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Leave it "ALL" on the Field!!!!

It's Friday afternoon, the last school day bell has been heard, the sounds of children's voices fill the air with excitement that the weekend has begun. For our family, when the school day ends on Fridays, Football and "Friday Night Lights" is what is on everyone's minds. For many years my husband coached at least one of my five boys every football season. I can hear his words echoing throughout the house..."Boys, you get one shot... Give it ALL you've got... "Leave it ALL on the Field", Use every opportunity God gives you to the Fullest!" Shouldn't we start each day like it's Game Day? Shouldn't we head out the door in the morning with the attitude that we are going to "leave it all on the field," taking advantage of every moment God gives us? Why should we desire to be all God called us to be? Why should we desire to be more like Christ each and every day? Why is “Good Enough” not “Good Enough?” Being a mother of five boys you begin to truly understand the definition of “Competitive”. From the time they were old enough to talk, one of them was constantly trying to “one up” one of their brothers. Listen, they got it honestly. My husband and I have never backed down from competition. The infamous story in our house is the time we were playing a softball game at a church cookout. My son, who at the time was probably around 10 years old and I, were on the same team. The ball was hit to the infield, I proceeded to try to make the play but in the process almost took my son out! What can I say, I don’t like to lose and it was an important play. This was over a decade ago and they still won’t let me live it down. My personality has always been something like this… If I’m going to do something I want to be the best I can be at it. That is really how we should live our life with Christ. Our mindset should be; with God’s help, I am going to live each day to the fullest as a child of God, acknowledging I will never be perfect, but never settling for “good enough”. Phillipians 3:12-15 (ESV) reads,

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

I can remember learning this scripture as a little girl. At that time, I thought the greatest prize as a Christian, would be getting to heaven. As I have gotten older, I believe God wants us to see that there is so much more. Heaven is the ultimate prize. Paul says, I press on to make “it” my own because Christ has made me his own. What is “it”? I believe “it”, is the heart of God. God desires that we press forward in our walk with him, seeking and yearning to know his heart and to fulfill the call he has on our lives. But what exactly does this mean? 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says, “This is good and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”. So, God’s heart is that everyone be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Shouldn’t that be our heart as well? You may say, “I do want people to know who Jesus is”, but are our lives leading them to him? Paul says, he is forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. Paul didn’t say he forgot what was behind, he said he is forgetting. This is a daily decision. We must daily put our old self behind us and “strain” toward what God has set before us. Just reading that word “strain” makes me realize that there is work to be done. We cannot expect to do the will of Christ and not put forth extra effort. Remember doing tug-of-war in school? You didn’t want your team to lose, so you gave it all you had. We should do the same for Christ.

---“Your relaxed walk in Christ is more detrimental than our sinful life ever was.”---

Before you came to Christ people expected you to act like a sinner. Once you gave your heart to God, whether they say it or not, they expect you to walk differently. How are you affecting the kingdom of God because your life after Christ does not look any different that your life before Christ? Whatever gave us the idea that God is ok with “good enough”? As you mature in Christ, your life should resemble him more and more. Paul says in Phillippians Chapter 3, that if we begin to think otherwise that God would make us aware of that. We should be seeking to hear the voice of God in our lives, to draw us closer to Him, therefore making us more like Him. Unfortunately, many of us have muted the voice of God because we don’t want to hear him tell us the areas of our lives that he desires to work in. We are content in being called a Christian without the daily reminder that we are not our own but we are HIS! God desires that we have a closer walk with him, so that we can be his voice in this world that is dying. So, as you go through this week, ask God to help you "LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD". Let the Holy Spirit lead you, The voice of God encourage you and the TRUTH in his word be your compass! Live for Him with all you've got, directing others to the awesome, life changing, presence of God.

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