Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
This week I would like to send my sincere congratulations to our basketball teams. As I write this, the Girls have already sealed the deal (State Champs) Wow; and the boys are State bound. I have absolutely no right to be, but still am very proud of all of them, and the coaches.
Can I share with you an underlying theme with the regard to the girls? (not excluding the boys, but this has directly to do with the girls) The thing that keeps coming up in conversation, and the thing I am most proud of them for is their comportment. In direct conversation or just eavesdropping, a common theme is the way the girls handled themselves under intense pressure. I mean what the Bible talks about when it admonishes us to "not return evil for evil"- 1st Thes. 5:15 I preach that all the time. I recognize it, and point out its absence, but Oh that I could practice it as they have. I am humbled girls. You have no idea how much of an encouragement you have been to many people you don't even know. Again, I am humbled. Oh that I could on a sustained basis, practice what I preach. I wonder how many I might influence. And there's the rub.
The meat of the Word is always, Application. I can know what to do, say or think, but if I don't apply it to my life, I am the hypocrite Christians often get accused of being. Let's turn the Spiritual Switch: James admonishes us to: "be doers of the word, and not just hearers" 1:22. Jesus told us in John, if we love Him, we will keep His commandments and if we don't (keep His commandments), we don't (love Him). - John 14:23-24. In what we call the Great Commission (marching orders) of Matt. 28, Jesus tells says we are to be: "Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I have commanded you". I see a pattern developing here? We can go to Church three times a week, go on mission trips, help out our brother, give sacrificially, but we will ultimately be judged on His Word. This may be why Deut. 32:47 says: "They are not just idle words for you - they are your life".
This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where we don't pull the splinter out of our brother's eye until we have removed the railroad tie out of our own. It is so refreshing to see competitive young women practicing this literally in the heat of battle. And just as they were blessed with ultimate success, so will we if we persevere. If we humble ourselves, God will exalt us. It is so easy to say, and so hard to do. The girls have given us an example to follow. I would like to thank you deluxe coaches as well, since attitude reflects leadership, and you cannot be praised enough for your example. I would like to encourage all of you to not let life's victories go by un-applauded. Each opportunity you have to encounter any of our basketball players or coaches (boys and girls), let them know how proud of them you are, even if it embarrasses them. They deserve it. God Bless. Oh, by the way --- I'm very happy you won too.