DAY 3 Winning Edge Devotions
2 TIM. 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Every year we begin a quest to build, once again, a successful football team. Training camp consist of the same basic practices each season. Our seniors will hear and practice once again the same drills that comprise our ‘fundamentals’.
In football, all championship teams have great fundamentals. These include proper stances and winning techniques. It takes a lot of practice to instill these winning fundamentals. Practice does not make perfect. One of my favorite youth ministers used to tell our team, “practice makes permanent. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”
On our practice field, we start everyday with these fundamental routines. You will hear our coaches say the same things every day- “Stance, start, form, fit, finish”. Our players go fast with the coaches calling out the buzz words of our system. You will hear “eat the football with your eyes”. The running back coach will say, “tuck it away, high and tight”, the linebacker coach yells, ‘step on toes, bite the football, club arms, grab cloth, and run your feet”.
Our quarterback’s coach repeats , “drop, drop, drop,, and hold our pose” our receivers coach preaches “burst off the cut” and “come and see me”.
This continued repetition builds habits. When our players play the game, we want them reacting and not thinking. By doing the same fundamentals again and again, we develop the proper fundamentals by instinct.
The same habits need to be cultivated in our spiritual lives. The evidence of grace is demonstrated in a desire to practice the disciplines of grace. The fundamentals of Christianity have not changed- we need to read the Word, pray, fast, worship, memorize scripture, share our faith, give. These habits of holiness re-orient our lives to be sensitive to Christ and His kingdom.
Can these habits become meaningless routines? Yes! But just as we push for energy and effort on the football field, we need to add enthusiasm for the fundamentals of our faith. The greatest fundamental, though, is the gospel itself. It is good news for bad people. The message is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sin and His resurrection is proof of our hope for eternal life in Him. I cannot earn or deserve this gift of salvation, I humbly accept in faith. I am not trusting in myself for eternal life; I am trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus. It is such an awesome message that it transforms our lives and is the foundation of all we do.
I challenge us to develop a practice schedule that includes a daily dose of fundamentals. Let us find workout partners who will hold us accountable and train in the ways of God. These disciplines are always a part of championship performance.
Lord, I have neglected some vital disciplines of my spiritual growth. I had great excuses for leaving them out including my worry about my life with You becoming routine and monotonous. Now, I find that I give almost no time to my study of Your word and prayer. I have not fasted in years. Father, help me to remember why these disciplines are so good for me and keep encouraging me to practice these with energy. Let my thoughts and daily routine develop habits of holiness to Your glory!
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