One of the most amazing characteristics of God is His vastness. He is so big, so strong, and so smart that all the billions upon billions of details that make up your world are as simple as the A-B-C’s to Him. It is because He sees and knows all things that He is able to make promises like the one in Romans 8:28, “God works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” Convergence is when seemingly unconnected parts join together at a particular time and place to form one whole. God is able to take hurt, pain, disappointment and failure and turn it into something good. If you are living on purpose for Him today, everything you do will produce good in your life or the life of another.
The second law of thermal dynamics states that everything goes from a state of order to a state of disorder. This means that as soon as you buy a car, it’s beginning to rust. Your brand new shoes are starting to wear out the first day you have them and each minute you live is a minute you will never have back. We live in a world full of decay and brokenness. When you add to this the human tendency to do evil, you have arrived at an accurate definition of life as we know it. That is why it’s so encouraging to know the God who saves. The same God who spoke and the earth was created loves you and knows what you need. Isaiah 61:3 tells us that God gives His people a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Have you ever met someone who acted kind and decent when people were watching but turned into a different person when they thought no one was around? John Wooden, the UCLA coaching icon once said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that, “man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.” In our men’s ministry we define good character as doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Character people bring health and healing to everyone around them while great talent is dismissed for lack of character. You can’t control how much talent you have, but you can do something about your character. At the end of the day, character is king.
It’s natural to want to win. Nobody enjoys losing. Yet in the Bible Jesus makes radical statements that challenge our thinking on winning. In Matthew 20 He says, “the first will be last and the last will be first.” “whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.” Jesus not only talked about this truth, He lived it as well. Jesus was a servant of all and gave His life for the lowliest of men. Then, He said, “take up your cross and follow me.” Sometimes winning is losing. We can choose to lose so that others might win. This is the way of the cross. Put your own needs aside. Choose to lose. If you do, someone else will win.
What is Church? Is it a place? We often refer to the building where we meet as “the church.” But a church is more than a building. Is it an event? Someone might say, “I went to church twice this week.” But church is more than an assembly of people. The Greek word for church is the “Ecclesia,” which literally means, “called-out ones.” It’s the people of God that are the church. Church is not what we do on Sunday. It’s what we do all week long: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday is just the day we gather to celebrate what God is doing.
How much money should you have? How much time should you spend serving others? Life is full of decisions. How do you know where to draw the line? Consider the lesson of Gideon. He knew God called him to defeat the mighty Midianites but he didn’t know how many men it would take to stand up to them. They numbered more than 100,000. When Gideon called for help 32,000 men responded. God said this was too many. He sent all but 300 men away. Can you imagine Gideon’s surprise? You want me to do all of that with only that? Yep. That’s exactly what I want you to do, God said. You might feel like you don’t have enough money, enough time or enough training to do God’s will. If you are willing to trust Him, you will find that God is always enough.