We spent our final evening with our Athletes in Action students on Tuesday night...we focused on the theme of "Leaving a Great Trust"
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SCRIPTURES TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUST 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. All Scripture is literally (theopneustos – breathed out of the nostrils of God) and is useful for:
- Teaching – the gaining of knowledge of God and his plans for his world - So many students I have met are starving for the knowledge of God and I have done my best in earnest here at VT to help teach – but many times, a question is asked and the Bible is left dusty, cold, undisturbed on many a desk here at Tech. I plead with you men and women, be not ignorant of the Word of God. It is hard to learn, it takes time, it takes effort, it takes discipline – the results are glorious – We come to know not just facts – but God himself as he reveals himself in His Word.
- Reproof (rebuking) – The calling out of wrong - If my daughter Kayla, is about to stick a fork into a power outlet. If she is about to run out into the street amidst racing automobiles, if she is talking back to her mother, if she is jumping up and down on her sisters stomach…she will get rebuked. As a loving Dad, I want her to know right from wrong – good from evil – God’s Word will rebuke us – He will use it in our lives to lovingly call out wrong
- Correction – setting wrongs aright - Giving us great instruction on how we should love God, others and live our lives in significant, joyful, and meaningful ways. Not only will I lovingly rebuke my daughter, I will also instruct her in the way of life!
- Training in Righteousness – paideia - The whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body. 2 whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and curbing passions. 2a instruction which aims at increasing virtue. 2b chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment).Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Test of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order. electronic ed., G3809. Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996.
As Athletes we do understand Training!!! – It is a consistent (not happenstance), disciplined (not lackadaisical) effort to get better at something – WHY? So that you will be thoroughly equipped for every good work: For the work of helping and serving the others – especially the poor and the downcast. For the work of preaching the good news of the grace of God to sinners For the work of discipling – faithfully passing on the trust – to othersFINISHING WELL IS THE IMPORTANT THING It must be said that not only do we want to challenge each other to guard the good deposit, pass on the trust, know it, love it, proclaim it to others, we too ourselves want to finish well. We all know that the runner who starts off super fast in a long race is either the rabbit, or will soon be ravaged by the length of the race. You see, it is finishing well with the trust that is important, start well, finish well…again we hear the last words of a great Christian…
Life is Full of Great Starts…bad finishes. In this Room there is potential:ON LEAVING – SOME MORE ON LAST WORDS
BUT In this Room there is also potential:
- For Broken Marriages and Broken Homes
- For Violence Against Women
- For the Neglecting and Abuse of Children
- For Addictions to Drugs, Alcohol, and Gambling
- For Greed and the Love of Money to the Point of Corporate Scandal
- For The Collapse of Communities, to the Utter Undoing of Our Society
- For Beautiful Loving Marriages and Homes that are Lights to a dark world
- For the Love and Servant Leadership of Women
- For the Nurture and Love of Children Leaving a Godly Generation behind you
- For the Rescuing of Drug Addicts
- For the Godly use of Finances to help others and reach our world with the gospel
- For the Rebuilding and Establishing of Communities and the Rebirth of Goodness and Virtue in our Culture
Thus have I, in a few words, written to you before I die, a word to provoke you to faith and holiness, because I desire that you may have the life that is laid up for all them that believe in the Lord Jesus, and love one another, when I am deceased. Though then I shall rest from my labors, and be in paradise, as through grace I comfortably believe, yet it is not there, but here, I must do you good. Wherefore, I not knowing the shortness of my life, nor the hindrance that hereafter I may have of serving my God and you, I have taken this opportunity to present these few lines unto you for your edification.John Bunyan, Christian Behavior To awaken you, rouse you off of your beds of ease, security, and pleasure, and fetch you down upon your knees before him, to beg of him grace to be concerned about the salvation of your souls. Following of me is not like following of some other masters. The wind sits always on my face and the foaming rage of the sea of this world, and the proud and lofty waves thereof do continually beat upon the sides of the bark or ship that myself, my cause, and my followers are in; he therefore that will not run hazards, and that is afraid to venture a drowning, let him not set foot into this vessel.John Bunyan, The Greatness of the Soul I am leaving the ship of the Church in a storm, but while the great Pilot is in it the loss of a poor under-rower will be inconsiderable The Correspondence of John Owen, p. 174.I feel this way of our departure from Va Tech -- Next year you will need to be reminded – and I will too – as I will miss you and long for you. We will need to be reminded that God is the great Pilot and Leader of VTAIA, that the Sovereign of the Universe will lead you on and use his servants to take you where you need to go. It is a lesson that we all must learn in life – John the Baptist who was the forerunner of Jesus, knew it well in saying – “He must increase, and I must decrease” May this be our song as we exalt, love, worship and proclaim Jesus to our world. --------