Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Who Is The Greatest?

As I watched the finals of the NBA playoffs, I couldn't help but admire the skill level of some of those on the court.  These guys were a collection of amazing athletes.  Some of the best in the game today.  As it is in our world, players like these always give fuel to the debate of who is the greatest to every play the game.  Naturally, every year one team is crowned as the best in the league.  However, that status as the best becomes a bit more difficult to determine on an individual basis.  It is really a moot argument because every great athlete has his own strengths in weaknesses.  They all have different skill sets, physical attributes, and mental abilities.  One may have better court vision or speed.  Another may be a better shooter or rebounder.  One may be a better closer or clutch player.  It is impossible to definitively crown one man as the greatest.  We can all have our opinions but in the end, it is just that - an opinion.

Still, that debate will go on for all of time regardless of how futile the debate is.  Humanity is obsessed with the comparison game.  We learn it at an early age and we carry it to our grave.  It is a trap and we will all do good to recognize it as such. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we shouldn't work to improve our skills, talents, and abilities.  I'm just indicating that when we assess our value based on how we measure up to others, we are approaching life in a way we were never meant to approach life.

Comparing ourself to others can indeed lead to a perverted value system. We will often end up seeing ourself as not measuring up to some while at the same time looking down at others.  That can lead to a inflated opinion of ourself or a feeling of inadequacy.  The basis for judgment will always be based on our values.  If we value education, we'll view those who have less than us as less than us.  If we value athletics, we'll value ourselves as better than those who aren't as athletic.  If we value money, then our basis of judgment will be the car we drive, the house we live in, and the clothes we wear.  If we value career, we'll compare ourselves to others based on our paycheck and benefit package.  If we value physical appearance we'll judge ourselves and others based on looks and amount of body fat.  If we value popularity, we'll become obsessed with how many Facebook friends we have compared to others.

So, who wins in those comparison games?  I can tell you this, that the one who loses is us.  Why is it not enough to simply be who we were created to be?  Why isn't it enough to live our lives determined to be the best at being who God created us to be?  When it all comes down to it, we were all created from the dust of the ground.  From the dust we came and from the dust we will go.  The thing that sets us apart from the dirt that lies below our feet is the breath of God that flows through our lungs.  Apart from that, we are nothing.  Apart from the life of God that was breathed into us, we all are nothing but a pathetic pile of dirt.  To think of ourselves as anything beyond that is to have an elevated opinion of ourselves.

Scripture declares that "we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). There is no such thing as a "self-made" man.  We are "His workmanship!"  We were created by a Master Designer.  II Corinthians 4:7, tells us that "we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." Don't miss this!  The treasure is not the earthen vessel.  The treasure is what God has put inside of this earthen vessel.  We are all vessels created by Him.  Vessels with imperfections and inabilities.  We are vessels with different weaknesses and strengths.  Vessels with frailties and shortcomings.  We are vessels with chips and brokenness. Unfortunately, we spend our lives comparing this vessel, which is us, with those around us.  In doing so, we have failed to realize that our value is not determined in how we measure up to others.  Our true value is determined by the One who created us and by the treasure He has placed in us.  He has placed a treasure inside of us.  God, has poured Himself inside of these imperfect vessels.  So, instead of comparing the imperfections of our individual vessels, we would all do good to focus on the treasure that God has placed inside of us.

It is this "treasure" that took a man named Abraham from an idolatrous culture, who was incapable of having a son, and made him the "father of many nations."  It is this treasure that took an insecure, stuttering murderer named Moses and made him a deliver of a nation.  It is this treasure that took an insignificant shepherd boy named David and empowered him to be a king.  It is this treasure that took an orphaned girl named Esther and made her queen over a foreign nation.  It is this treasure that took an ordinary young lady named Mary and made her capable of giving birth to the Messiah.  It is this treasure that took a simple carpenter named Joseph and entrusted him the raise God's only Son.  It is this treasure that empowered Peter, a man who always stuck his foot in his mouth, to speak one day and thousands were added to the family of God.  It is this treasure that took a man possessed by a legion of demons and transformed him into an evangelist.  It is this treasure that empowered a persecutor of the church named Paul to become one of the greatest leaders of the early church.

I don't know who the greatest player to ever play in the NBA is.  Was it Jordan?  Is it LeBron?  Is it now Durant? I have my opinion, but in the end it is completely irrelevant.  What I do know is that while they can run, jump, shoot and dunk a basketball, they can't make a pile of dirt breath. They can't speak and a universe come into being.  They can't pull off their own resurrection.  So, while the world sits around debating who the greatest player in the NBA is, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt who the "Greatest" truly is.  We know Who it is that has been given the "Name above all Names."  So, since we've established that, perhaps we can turn our attention to something more important.  Something like trying desperately to discover the treasure that God has hidden inside of these earthen vessels.  A treasure that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.

For more on how God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary, watch "Out of the Ordinary" below:

You can also join us live on Facebook, this Sunday at 10:30am.

If you live in or near Montgomery, TX, we would love to have you join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30. Westlake Fellowship is located at 19786 Suite 120, Hwy 105 in Montgomery. (beside Magnolia Diner)


No comments:

Post a Comment