Monday, February 11, 2008


DAY 13 Winning Edge Devotions

TITUS 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Our football team will often lose the ‘warm-up’. I can’t tell you how many times we have been preparing to play teams and they are ‘fired up’. Some teams really put on a show with all kind of pump up antics. One year I remember a team coming out of the locker room for warm-ups and barking like a pack of wild dogs!
My experience has convinced me that all of the pre-game hype lasts about 15 seconds into the game. Once the game begins, any manufactured emotion melts into the intensity of battle. Don’t get me wrong, I love emotion, but I want real emotion based on what is happening on the field. Teams that live on emotion will have games of highs and games of flat lows. It is hard to get pumped up week after week with emotion. The players end up feeling unprepared if it is all based on pre-game hype and they ‘don’t feel it’.
We want something more reliable. We teach this as ‘intensity over emotion’. The feelings may come and go as the momentum changes, but we demand fiery focus and a commitment to lay it all on the line for your brother in the trenches.
The above passage contains the exact sentiment- notice the focused intensity. Paul writes for us to be’ trained’ to ‘say NO’ to worldly passions and have a steady, disciplined, steadfast hope which is ‘zealous’ to serve the Lord in our lives through good deeds of godliness.
I know some Christians who live their spiritual lives on feelings. “I don’t feel close to God” or “I don’t feel like my prayers are getting through”. Please keep in mind that your salvation is not based on feelings but faith in the fact of God’s promise. Feelings will come with the natural flow of life, but they are very fickle and totally unreliable.
God’s grace is the trainer. It melts our stubborn worldly desires and washes away our shortcomings. God’s grace props us up to walk one more day in hope. God’s grace marks us as His and eventually makes us desire to produce works for His glory.
My challenge to all of us is to get up each morning and get steadied by the truth of God’s existence and encouraged by His gospel message of salvation. Let it be these solid facts that carry us through the day and not have to rely on warm-up pep talks or motivational music. Those things will come in time, but we don’t need them. We have our hope in Christ and that is enough. In fact, it is much more intense than we could ever imagine.

Father, the fact of your salvation and the trust I have in You to keep your promises is what carries me through the toil of life. There are days that I don’t feel You, but that does not hide the truth of Your existence. There are days I don’t feel like living right, but that doesn’t give me an excuse for ignoring such a wonderful salvation. I walk in truth, today, even if I don’t feel like it. And I do it with intensity of purpose. AMEN!

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