’ll launch a jailhouse ministry. As bold after the Resurrection as they were cowardly before it.


Greed? They made no money.

Power? They gave all the credit to Christ.

Popularity? Most were killed for their beliefs.

Only one explanation remains—a resurrected Christ and his Holy Spirit. The courage of these men and women was forged in the fire of the empty tomb.


Rock Of Refuge

The LORD has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.—Psalm 94:22

One year during my vacation, I walked along the shoreline of a large lake. As I approached a pile of boulders, I noticed a small alcove between the rocks and observed that a tiny plant had taken root there. The plant appeared to be absorbing the right amount of sunlight and water, and it was also getting something else: protection. No downpour or windstorm would ruffle its tender leaves.

The plant’s secure habitat reminded me of these familiar hymn lyrics: “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” Those words express what many of us want when we encounter people with evil intentions—people characterized by pride, cruelty, and a lack of regard for God (Ps. 94:4-7). When we are the target of someone’s wrongdoing, we can remember the testimony of the psalmist: “The LORD has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge” (v.22).

As our rock, God is dependable and strong. As our refuge, He can provide safety until problems pass. The psalmist reminds us: “Under His wings you shall take refuge” (Ps. 91:4). With God as our defender, we don’t have to fear what others will do. We can trust that God will support us when trouble comes.

Thank You, God, for Your stable and unchanging
nature. Help us to hide ourselves in You
when trouble comes our way. Remind us that we
don’t have to fight our own battles.

Refuge can be found in the Rock of Ages.

Things We Ought to Do

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23)

This sharp rebuke by Jesus to the legalists of His day should also be taken seriously by us today. Although we are saved by grace alone, there are many things we ought to do, not as a matter of credit toward salvation, but as gratitude for our salvation. Surely judgment, mercy, and faithfulness are high on such a list.

Other “oughts” of the born-again Christian life would include the following incomplete listing:

1.Prayer: “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
2.Obedience to God as Priority: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
3.Working and Sharing: “So labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
4.Gracious in Speech: “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).
5.Walking with God: “As ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:1).
6.Heeding God’s Word: “We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (Hebrews 2:1).
7.Sanctified Behavior: “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11).


Be still and hear the Lord

“Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying:, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isa. 30:21.)

WHEN we are in doubt or difficulty, when many voices urge this course or the other, when prudence utters one advice and faith another, then let us be still, hushing each intruder, calming ourselves in the sacred hush of God’s presence; let us study His Word in the attitude of devout attention; let us lift up our nature into the pure light of His face, eager only to know what God the Lord shall determine—and ere long a very distinct impression will be made, the unmistakable forth-telling of His secret counsel.

It is not wise in the earlier stages of Christian life to depend on this alone, but to wait for the corroboration of circumstances. But those who have had many dealings with God know well the value of secret fellowship with Him, to ascertain His will.

Are you in difficulty about your way? Go to God with your question; get direction from the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal.

If you will only get alone, where the lights and shadows of earth cannot interfere, where human opinions fail to reach—and if you will dare to wait there silent and expectant, though all around you insist on immediate decision or action—the will of God will be made clear; and you will have a new conception of God, a deeper insight into His nature and heart of love, which shall be for yourself alone—a rapturous experience, to abide your precious perquisite forever, the rich guerdon of those long waiting hours.—David.

“STAND STILL,” my soul, for so thy Lord commands:
E’en when thy way seems blocked, leave it in His wise hands;
His arm is mighty to divide the wave.
“Stand still,” my soul, “stand still” and thou shalt see
How God can work the “impossible” for thee,
For with a great deliverance He doth save.

Be not impatient, but in stillness stand,
Even when compassed ’round on every hand,
In ways thy spirit does not comprehend.
God cannot clear thy way till thou art still,
That He may work in thee His blessed will,
And all thy heart and will to Him do bend.

“BE STILL,” my soul, for just as thou art still,
Can God reveal Himself to thee; until
Through thee His love and light and life can freely flow;
In stillness God can work through thee and reach
The souls around thee. He then through thee can teach
His lessons, and His power in weakness show.

“BE STILL”—a deeper step in faith and rest.
“Be still and know” thy Father knoweth best
The way to lead His child to that fair land,
A “summer” land, where quiet waters flow;
Where longing souls are satisfied, and “know
Their God,” and praise for all that He has planned.—Selected.

Straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him

“Straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him.” Mark 1:18

When they heard the call of Jesus, Simon and Andrew obeyed at once without demur. If we would always, punctually and with resolute zeal, put in practice what we hear upon the spot, or at the first fit occasion, our attendance at the means of grace, and our reading of good books, could not fail to enrich us spiritually. He will not lose his loaf who has taken care at once to eat it, neither can he be deprived of the benefit of the doctrine who has already acted upon it.

Most readers and hearers become moved so far as to purpose to amend; but, alas! the proposal is a blossom which has not been knit, and therefore no fruit comes of it; they wait, they waver, and then they forget, till, like the ponds in nights of frost, when the sun shines by day, they are only thawed in time to be frozen again.

That fatal tomorrow is blood-red with the murder of fair resolutions; it is the slaughter-house of the innocents. We are very concerned that our little book of “Evening Readings” should not be fruitless, and therefore we pray that readers may not be readers only, but doers, of the word. The practice of truth is the most profitable reading of it.

Should the reader be impressed with any duty while perusing these pages, let him hasten to fulfil it before the holy glow has departed from his soul, and let him leave his nets, and all that he has, sooner than be found rebellious to the Master’s call. Do not give place to the devil by delay! Haste while opportunity and quickening are in happy conjunction. Do not be caught in your own nets, but break the meshes of worldliness, and away where glory calls you.

Happy is the writer who shall meet with readers resolved to carry out his teachings: his harvest shall be a hundredfold, and his Master shall have great honour. Would to God that such might be our reward upon these brief meditations and hurried hints. Grant it, O Lord, unto thy servant!

Every sifting comes by divine command and permission

“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” Amos 9:9

Every sifting comes by divine command and permission. Satan must ask leave before he can lay a finger upon Job. Nay, more, in some sense our siftings are directly the work of heaven, for the text says, “I will sift the house of Israel.” Satan, like a drudge, may hold the sieve, hoping to destroy the corn; but the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain by the very process which the enemy intended to be destructive.

Precious, but much sifted corn of the Lord’s floor, be comforted by the blessed fact that the Lord directeth both flail and sieve to His own glory, and to thine eternal profit. The Lord Jesus will surely use the fan which is in His hand, and will divide the precious from the vile. All are not Israel that are of Israel; the heap on the barn floor is not clean provender, and hence the winnowing process must be performed. In the sieve true weight alone has power. Husks and chaff being devoid of substance must fly before the wind, and only solid corn will remain.

Observe the complete safety of the Lord’s wheat; even the least grain has a promise of preservation. God Himself sifts, and therefore it is stern and terrible work; He sifts them in all places, “among all nations”; He sifts them in the most effectual manner, “like as corn is sifted in a sieve”; and yet for all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shrivelled grain, is permitted to fall to the ground. Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord, a shepherd would not lose one sheep, nor a jeweller one diamond, nor a mother one child, nor a man one limb of his body, nor will the Lord lose one of His redeemed people.

However little we may be, if we are the Lord’s, we may rejoice that we are preserved in Christ Jesus.