Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Which do you prefer – watching the big game on television or in person? Maybe you believe that watching on TV gives you a better chance of not missing anything because of the multiple camera angles available on instant replay. Or maybe you would rather sit in the stadium with friends and fellow fans as you scream your lungs out in unison hoping that it motivates your team to victory. Some would argue that the full experience of the game comes from knowledge of every detail of every play, so TV gives them the best opportunity to have that knowledge. Others argue that the real experience is in the live venue, so you can feel the emotional ebb and flow of the fans and be a part of a bigger crowd.
I’m not sure which I prefer in football, but I know for sure which option brings the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us from Christ – the live venue!
Some of you prefer to live out your Christian lives in the comfort and privacy of your own home, and you enjoy some of the blessings of relationship with Christ. But the Apostle Paul makes it clear in his letter to Philemon that there is only one way to experience the fullness of every blessing God has placed in us for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ – to become an effective witness for Jesus.
Philemon 1:4-6 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.
Jesus Christ’s mission was to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). He came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). His death and resurrection satisfied and abolished the wrath of God for those who believe in Him (1 Thess. 5:9). Because of our faith in His work on Calvary and repentance from our sin, Jesus has blessed us with every spiritual blessing from the Father’s presence (Eph. 1:3), including the indwelling of His Holy Spirit who equips us to serve Him as witnesses (Acts 1:8).
Here’s a question to consider – “Am I satisfied with what I currently know of the goodness of God, or is there more to experience?” I can only conclude that there is more based on what Paul says to Philemon. The only way I could be satisfied that I have attained the full knowledge of all the good things God has given is to be confident that the sharing of my faith with others is having its full effect on them.
I’m not there yet.
I wonder what we are missing. I think it has to do with the experience of being in the stadium, surrounded by people who are also enjoying the game. Who knows, maybe you will end up sitting next to someone who is cheering for the other team, and you will have the opportunity to experience the incredible strength and peace of God that comes from being public about your faith. After all, you wear your team’s colors proudly enough even when you are in the opponent’s territory. I think our Savior expects the same.