Jun 25, 2009
June 25, 2009
Just Get The Rebound!!!
A Word of Encouragement
My Dear Friends in the Faith:
Whether you are a Lakers fan or not you have to admit it they were simply the best this year. With Coach Phil Jackson sitting on the sideline as cool as a cucumber in one hundred heat, with Lamar Odom just going off, with Fisher shooting like he was out for revenge, and Kobe Bryant just doing it all over court the Lakers simply dominated the league. The Jazz left without playing a victory song as the Lakers walked right pass them without a real fight. The Nuggets just could not hang. The Houston Rockets gave it their best but they were just out classed as the Lakers dropped them in seven games. And, when the Lakers got to the Orlando Magic they made them look like a college team with a bad play book and a weak coach.
I must admit it, I was really impressed with Phil Jackson, the head coach of the team as he commented on the huge win. He is one of the winningest coaches in NBA history. While in an interview he said, "I knew that if we could control the board and dominate in rebounds we would win it all." For the benefit of those who are reading this devotional but do not really understand the game of basketball rebounding takes place when one of your players shoots and misses and you fight to get the ball back to shoot it again. It's the only way that you can get a second, third or fourth chance at making the shot.
According to Coach Jackson, what led the Lakers to their recent national title was not the exciting dunks, the thrilling three point shots or the fast break action, it was rebounding. Can you hear God in this yet? You see, like players on the court who shoot and miss, Christians often miss some shots too. Have you ever been there where you did your best but you missed? Have you ever knew better, but still did not do better? Have you ever sinned and then felt like just giving up on it all? Here's the truth, we all miss from time to time, but there is still hope! Just get the rebound!!!
Listen to the words of John as he writes regarding this matter of rebounding. He says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:8-10, KJV). This is spiritual rebounding at its best! Here's some great devotional questions for you this week, "when was the last time you thought the wrong thoughts, said the wrong thing, or for that matter did the wrong thing?" "Have you reached the point in your life where you realize that you are not perfect?" "How do you handle your flaws and loose ends?" "Do you ever feel like you are not saved after really messing up?" And, "what should you do after you make a mistake?" Here's the greatest news of the day. After you make a mistake you simply get the rebound and keep playing the game! So, how do you get the rebound?
First of all, you must admit that you missed it. No matter how good a player is nobody makes every shot. Likewise, no matter how holy, righteous or perfect you think that a Christian is nobody does the right thing in every situation. In short, nobody does it right all of the time! NOBODY!!! John makes it clear by saying "if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves..." A better way of putting that would be this, "you shoot well when you're hot but you miss some shots every now and then!" If you are like me you have not only missed some shots, but I have had some off games too. And the truth be told, not just some off games, but I have had some losing streaks in my life. And, of course when we miss it we do what all great athletes do. We play the blame game. The reason why we missed it is because I didn't sleep right...I didn't feel right...I missed my snack...I didn't get a hug this morning...I really didn't do it...and, it wasn't me that did it, it was my evil twin. Can I ask you a very personal question? When was the last time you missed? What happened? Did you do that???? Have you admitted that to God? Listen, the key to getting the rebound is to miss it and admit that you have missed it.
Secondly, you must commit to staying in the game. Have you ever missed it so badly that you just wanted to take yourself out of the game? Have you ever just wanted to go and hide? Have you ever wanted to give up? Please hear this, that plan comes from the pit of hell. That is not God's plan at all! The passage says "if we confess our sin..." The word confess in the Greek is homolegho. It is in the present tense, active voice and subjunctive mood. The term means to chronicle a list of errors. But the subjunctive idea suggest that the list is behind you and not ahead of you. The great news of this devotional is that your past has pasted! The work of the enemy is to get you to fall while being tempted so that you would quit and walk away from God. But, the work of the Lord is to get you to live by faith while being tested so that you would be able to stand in the face of the enemy knowing that the grace of the Lord keeps you where the devil sought to ensnare you. Remember this: the key to rebounding is confession! If you don't confess it you will never rebound at all.
And lastly, you must submit to the coach's plan. Any real good coach has a plan. In fact, a coach without a plan is not a coach at all. Please hear this, our team has a great coach and He has a plan! He knows that even his best players can miss. In fact, Moses missed it when he murdered the Egyptian, Noah missed it when he passed out drunk in his tent, David missed it when he committed adultery with Basheba, Elijah missed it when he ran from Jezebel, Peter missed it when he cut off a mans ear with his knife, and Paul missed it when he persecuted the church that he later preached to redeem. Some of God's best players have missed it! But, here's the shouting news for the day. Our coach knew that we would miss it so He drew us up a plan! Here's what the verse says, "He is faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." In short, when we miss and fail, He hits and forgives! When we are unfaithful and covered in sin, God stands faithful and cleanses us as a Savior! When we have done it wrong we have a God who has made it right. With a plan like this, you can not lose!!!
So the Lakers pulled it off again. They have proven to be the best team in the world. And they did it according to their coach by being solid in rebounding. If rebounding got them a national title, don't you think that rebounding can help a defeated person find victory in Jesus Christ? When you miss it, admit it! And, remember the coach has a plan that keeps you in the game and on the winning team!
Your Friend and His Servant,
Dr. John R. Adolph, Pastor
Psalms 51:7 (KJV)
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
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