Although life is much more important than a football game, there are many good helpful analogies that one can make between the two. Today, Pastor Adam continued our series called “Game Plan”. Football coaches always have a detailed playbook for every game. Each position and play has many various possibilities. Every team has a detailed plan and they work it and use it during the entire game. God has a plan and a purpose for your life and mine. He knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:17) and counts your tears (Psalm 56:8). He is a personal God. How is the “game plan” of your life going? Have you considered God in the plans? What if He has invitations and “plays” for you and your life situations that you are unaware of because you do not seek Him out or include Him?
The Beatitudes is a section of Jesus’ teaching in the New Testament that promises many types of blessings. However, the way of living taught in this section of God’s “playbook” may not be what you are accustomed to or what our culture adheres to and values. Yet, blessings from God are promised. Are you ready to consider God as your “coach” and the author of the “playbook” of your life? It might not look like you expect and you may need to consider some paradigm shifts in the way you think, act and perceive things. Professional athletes are willing to pay a high price and live in a certain way in order to attain their goals. Are you willing to pay a price and live in a certain way in order to seek God’s best in and for your life? The Bible even talks about believers going into “strict training” in I Corinthians. Is there something in your life that prevents or distracts you from desiring God’s best? Or perhaps there is something that is NOT in your life that would help you have God’s best and His blessings?
INVITATION: When God is the ultimate desire of your life, you will see Him in everything you face, no matter what the circumstances. What is your ultimate desire and passion? Join in this week as we study, pray and contemplate part of God’s “playbook” for the Christian life. But this week’s study comes with a warning: It probably doesn’t look like the playbook the secular world has to offer. But then, how is the secular playbook working out for you in your life, peace, relationships and other aspects of a full and meaningful life? As you dive into scripture and some tough verses this week, remember Pastor Adam's prayer prompt from last week: 1) I can’t; 2) God, you can; 3) God, please help.
MONDAY: Matthew 5:4; Ecclesiastes 7:4; John 11:17-35: Some other words for “mourn” are sad, grief, depressed. Jesus understands mourning. He understands grief and pain. From the John verses, Jesus knew he was going to raise Lazarus. Yet he was moved and touched by the sorrow and grief of his friends. Jesus is moved and touched by your pain and suffering. You can mourn with the assurance there is a personal savior who stands ready to comfort and bless you, even in the midst of suffering. How can you take pain or sorrow to Jesus today? Have you thought about trusting Him with it rather than shouldering the burden all alone? Or maybe you give it to Jesus but then take it back again? As you think back over your journey, have seasons of adversity had blessings within them? How is Ecc. 7:4 comforting for you? Have you ever thought about mourning in terms of wisdom?
TUESDAY: Matthew 5:5: The world clumps the word “meek” and “weak” together. However, they are very different. Meekness involves power, intelligence and wisdom all under control. Pastor Adam likened it to a gifted quarterback who has the capability when needed to throw a ball the full length of the football field. Yet, he’s also capable of giving the ball just enough finesse to complete the play the coach calls in from the playbook. How might you strive to show meekness in your life? What do you think “shall inherit the earth” might mean? Does that promise appeal to you? Does it appeal to you enough to cultivate meekness within your life?
WEDNESDAY: Matthew 5:6: Pastor Adam stated, “what you pursue will determine what you become.” What are you currently pursuing in your life? Are you willing to pray for the Lord to “search you and know your heart?” (Psalm 139). Do you have a hunger and thirst for God? If not, have you ever considered asking God to plant and grow that type of desire for God in you? He can and He will. Remember that you can’t but God can.
THURSDAY: Matthew 5:7: Mercy is a matter of stewardship. You have been shown mercy in your life. Are you going to withhold from others what Jesus has freely given you? Consider asking God for specific opportunities to show mercy today and this week.
FRIDAY: Matthew 5:8-9 & I Peter 1:13-16: The "pure in heart” that Jesus talks about in the Sermon on the Mount speaks to holiness. This is not a legalistic type holiness like many of us have probably experienced. Some of us have possibly had too much experience with it. Pastor Adam posed the question, “how much holy is holy enough?” That is between you and God. The Christian journey is a day by day, moment by moment journey. Are you going to God with your every day life and situations in order to know the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life regarding living a holy life? How might you “be obedient children and not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance” (from I Peter) today? How might you use these verses about being holy in your prayer life?
SATURDAY: Romans 12:18: As you think about this verse, are there any relationships in your life where you are not living in peace? Will you consider asking Jesus if He would have you do anything about these relationships?