Playing the Game…
Posted on March 20, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
The success of any team is determined by how each individual person plays their role. If an individual focuses on themselves and how they will benefit from any choice and/or action, then the team falters in achieving its purpose because that individual was not where they should be… playing their part. The player who sacrifices their personal needs and desires for the sake of something greater than themselves, and positions themselves so that others can press on to achieve the purpose of the team, it is this person who knows the true joy and contentment of playing the game well.
Life is no different than this; we are all given character roles to play in life by its Author. Each role has a specific purpose and meaning to the story of redemption we are participating in. How we choose to play out these roles determines how we enjoy the next chapter called glorification. The Author of this story has given each person a powerful capacity to freely choose how our character responds within the plot and events the Author has perfectly determined. If we choose to live in accordance with the Author’s perfect design, we will know peace, joy, and the best of all, love. If we choose to live in opposition to His perfect design, we will know the frustration and despair this naturally brings.
The Author of the story has required one thing of us, His characters in His story; that is to be faithful to His perfect Word. Knowing that we will struggle with this, the Author sent His Son to tell us about Himself and show us how to live faithfully in accordance with His perfect will. But that’s not all, because the Author loves us so much He gave His only begotten Son to be crucified in our place. This is to satisfy our debt which has accumulated in His perfect Justice by our choices to not be faithful to His Word, thereby leaving the Author out of our lives, living against the purpose of His story of redemption.
The point is, life is not about just doing a bunch of ‘do’s and don’ts’, but loving the One who is the Author of the ‘do’s and don’ts’. We do this by being faithful to the Author’s perfect Word. This is evident in our lives when we crucify with Christ our self-centered wants and desires that are in opposition to God’s perfect Word, thereby they no longer controlling our lives; but rather Christ lives in us as our Lord and Savior. From this decision forward we live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us.” (Galatians 2:20) Now consider if we did this as a team; having each put off or crucified our selfish desires and lived in accordance with Jesus’ nature of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control towards each other; not only would we individually know our purpose of participating in God’s perfect Love, but we would enable others to enjoy it as well.
Jesus played His role in the “Story of Redemption” to the glory of its Author, God who is absolutely perfect. He lived, died, resurrected, and ascended all in accordance with God’s will, being faithful to God’s Word. He did this by putting off His personal interests and took on our roles as human beings. In His faithfulness to God’s Word, He made the way called salvation, for each of us to enter through to know and love our God, enjoying Him for all eternity.
Before His death, Jesus expressed His desire that we are on His team. He prayed to His Father, “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them (as my team) into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.”
Jesus pressed further in praying, “I am praying not only for these disciples (my teammates) but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message (and join the team). I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me (our purpose as His teammates). I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity (as our team) that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me (this glorifies God).
Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!”
I know this is long, but if you made it this far I hope you realize that I want what Jesus wants, that you be on God’s team too and enjoy all that He provides His players. My hope is that you will choose Him even over your own life, and by doing so, you know a rest that only He can offer.
Jesus lived to the Glory of God so that you could participate as His teammate, God’s perfect love. Won’t you relent of your self-driven desires and rest in His love forevermore…. together in the next chapter of life with those Jesus gave His life for? There is hope and His name is Jesus.
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “Right now you are in training for a trial you’re not yet in. Public victory comes from private discipline.” ―
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the [b]beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. –Psalm 27:4
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.