Giving Your Best

The Scripture teaches us that "whatsoever we do, we are to do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord we will receive the reward of our inheritance, for we serve the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23, 24).

What a day Sunday was! There were three major sporting events going on, and all of them of "super bowl" caliber. There was a championship hocky game, PGA Golf finals, and of course, the little unknown event called Super Bowl XLVII, between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Each event was well played. Of the two that I kept my eyes on were the PGA Golf Finals in Phoenix, Arizona and the Super Bowl Game. Phil Mickelson wound up winning the PGA game by a score of twenty eight under par. His closest rival was from a player by the name of Snedeker who came in at twenty four under par. This was a four day tournament in which Mickelson had the lead for all four days. There were a lot of great players in the tournament and I'm sure that we will be hearing more from some of them in days and games to come. But I kind of like ole' Phil. I like his attitude on the course and his sense of concern for the other players. Watching him in other tournaments I have seen him offering words of encouragement in team tournaments and even offer a simple act such as moving the flag pole for a competitor vying to beat him on the very same hole! Now, I don't know if he is a Christian or not, but I believe that he supports a few charities as well. Of course in a game like golf, you have to be somewhat prideful because your game all depends on how well you play the game, and you'd better play it better than your competition! And speaking of competition, at the half time, the Baltimore Ravens were leading the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 28 to 6. But when the third quarter got started, the 49ers got a boost in spirit and brought the score to 28 to 19. Somewhere in that half-time talk, that I'm sure the coach gave them, they came out with a boost in attitude and started turning things around. And you talk about tense! These two teams had already had several physical bouts with one another before the half-time came! But do you know what? The odd thing about this game is that these two teams are coached by brothers, John and Jim Harbaugh, one on one side and one on the other! The announcer said that even they had a hard time being cordial to one another this week because each brother taught their perspective teams to be "on edge"! Wow! I hope they can get along with each other after its all over, don't you?

But this devotion is not about competition, it's about giving your best. My sister sent me an article about Baylor University's new goal for their future which they are calling, "Pro Futuris", from the Latin, meaning, "For our future". This new emphasis has been added to their other goals of "Pro Ecclesia", "for Church", and, "Pro Texana", "for Texas and for the World". In other words, Baylor is a university who takes its Christian faith, its commitment to education, and its commitment to world problems, seriously, and so it strives with excellence to fulfill these goals. Now whether these golfers are Christians or not, and I'm sure that some of them are, and whether these football players, coaches, and fans are Christians or not, and I'm sure that many are, each one of us, individually, and collectively as a church, are to strive to do everything that we do, as if we are doing it for the Lord and not just for men. Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever asked yourself if what you are doing is for the Lord, and not just for men, because folks, when it comes down to it, it won't be you that I face when I reach the end of life, nor will you face me. Each of us will stand alone before the Lord and have to give an account of our lives before Him and then receive the rewards of that which we have done, or experience a little "backside-fire", a little "singeing" if you will, for the things we should have done but didn't, or experience some loss for some things we did that, well, weren't quite pleasing to the Lord. But each of us will stand before the Lord and give an account of ourselves. Now, let me ask you what I must ask myself, are you doing what you are doing as if you are doing it for the Lord and not just for men?

Oh, by the way, congratulations goes to the Ravens who won by a score of 34 to 31. I sure do hope those brothers get along....

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