February 5, 2018

By Paul J Banta

Philippians 2:1-5 says, Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from His love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” NLT

When we coach soccer, our number one goal is putting players to tests to produce successful beyond what they thought could ever imagine in their lives. Players want to be the real deal in the game and coaches are there to help them get there. Coaches who mean business leave a positive impression on the game and those watching them. God’s number one purpose in your life is to make you like Jesus, the real deal. He is the standard for your life in how you think, feel, speak and act. To determine what you in being the real deal ask this question of yourself. Are might thoughts, speech and might actions not only look like Jesus would approve but will they make me more like Christ? God is never going to tell you something that would cause you to do something that’s un-Christlike. He does not operate from imperfections. What is Jesus like and how would He instruct you to think, speak and act?

Life is about representing Jesus, and what He would do if He coached. Believe me, if you didn’t get the idea from God, it was more than likely planted there by the devil. James, Jesus brother, writes in James 3:14-17 we are given some specifics that are a good measure for testing our thinking, actions, and efforts: “If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition such wisdom is of the devil. The wisdom that comes from God is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, impartial and sincere.”  Using the wisdom that is provided by God will not motivate you to be a bitter person, do things out of envy or selfish ambition. Today’s verses in James share several powerful thoughts because of God’s love for you:

  • Wisdom is it pure – God does not give you impure instructions giving way to wrong actions.
  • Wisdom is it peace-loving – God gives you the peace that passes all your understanding.
  • Wisdom is it considerate – God cares that you care about others and if He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) you’ve got to be like Jesus.
  • Wisdom is it submissive – If you push your agenda down someone throat, it’s about you not about the Lord using you to help be the person He designed you to be.
  • Wisdom is it full of mercy – God expresses Himself through the compassion He shows us daily and through the very reason why His Son died on the cross. He forgives us over and over for our foolishness. Are you doing the same to those around us?
  • Wisdom impartial and sincere – Are you fair to other and real?

I don’t know about you, but I want to learn more about the character of God, love Him more deeply, worship and serve Him better, and receive spiritual fulfillment right here on this earth. Our God loves it when we read His Word and get smarter to help Him. He loves us more and more for our efforts. You’re created in His image and must take on His characteristics and to bring honor to His Name when you’re doing the game. Jesus Christ is worth more than any win and loses record this world offers. Loving and trying to be like Him should be the motivation needed to serve Him with our lives.

What’s Your Next Move?