Saturday, April 18, 2015

Holiness is Essential for Mission

Holiness is essential for Mission. What I mean by that is that if you as a Christian want to live a life on Mission for God, if you want to be on Mission with God in this world Making Him known, then you must live a holy life! The Bible is pretty clear about this, that Christians are meant to live holy lives (1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:4-8; Ephesians 4:24-30; Colossians 3:12; Hebrews 12:14; Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:4; Philippians 4:8 Just to name a few). It seems like to me then that if God asks us to live out a holy, and blameless life he has a great reason. He is using our example of holy living to give the world a picture of what Christ offers those who put their faith in Him and repent from their sins. When we fail to live a life of consistent holiness we forfeit the right to be a faithful witness in the world as we live on Mission. Philippians 2:14-15 explains this, "Do all things without grumbling of complaining that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, in which you shine like stars in the world." The implication is that if we live holy lives, we will shine like stars in the universe, and that if we do not live holy lives we will forfeit the right to shine like stars in the universe. 

Imagine with me if you will what would or could happen if everyone in the western church for one whole year decided that they would...

Stopped looking at Pornography
Stopped smoking weed
Gave up premarital sex
Stopped committing adultery
Paid their taxes
Stopped cussing and using profanity
Stopped loving violence (or being violent)
and maybe even fostered or adopted a child that would have otherwise been aborted

The Church would look completely different, not because of how we judge those outside the church, which is what we are so good at lately in the evangelical world. We would actually be transformed from within, because of how we are transformed inside the church. We cannot be missional without this inward transformation first. If we try to be missional without a holiness transformation first, then we have NO real credibility. Holiness is essential for mission! So if you practice one of these things on a regular basis. Please don't try to be missional first, be holy first, then missional. Otherwise just stay home and don't tell anyone you are a Christian! If you are sleeping around, smoking weed, etc then please don"t tell anyone you are a Christian you are hurting us more than helping. We follow Jesus..."But as he who called you is holy, you also should be holy in all you do."

Imagine the Church being a "holy missional force" in the world! If we were holy we could bring the kingdom of God and His gospel to a hurting and dying world. The world needs this type of Holy transformational Mission. Not just mission to do good things. We need Good words, Good works, and Good lives to be effective for such a Good master.

The scandal of Grace is that He died to make us holy, and by His grace we can be holy, live holy, and become more and more holy day by day...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Temptation is not a Hopeless Situation

Jesus temptation gives us hope to defeat our temptation



I always was confused at Satan's brash temptation of Jesus when he offered him all the kingdoms of the earth. Up until now I was missing one key word in that passage, "given" or "delivered" in the ESV rendering. 

The Devil was "given" authority over the kingdoms of the earth. But, "who gave him that authority?" I asked myself.

The passage in Luke reads...
"And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will." (Luke 4:5-6 ESV)

For all you 'Greek Geeks' out there, the Greek word for "delivered" in this passage is...
παραδίδωμι
Pronounced par-ad-id'-o-mee

It means to surrender, i.e yield up, intrust, transmit:--and it is translated in other contexts as betray, bring forth, cast, commit, deliver (up), give (over, up), hazard, put in prison, and recommend.

So my question still remained, "who gave Satan authority over the kingdoms of the earth? Of course the answer is, Jesus did...Jesus gave Satan that authority...Jesus is the controller and sustainer of all kingdoms and authorities.

We read in Colossians...
"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:16-17 ESV)

So in the infinitely wise counsel of the Godhead, Jesus gave Satan the authority to temp Himself in the end. So Satan was duped and tricked by the eternal power, authority, and plan of the Godhead...but even still Jesus did not use this information against Satan to rebuff his temptation, for instance Jesus didn't say to Satan, "hey I gave you the authority over those kingdoms in the first place, so..." Instead Jesus used God's eternal, infinitely powerful, and helpful Word to rebuff Satan's weak and authority-less temptation. 

That is why we can call on Jesus in our temptation, because we know that He has the power and authority to overcome it! Every temptation of Satan is ultimately a temptation that is allowed by God's good hand to make us more like Jesus, and with Jesus help and authority we can rebuff the Enemy.

Hebrews describes Jesus victory over temptation and sin...
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15 ESV)

So when you are tempted today call on Jesus the great high priest, author, and perfecter of our faith! He will deliver you! Worship Him now for His deliverance.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

God is NOT SLOW: My Hope in the Journey of Disability?

This last year at our annual family ritual Joni and Friends Family retreat the speaker Clint Echols asked us men to lead and share how God was giving us hope in our families journey in Disability. I did not want to share actually because the ideas were not altogether formed in my head. He challenged us to lead out, so I stayed up till late into the night, to pray, and ask God to form the Hope and Joy that was before inexpressible into some form of expression. I wanted to encourage those who face disability everyday, and especially the hope of salvation for their disabled loved ones. Here were my erratic and somewhat spontaneous thoughts...

Joni and Friends Family Retreat 8/7/2014
Clint Echols
'Hope Overflowing'
Reflecting on hope and sharing with the camp...

The hope overflowing that I have his week is...the hope against Hope for me is...

First that...

"The Lord is NOT SLOW to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (‭2 Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭9‬ ESV) and so the hope that I am clinging to is...

That my cognitively two year, physically eight year old little girl, would trust Christ one day. If all she can do is call on the name of Jesus as Romans 10:13 says, "For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”" Then I am trusting that HE is enough to credit her with His righteousness just as He with does me.

Secondly I am Hoping that...

"For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy." (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭7‬:‭14‬ ESV)


"Otherwise your children are unclean...but as it, they are holy"? Do I understand how God can make my children holy through my own faith? No! Do I understand fully how God has credited me with Christ's righteousness? No! But, I do know that God is NOT SLOW to keep his promises. How does God make us righteous? How does God count our faith as righteousness? He takes that, maybe only a mustard seed sized faith, and applies the perfect record of Jesus righteousness to it, because of his own kindness, and own promises! And He is NOT SLOW to keep his promise of salvation! 

"The Lord is NOT SLOW to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (‭2 Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭9‬ ESV)

Lastly I am NOT Hoping...

So I will tell you what I am NOT hoping for on our journey of disability. I am NOT hoping against hope, that my child will read one day, or that she will talk more, I am NOT hoping against hope, that she will be fully integrated, I am NOT even hoping against hope that she will NOT be made fun of in school or in the playground or wherever, because that has happened, is happening, and I believe will continue to happen. However hard that is in this life. I am NOT hoping against hope that she will be potty trained. I am content for the rest of her or my life to help her in toileting. I am not even hoping against hope that she will sleep through the night, and not wake us up at the most random of times in the middle of the night. 


But...


What I am hoping against hope in, what I am hoping in The Lord is, that He will carry out His promise to me that He does not wish any to perish, and that one day, she will trust in Jesus with whatever capacity He gives her to trust. So I'm hoping it forward, and I'm asking God to grow that mustard seed of faith until it is a full grown tree of hope and apply His perfect righteousness to that little bit of faith. I am not just hoping, but believing that God will, as the word says, "they (children) are made holy (emphasis mine)." 


In fact I believe she has a better opportunity for God to work through her and to draw her to himself. I have seen the simple faith, hope and a trust in as she calls Him "Cheesus" (Jesus). God is not going to use or work through my child 'in spite' of her disability, but BECAUSE of her disability." And He is NOT SLOW to keep His promise. Thank you Lord. I Hope! I Believe! Can a child who sings "Jesus Loves Me" be calling on the name of the Lord? That is my great Hope!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

CHRIST THE FOUNTAINHEAD OF LIFE: THE TRUE REALITY

Christ the Fountainhead of Life: Christ the True Reality: 
Colossians 2:16-23 Week 5
"So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality (See Greek Word 'so-mah'). Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it. You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires." (Colossians 2:16-23 NLT)
Christ is the Reality behind the shifting shadows
Christ is the true reality, substance, or body of every spiritual thing that we see, all of which are shifting shadows. He is the reality of everything seen and one day all seen spiritual truths will be realized, revealed, and culminate in Him; in complete truth in the unseen heavenly realms!

The Greek word for Reality can be translated as Body, Substance, Reality, or True Picture
Greek word 4983: σῶμα
Pronounced so'-mah: the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively:--bodily, body, slave.

Don’t let anyone condemn you, but rather focus on the Reality of Christ who is the 'So-Mah' in the unseen in four ways. 
  1. Let Christ be your righteousness. 
I have found that people “try” so hard to be Christian when this is an practical impossibility. I think of the scripture where Jesus says, "unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees you can never enter the kingdom of Heaven”. We as the Church have often times tried so vigorously hard to be righteous apart from Christ. We must stop trying so hard. Let Christ be your righteousness! He will stand in the gap for you! He will cover you with his Righteousness! He will clothe you in Holiness! Let Him do it!

"And Christ himself is that reality. Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things."

People were being pressured in the Colossian Church to act out their piousness, But Paul says that Christ himself is our piousness, He himself is the reality of all things spiritual, the seen, the unseen, and the not yet known! so trust him for those things!

Greek word for condemn here can also be translated to trick or beguile...καταβραβεύω it is pronounced kat-ab-rab-yoo'-o (in its original sense); to award the price against, i.e. (figuratively) to defraud (of salvation):--beguile of reward. Now isn't that interesting that Paul here is asking the Colossians to not be tricked into thinking that you could be pious enough, holy enough, or good enough to attain your own salvation. Don't let anyone defraud you of the salvation that Jesus wrought for you on the cross!!!

We are asked not to let anyone trick us into taking up a righteousness of our own through empty piety. in other words "do not take up a yoke again of slavery"! Jesus has taken all our condemnation in our place!
  1. Put your pride in Christ alone
"Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body."

Pride is one of those acceptable sins in the Church. Let me give you a for instance. If your pastor gets up this week in your church and admits that he has been looking at pornography for the past 5 years on his Church computer, he would be fired before he leaves the church that same day. But on the other hand if he gets up there and confesses pride a deep and hurtful pride, you would think like I have many times, “yes brother, I am with you.” We have agreed too many times in this area. We have placed our pride in the wrong things! We have succumbed to the worldly pattern which says that pride in self and accomplishments is ok. This is actually the exact antithesis of true spirituality. This verse shows us that when our pride puffs us up, we are not connected to the head of the body namely Christ. We must turn our pride from self and put our pride in Christ alone! "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God". Also Paul wrote that he "boasted only in the cross". We can also take up that boasting when we turn away from worldly pride. 
  1. Receive Christ’s victory
"For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it. You have died with Christ, and he has SET YOU FREE from the spiritual powers of this world."

One of the areas of weakness in the Calvinistic, Reformed theological traditions is that of the SPIRITUAL VICTORY that we have in Christ. This Reformed/Calvinistic Camp (of which I am happy camper) sometimes tends to a spiritual defeat perspective. Instead, Romans 8 describes an “overwhelming victory” that we receive through Christ’s righteousness. Many times what I hear in between the lines of these traditions is somewhat of a “woe is me” tone. However this could not be further from the truth! We are OVERWHELMINGLY VICTORIOUS! and We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ! We are made brothers by His own blood, and sacrifice! So my encouraging word is for you to receive and live in that victory, and do not take up the yoke of slavery to sin again!!! 
  1. Trust that Christ has destroyed the evil systems of this world (your world)
Christ has destroyed the Evil Systems in the World
"So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.” 
Legalism says that "you cannot do that" because you will not be holy or acceptable to God. The gospel says, however, that you cannot be holy or acceptable to God. Jesus has done that in our place!!! Therefore, He has destroyed all those rules regulations, and teachings that say we can somehow be holy on our own power. But as Paul says here it cannot help us conquer even one evil desire. This is the greatest news we could receive in the gospel! You cannot do it, so stop trying so hard. He is our righteousness. Put down your empty acts of religion, and receive His perfect righteousness. When I am most tempted to act on my own behalf, I have usually taken my eyes off of Christ. "Let us therefore fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith". We can begin to do that through worship. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tag der Deutschen Einheit: A Picture of Freedom in Christ & What the Church Should Be

Tag der Deutschen Einheit:
Is a Picture of Freedom in Christ and what the Church Should Be

            We have, as a family, been in Germany for almost two weeks now. Our first German holiday is the German Re-Unification day. It is celebrated on October 3. in the fall of 1989 East Germany and West Germany were Re-Unified after many years of Post World War 2 Communism in the DDR Government. I remember vividly President Reagan saying, "Mr. Gorbachav tear down this wall"! Then on the day when the wall came down, I can remember people standing on top of the wall with sledgehammers swinging with all their might to destroy this wall a symbol of bondage, fear, and control. This had such an impression on me as a teenager. I did not understand the full implications, at the time, But a young man standing on top of the wall trying to destroy the wall was an irrevocable image on me as a teenager...
  
            Later on a short term missions trip to East Germany we took a tour of Leipzig and found out that the freedom movement started with prayer everyday at one of the larger churches in Leipzig. The Deaconesses would meet daily for prayer for the liberation of the East German people and the fall of the DDR. In the weeks to follow the East German people marched for freedom against the borders that the DDR had set up, and the tanks and soldiers that stood against the people were ordered in some confusion from the top level commanders to stand down. Was that confusion from God? Of course! God threw the DDR Army and commanders into confusion so they could not stand against the march for freedom. We know from a thorough study of scripture that God rises and falls dictatorships, governments, and kingdoms (Romans 15). The picture then of German Re-Unification became clearer and clearer to me. Also the picture of our freedom and Re-Unification in Christ becomes clearer with these earthly pictures of peoples and governments Re-Unifying.
            I think today of Galatians 5:1 Where the Apostle Paul says, "It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." This is such a great verse in light of such a historic and unpresedented event in human History. I know a pastor that lived and served as a pastor in the DDR and now in East Germany near Leipzig. I asked him if it was a possibility for the DDR to fall a year before it actually happened. He said, "never, it was an impossibility." He also said, "In My mind the DDR would never ever fall like it did. It is truly a miracle from God." This is the same thing we see in Galatians 5:1. Christ has set us free, and it was a practical impossibility that we would have been set free from sin by our own power, thought, ability, or works. This freedom that Christ has given from sin and death is a miracle of impossibility!
            I also think today of the Church, "Tag Der Deutschen Einheit" is a picture of the Church. Our unity in Christ is a picture to the world of the great work of salvation, redemption, and grace to a broken world. In a world that experiences discord, and broken relationships we the Church can relay the message of freedom, hope and unity in Christ. These are values that the world typically is not exposed to. When we as a Church can exhibit these qualities then the world can see and pay attention to the countercultural way of Christ. His way is an impossiby free way. His way is the miracle of impossibility. Let’s celebrate the Re-Unification Day in Germany as a real world example of our impossible Re-Unification in Christ that he has so graciously made for us. Our great hope in him is that in bringing that same message to a world that so desperately needs Christ, the world might also be Unified to a good and loving savior in impossibly miraculous ways.




Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Mysterious Deity of Christ: Christ the Fountainhead of Life week 4

Colossians 2:1-15 Christ the fountainhead of Life: week 4 

As we dig deeper into the Fountainhead of life he becomes richer and greater than we could have ever imagined. He is further described in this classic passage in Colossians 2:1-15 please take a minute to read it...

1) For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2) that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge 4) I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5) For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. 6) Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7) rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8) See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10) and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11) In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12) having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13) And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14) by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15) He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:1-15 ESV)

We can draw close to Christ as fountainhead of life because of the three aspects of His rich character and accomplishments

1. The Mysterious Christ
If you are all into the Greek thing here is the word for "Mystery" from this passage... 
G3466    μυστήριον
Pronounced moos-tay'-ree-on
from a derivative of μύω (to shut the mouth); a secret or "mystery" (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites):--mystery.
Used in Colossians 1:26;27; 2:2 & 4:3 this is a great theme in Colossians that the deep and utterly Mysterious Christ is now made known "we have beheld His glory the glory of the one and only as from the Father full of grace and truth." Paul here struggles for the mystery he struggles to make the deep mystery of Christ known to Laodicea and those he hasn't even met yet! The love of Christ truly does compel him and it works a deep affection for all who do not yet know this mystery. Christ is mysterious and also not mysterious. This word is used for secret religions usually those who wanted to become part of a secret society like we have now "the skulls" the "free masons" "illuminati", etc on the other hand Christ himself not a society is deeply mysterious, but he has made that mystery plain to the world! And we can shout it from the rooftops there are no insiders, there are no secret handshakes there are no rituals only freedom and acceptance for those who embrace the master. He has made himself known, and we will never know him completely until we have seen Him face to face, but we can come to fullness of him. If we know Him we know all we need, and "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" are found in Him. Nothing escapes Him! The deep mysterion of God is revealed to all the world in His infinitely loved son hanging on a cross. 

1) For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2) that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 

Have you ever walked out of a room into another room to get something and in the time it took you to walk into that room you forgot what you walked there to get? I have done this so many times lately either I am getting old or I am just too distracted. Jesus here is neither too old, slow, or distracted. because we see that ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in him! ALL nothing escapes Him! NOTHING!

2. The Deity of Christ

More Greek for you Greek loving peoples...Deity...
G2320    θεότης
Pronounced theh-ot'-ace
from 2316; divinity (abstractly):--godhead.
This word only occurs in this reference "divinity" the one God to whom all deity belongs, has given this fullness of deity to the incarnate Christ. 

Bodily...
G4985    σωματικῶς
Pronounced so-mat-ee-koce'
adverb from 4984; corporeally or physically:--bodily.

All philosophies are answered in the physical, bodily, humanly, incarnate, and resurrected God-man who is Christ. He is everything and then more than you could ever believe or imagine. watch this video to get a better picture of all that Christ is...



4) I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5) For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. 6) Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7) rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8) See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10) and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

3. The Resurrection of Christ

11) In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12) having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13) And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14) by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15) He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

In his resurrection five things happened...
1) we were circumcised by Christ himself
2) we were buried with him in baptism (you were then raised with him into a new nature)
3) made alive together with him and forgiven ALL our trespasses (past, present, and future)
4) canceling the record of legal demands
5) disarmed rulers and authorities putting them to public shame

This is just a small picture of what the the mysterious Christ has done for us and all He asks for in return is our worship. and all we can say sometimes is Hallelujah!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Church Should Be Like the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs last night for a third straight game totally dismantled the Miami Heat. It was a very impressive display of basketball wizardry! As a basketball fan and player myself I was totally impressed at this team concept and how efficiently they passed the ball and not one player shined greater than another. The player with the highest point average on the team this year was 17 the lowest of a player on a winning team in the finals in the modern shot clock era. This proves the team concept that the San Antonio Spurs have been playing with for the last 15 years.

However I was not as impressed with the excellent basketball and team play as I was with several other aspects that I think make them great. I also wonder if the church might have a look at these areas I noticed last night. As I watched them as a team receive the trophy I thought "the church should be like this!"

1. They are Humble Team Players: 
The first thing that occurred to me while watching the spurs last night was that there is not one single ego on the team. Tim Duncan will be in the Basketball hall of fame one day (and maybe a few other players too), but his Jersey is the 14th Highest selling Jersey in the NBA. Do you think he cares? NO He cares about team, and family, and those around him. I have to say I am actually struggling with this lately. I am struggling with the need to prove myself to everybody. Why do I do that? Why can't I be completely satisfied in My Savior? What if I was a person that was actually completely satisfied in my savior? What if the Church was completely satisfied in Jesus? What if the church was a little more like this? Like Christ actually?
This team is full of unselfish basketball players, they are totally unselfish. They pass the ball better than any other team in the league. Every time I counted the passes in a possession it was always over five passes and when I counted the Heat's passing it was always under 5 usually 2-3 passes per possession. This can only be attributed to team leadership that is also unselfish. From the top down Greg Popovich their coach deflects accolades better than anyone in the NBA. He usually doesn't like to say much to the media, but to his players he demands excellence, humility, and the team concept. What if the Church looked like this? Unselfish, humble, team players?

2. They are Diverse: 
One of the reasons that you have never heard of any of the players on the Spurs is because they are humble team players, and also because they are very diverse. Most of their roster are not Americans. There are only seven Americans on the roster for the Spurs.
There are Italians, Australians, French, Canadians, New Zealanders,  Argentinians, Brazilians and one from St. Croix of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Americans are outnumbered by the international players for the Spurs. Greg Popovich has found a winning formula with this international community and great diversity. Jesus has also found a winning formula in seeking and redeeming those from every tribe and nation under the sun. As I watched the Spurs celebrate Their win, the flags of all these countries came out. It was a great sight to see all these various countries represented on the platform. I can remember a missions conference in Germany that I attended in which our worship rose to the Lord in many different languages, and then the flags were flying of every European country. It was AWESOME! There were about 30 countries represented. It was almost like the Holy roar that will rise before the throne of God, everyone singing in Heaven one day in their own language (Revelation 7:9). How can we as a church reflect the diversity that will one day encamp around the throne of God worshiping the lamb? Well maybe we could take a lesson from the Spurs and seek to reflect that diversity now.

3. They are Relentless for the Team and Goal:
Since the Spurs should have won the NBA championship last year and were robbed (I guess you can assume how I feel about last year) they have worked tirelessly and gotten better. I would never have been able to believe that from last year when they played
awesome basketball. Somehow they really got better as a basketball team. They truly pounded a great Miami team. How could we as a Church learn from their example? If a bunch of guys can work tirelessly for sport, something that will ultimately fade away, couldn't we as a Church tirelessly put our efforts to work in this world for Christ and His kingdom? I was reminded recently of a poem written by a hero of the faith named C.T. Studd. this is the last stanza of the poem...

Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last. 
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be, 
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

Paul also wrote about giving everything for Christ...

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

These San Antonio Spurs give everything for the goal, the prize, the trophy that will one day not be shiny,
one day not be made of gold, one day not even be there. However, the crown of righteousness will be awarded one day, and if we have lived a humble, faithful, Christ honoring life then the Church will receive that prize that will never fade away!

Church how can we refocus and realign our hearts with the heart of Christ in Humility, embracing Diversity, and being Relentless for Christ? I pray that this emboldens the Church to be what Christ had envisioned for His bride form the beginning. Let us seek Him in these ways so that we can be a most beautiful, appealing, and effective Bride.