Much Given, Much Required

 

Speaking of God and the Bible: Are you happy about what you know? Maybe even a bit proud? Want to know more? Thatís good, but be aware that Ö

*†† (Luke 12:47-48 NIV)"That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. {48} But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

 

Itís good to know the Lord and to know the Bible but that knowledge has certain obligations associated with it.

 

Owners pay big bucks to buy a professional football team. Professional football players strive mightily to make it on a top team. They hone their natural talents through practice and study. Each player has his own strengths and weaknesses. Each player is required to know all of the plays that a team will execute. Each player must work in concert with all of the other players if the team hopes to be a good or possibly great team. There are two parts to a team and the two parts tend to work separately even though they have the same objective, win. The offense is the part of the team that has possession of the football most often. Their job is to take the ball down the field and cross the other teams goal line and thus score points. The defense is the part of the team that works to prevent the opposing team/the enemy from scoring points. The coach has the responsibility of creating the tactics involved: That is to say what the various plays will be and how they should be executed. Some players are adept at running in close quarters while others may be best in the open field. Some players may be very good at throwing/passing the ball that of course means there is a need for players that are good at catching the ball. Many of the points scored in a game come from kicking the ball so a good kicker is needed. Perhaps the most important members of the team are linemen. The linemen have the job of protecting the players just mentioned so they can do their jobs. Offensive linemen donít often get much glory or special awards but the game wouldnít be much of a game without them. If they do the job well they donít get much attention but see what happens if they make a mistake. Then you get some idea of just how important they are. They are the unsung heroes of the game. Of course the defensive linemen are doing the best they can to find a weakness in the opposing linemen. The difference between a winning and a losing team is often said to be team, ďSpirit.Ē The game has a set period to be played, typically 60 minutes. At the end of 60 minutes the score is noted and a winner is declared. The winners receive all the glory but the losers go off to the gloom of defeat.

 

Does this all sound suspiciously like a Bible story to you? It sounds like one to me. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. In football there is no room for excuses. You either perform the best you can or you donít make the team. Listen to this Bible verse.

 

 

*†† (Rom 2:1-16 NIV)You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Nobodyis perfect except Jesus. {2} Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. {3} So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? The Owner/Coach. {4} Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? Listen to the coach. {5} But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. You may get kicked off the team. {6} God "will give to each person according to what he has done." {7} To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. {8} But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. Winning teams work together under the direction of the coach. {9} There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; This could be the offense and defense in our analogy. {10} but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. {11} For God does not show favoritism. {12} All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. {13} For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Listen to the coach. End of analogy. {14} (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, {15} since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) {16} This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. Now if the things of God can be discerned by people not familiar with the law how much more should we who have the word of God written and readable and indeed have received the very Spirit of God be able to not only discern but comply!

 

Still donít be overly eager to step in where angels fear to tread. Where much is given much is required. On the other hand failure to perform is just as dangerous as trying to perform what you donít have the talent/gift to perform. We each need to be team players and we each need to know our place on the team! This team, the team of God, doesnít need bench warmers it needs players. It needs players that are willing to train, to hone their gifts, and to not give up no matter what the score may be. You my brothers and sisters are players. Letís never forget that we are on the winning team. Team God. Letís seek Godís will in our lives and work together. With God all things are possible! Consider this verse as an example of what I am talking about.

*†† (James 3:1 NIV)Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

 

Whether we are a passer, a runner, a kicker, or a lineman the coach wants us to do our best. Our honest best will always be good enough. Letís show that we have the team, Spirit, the Spirit of God.