Thursday, January 6, 2022

So far this week we have been digging a little deeper into five marks of a spiritually mature person. On Monday we discovered the truth of knowing Jesus intimately; on Tuesday we talked about sacrificing the immediate for the eternal; and yesterday we grew in our decision-making by considering moral discernment. Today we find the teaching of Scripture in Hebrews that defines maturity as loving service to other people.

Hebrews 6:1, 10  “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Coming up on Monday night the college football national championship game will be held. I enjoy watching college football. I remember one specific game championship game sixteen years ago. We had church that night, so after getting home I sat down to watch what was left of the game. There were 5 minutes left in the second quarter, and Texas, the team for which I was cheering, had the ball and scored a quick touchdown to take the lead. At that moment the phone rang. It was a young man that I had been assisting with his adjustment to society after getting out of jail. He had fallen and sprained his ankle and was on his way to the hospital emergency room. He asked me if I would be able to pick him up later and take him home. I agreed.

Little did I know that he would call back at 10:15 PM to have me come and pick him up. Those of you that know me well know that I am usually in bed by that time, but the game had kept me up. I jumped in the car, hoping to get this all done and return home to see the end of the game. When I arrived at the hospital they were not yet ready to release him, so I watched the game with him in his room. As we were transferring him into the wheel chair to go to my car USC scored a touchdown and went ahead by the score of 38-26 with 6 minutes to play. “Well, it’s over now!“ I said as we walked out of the hospital, forcing myself to feel better about missing the end of the game.

After a 40 minute wait at the pharmacy for his pain medication, I finally returned home at 11:45 PM just in time to see the final moments of the post game show and heard the news that Texas had come back and scored 15 points in the final four minutes and won the game. I couldn’t believe it. I missed it. The greatest college football game ever and I didn’t get to see the best part of it. 

Now for many of us, the temptation might be to think, “If it weren’t for other people’s problems my life would be so simple.” That is NOT what I thought! I was sad that I missed the game, but my heart was blessed to know that I was able to help someone who had nowhere else to turn. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 

Spiritually mature people sacrifice the immediate for the eternal and serve others with the love of God. Try it today!

Pastor John

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