” In Whatever You Do! “

Hunters soccer

1 Corinthians 10:31,  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. “

           This past week I was surprised with delight after someone handed me the local Fayette County paper and showed me a picture of my son Hunter Morris in the sports section. I had no idea that the paper had taken any pictures of his soccer team, and yet, my son was in full view and mentioned underneath the picture. Of course, as a father, my chest puffed out a little larger and the smile on my face grew bigger. I am always proud of my son and to be his dad, but I felt excited to see him recognized in the local paper.

           Hunter plays for a local school named West Junior High in Oakland, TN. This is the first year for the boys to have a soccer team. Some of the boys ( including my son ) have played recreational soccer before, but many on the team have never played at all. Before the soccer season began the coaches tried to be encouraging to the boys, but wanted them to be fully aware that they would be playing teams who had much more experience and some had won championships before. The standard was still set high for our boys, but for most the expectations were low.

           Though the season is young at this point, the team has already exceeded the expectations for most. They have won three games, and barely lost one. It has been a good season thus far!

           One of the greatest things that makes this team unique is the quality of the two coaches for our boys. I would describe both men as loving Jesus and wanting to glorify Him even through the good and bad of the game. In other words, they want to win, but glorifying God is number one! This is why I am reminded of this verse in 1 Corinthians 10:31 as I think about the West Junior High Lions boys soccer team.

           Paul, in his discourse of Christ like conduct for the church at Corinth brought everything into perspective within this one verse. He said basically, whatever you do make sure that you work to the best of your ability, and remember that glorifying God is the most important thing. So, you may be drinking your coca-cola at lunch. You may be eating your pizza at dinner. You may be playing hard on the soccer field. You may be mowing your neighbors lawn. There are thousands of things you could be doing right now. No matter which one of those things you may be doing, be sure that you have glorifying God as your top priority in whatever you are doing!

           This verse should be the characteristic of every Christian on this earth. In other words, the overall characteristic of my life should be that Jesus is number ONE in and through everything I do, say, act, react, and think about. My number one goal is to bring glory to my Savior Jesus Christ.  I should love good and shun evil. I should run to righteousness and flee sinfulness. I should be all about whatever pleases Jesus and brings glory to Him.

           I honestly believe the hearts of the men who coach my son’s soccer team are hearts that want to bring glory to Jesus even in the midst of hard work on and off the soccer field. I believe their testimony has had an impact on the boys they coach, and in turn the boys practice extremely hard.

           I can’t help but think how we as Christian’s should work so diligently in every part of our lives as these boys have worked thus far on the field. If we, who know Jesus personally, were to be that diligent about our faith in Christ, the world could not help but be changed. Yet, so many times God is not number one in our lives. The question for us today is this, “What must I do personally to live out 1 Corinthians 10:31 in my life today?”.

 Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan

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“Departure: Good or bad?”

Ship Departure

2 Timothy 4:6-8 “ For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Do you ever think about dying? It is a fact that the ratio of those living to those who die are 1 to 1. Everyone who is living will eventually die. So if you have not thought about dying you probably are now. One preacher once said these words, “You’re not ready to live until you are ready to die.”. (Source unknown).

As we look in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 today there are so many things that can be pulled out of these verses, but I would like to just look at a few. First, Paul states in verse 6, “my departure is at hand”. The word departure here comes from the Greek word, “analusis” which literally means an unloosing. The picture that the Greek word paints for us is of a ship that has been parked in the harbor for some time. The ship is now ready to be loosened from the dock so it can depart to the sea. Paul is saying that God has had him docked on this earth for ministry, but soon the Lord will loosen him from this earth that he may go to Heaven where Jesus is. Paul was thinking about his departure, and it is wise for us to think about our departure from this earth too.

Paul says some pretty common-sense things about the Christian’s walk through this life. These things are very common-sense, but they hold outstanding truth and principles which the child of God must consider in his or her daily walk with Christ. Paul compares our walk with God to a race and the battle we face as we run the race.

There are those who never start the race. Paul talked about how he was already being offered up like a drink offering. He shared how he fought the good fight, and how he had finished the course. However, there was something that had to be done before all of this. He had to get into the race. This happened for Paul on the road to Damascus back in the book of Acts. He met Jesus on that road to Damascus, and that was the day Paul entered into the race of the Christian life. Let me ask you today, “Have you entered the race yet?”. Have you asked Jesus to come into your heart, received Him by faith, and put your trust in Him to save you? If you have not entered the race I plead with you to enter!

Then, there are those who enter the race but some where along the way they stop running. We have all seen it happen. Someone gives their heart to the Lord, confesses Him as Savior, come to church for a while, and then you never see them again. Sometimes people who have served the Lord for years experience a tragedy in their lives and they stop running the race. There are so many of these different types of situations. It boils down to this. Either they were never saved in the first place, or along the way their hearts become dull of hearing until finally their hearts were hardened. Let me ask you this, “Has there ever been a time where you were closer to Jesus than you are right now?”. If you answered, “Yes” then ask yourself, “Why?”. Why were you running the race and now you have stopped?

Then, there are those who can say like Paul, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.”. These are the one’s who entered the race and pushed through to the end. In the last two weeks I have preached the funerals of two wonderful women of faith who could both say these words. They entered the race and they persevered through to the end.

One of the things I have noticed between the people who never start the race, the people who start but stop, and the people who run the race until the Lord takes them home to be with Him is their perspective. If we have an earthly perspective it will dictate how we live and view our lives in the present time. In other words, if I am concerned more about relationships, traditions, material things, and my well-being on this earth then I am going to be focused on this earth. My decisions will be made with this present life in mind. However, if I have an eternal perspective, every decision and action that I make now will be done with eternity in mind. For example, I should be more concerned about pleasing Jesus than pleasing my neighbor, my friend, my co-workers, and even my brothers and sisters in Christ. An eternal perspective changes everything. We make decisions today with eternity in mind. My relationship with Jesus dictates every decision I make instead of letting earthly things dictate how I view Jesus.

So where are you? Have you even started the race? If you have where are you in the race? Are you still running fervently? Are you on the sidelines, or are you on a different path altogether that you should not be on? Examine yourself today. Take note of where you are. Ask God to help you. He will! “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” ( Jeremiah 29:13 ).

Sincerely,

Bro. Bryan