In 2003, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in Jon Gruden’s first year as coach. He said that his biggest challenge “from day one” was to “get his players to trust him and buy into his plan.” God is the Lord of order and design (1 Corinthians 14:33), but we tend to plan our own paths, forgetting the truth of Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” As we begin a new year and season, I have been praying much about the future and making sure that I do not have “desire without knowledge, making haste with my feet and miss God’s way” (Proverbs 19:2).
I desire to be “righteous” and “walk in integrity” (Proverbs 20:7). We must pray that all of us “Commit our work to the Lord, that our plans may be established.” We will then discover the uniqueness of how God has “made everything for His purpose” (Proverbs 16:3-4). The Lord has done a unique work in this church. We give Him the glory for all of the blessing and fruit of the past and pray that in the future, we “walk with the wise.”
In “the fear of the Lord, we have strong confidence” and “a fountain of life” (Proverbs 14:26-27). There was a time when Michael Jordan was considered not only the best basketball player, but also the most accomplished athlete on the planet. In his prime, he was defying gravity, toying with opponents, and winning championships. After winning a game with an off-balance, last-second shot, one sportswriter wrote, “It is like having God on your team!” While believers would probably never make such a comment, we can rejoice that God is with us. He is not only our Coach Who guides, but also our Savior, Friend, and Strengthener.
On the court, He will block the shots that could hurt our cause, grab rebounds we can’t reach, pass the ball to us, and set screens to get us open to take shots for His glory and His kingdom. We all have trouble scoring as we face tough opponents, but find that He will even call time-out, “leading us beside still waters, restoring our soul, and leading us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:2-3). Make sure that you are on God’s team, performing in His power and willing to go the distance regardless of opponents. After all, His plans are perfect.
Please show your appreciation to Renee and Wally Blain for their faithful service in the Preschool Ministry over the past 2 1/2 years. You can speak with them at an informal reception in the Commons after each of the worship services this weekend.