Many players, One team, One Mission

While watching the second half of the nail biting Super Bowl XLVI game between the New England Patriot and the New York Giants, on February 5, 2012, my loving wife Sangeetha and I were explaining to our beloved first born son, Reuben (who recently turned six), the rules of the game. While I was explaining the technical details of the game, my wife, made an interesting observation and statement. She said “Look, Reuben, all the players in the team are working together to protect the Quarterback and/or the runner with the ball so that he can reach the goal.” In other words, she succinctly had summarized that though there were many players, they all played as one team, with just one mission, which was to take the ball to the zone where they are not allowed to and score a touchdown to win the game.

In our Christian life, it is not any different. There are many believers, each making the one body of Christ as one team, with just one mission, which is to be an ambassador for and of Jesus Christ. Unless all work together as one (in one accord), the likelihood of winning the game (race) is bleak. Unfortunately, the spirit of unforgiveness and pride often derails many believers in the game, allowing the devil to intercept the gospel of Christ from reaching the unreached zones.

Points to ponder:
Though we are many in persons, we are one as the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12) with One Mission and so let us lay aside our petty differences, forgive those who have hurt us (Ephesians 4:32), humble ourselves esteeming others to be better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3) and press on toward the goal that is in the high calling of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:14).

1 Corinthians 12:12 (KJV)
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

The Gospel in Song (during Super Bowl)

During the 2011 Super Bowl XLV halftime show, the Black Eyed Peas with R&B star Usher and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, entertained millions by featuring the following setlist:
1. I Gotta Feeling
2. Boom Boom Pow
3. Sweet Child O’ Mine
4. Pump It
5. Let’s Get It Started
6. OMG
7. Where Is The Love? and
8. The Time (of our life)

One of the controversies before the game was that the ‘Look Up John 3:16’ ad was rejected to be aired during the Super Bowl game, but unbeknown to many, closer review of the events on this day, show that each song in this set list that was featured during the same Super Bowl game could be used with the other to unfold the very essence of John 3:16; God’s beautiful story for the Salvation to mankind. Continue reading for to see how.

We have been having  The Time (of our life) as in the time of Noah, ignoring and disobeying God’s commands and indulging in sinful wickedness, only to become a prisoner of a war (POW); a war between God and evil that began in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). I Gotta Feeling that there is something horrendously wrong with this sinful lifestyle of mine and I see that validated from the Bible, which states that the wages of sin is death (Boom Boom Pow). Oh My God (OMG), what can I do? is my cry. We have refused or rejected the Faith, and we do not have Hope nor Love. Where is The Love? I ask, and hidden in the Scripture (Bible), I hear God’s still soft voice, say, “I have sent you my Only Begotten Sweet Child O’ Mine, who is called Jesus Christ and all who believe in Him shall not perish (i.e., be  no longer a prisoner to death) but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). Why did God do this? Because He loved each one of us very much. Jesus Christ was God’s response to man’s groaning and cry – Where is The Love? Jesus is God’s gift to mankind. For the wages of sin is death (Boom Boom Pow), but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). He sacrificed Himself so that we would not have to pay the penalty of our sin. His love for you made Him endure our Cross and He who knew no sin, was imputed our sin on Himself, separating Him from God, a agonizing experience in which He had to cry out OMG, OMG, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:45-46). God (the Father) forsook God (the Son) so that He would not have to forsake you and me.  To God be the glory! for this provision, He has made possible, through Jesus Christ, for the problem of our sin. All we need to do is accept this gift of God, by believing in Him. So Let’s Get It Started. Delay no further, for now is the accepted time; now is the day of [your] salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). And when we believe, let our lives change and let us love the Lord our God, with all our soul, strength, mind and heart and let us love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27). Let every pump of our heart (heartbeat) out-pour this story of God’s love for and to mankind. Let us Pump It (share) with those who have not yet heard it. Only then can we truly say that we are in deed having The Time of our lives.

‘Look up John 3:16’ ad was rejected but in the Song setlist is hidden the Gospel of Truth. There is no stopping God’s message. His Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11) and shall accomplish that which God pleases.

Point(s) to ponder:

If you have never accepted this free yet costly gift of God to mankind, then you can receive Him today.
A – Acknowledge the need you have for a savior.
B – Believe in Jesus Christ, God’s gift for the salvation of the world.
C – Confess with your mouth your sinfulness, for He is faithful and just to cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness.

Isaiah 55:11 (KJV)
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

John 3:16-17 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

To God be the glory

Super Bowl Sunday (February 6th, 2011) began with our family attending the Hill Country Bible Church in Pflugerville, where the pastor Danny Box expounded on the topic entitled “The Conceited God” and in his discourse shared that we were designed and delivered for God’s glory. Later that evening, we spent the evening with our near and dear friend’s, watching the Super Bowl XLV game between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Green Bay Packers in our friends, Thompson and Santhini Nesaraj’s home. The game was an exciting game for sure, but what really stood out for me, was what was said after the game was over.

Wide receiver Greg Jennings, who scored two touchdowns for the Packers, in his post game interview with the sideline reporter, started his response to her question by saying “To God be the glory” and then he ended his response with the same words, “To God be the glory”, sandwiching the journey of the Packers through setbacks to now being the winners of the prestigious Vince Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XLV. What a witness to the millions who were watching? In deed, the winners are not the ones to be glorified, but to God and God alone is to be given all the glory.

We are all designed for God’s glory (Isaiah 43:7).

We have been delivered for God’s glory (Ephesians 1:12-13).

Let us proclaim with our lips and demonstrate with our lives  this deliverance to those who have not yet been delivered from death, for God’s glory. Let our lives be sandwiched within glorifying God from its beginning to the end. To God be the glory; To God be the glory!

Isaiah 43:7 (KJV)
7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Ephesians 1:12-13 (KJV)
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

One and Only Great God

After the Super Bowl XLIV game (February 07, 2010) was over, one of the final statements in Super Bowl XLIV, made by the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Quarterback Drew Brees of the winning New Orleans Saints team, was amidst all the celebration a one-liner, wherein he said, “God is Great”. In the movie, “Slumdog millionaire”, the brother of the main character, as he is shot in the end, takes his last dying breath by expressing “God is Great”.

One of the definitions for the word “great” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is “chief or preeminent over others”. God is chief. God is preeminent over all others. What’s more is that the God of the Bible, God in three Persons as Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the One and Only Great God, who does wondrous things. The Psalmist avers this is Psalm 86:10.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. Do you/I know this One and Only Great God?
  2. Is He the chief of all things in your life and mine?
  3. Is He preeminent over all things in your/my life?

Psalm 86:10 (KJV)
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.