by Tim Hall
There are many things that excite us. Are they the right things?
A hush has fallen over the entire professional football fanbase. The annual NFL draft has begun and the St. Louis Rams have ten minutes to make the first selection. For the first time the draft is being televised in prime time, showing how hugely popular this event is.
All who follow sports know that this event has been discussed in agonizing detail for the last several weeks. The “experts” — and there are those who make a lucrative living on being experts on the draft — have laid out their projections. One site projected the picks for the entire seven rounds of the draft.
Not everyone is so big into football (for example, me). Some of us are fanatics about basketball, golf, gardening, cooking, etc. Everyone, it seems, has something that drives them. “I Live For …” is a bumper sticker that has been produced in many flavors.
We’re not here to condemn football or any other type of hobby or pursuit. We’re here to ask, “Does the Lord get this type of enthusiasm?”
“Delight yourself also in the Lord,” advised David in Psalm 37:4, “and he shall give you the desires of your heart” (NKJV). I’ve heard my brethren talk about activities in which they’ve delighted: the big game they attended, the race or the fishing trip.
Rarely do I hear that kind of enthusiasm for worship, Bible study, prayer time or opportunities for service.
What does Christ want? Paul told us: “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for himself his own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).
I mention this point because I’ve been directed to do so: “Speak these things, exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you” (Titus 2:15).
“Zealous” is a word that describes how folks feel about a lot of activities. Unfortunately, doing good works is not in the top ten list of things over which Christians get excited (based on this preacher’s unscientific observations). Yes, there are exceptions. But they are exceptions, not the rule.
Crowds turn out for the big ball game. Hordes show up at the advertised sale at the mall. Events for religious edification typically draw sparse attendance. What does this say about our values?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
by Tim Hall