August 10, Saturday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend, written by Pastor Ryun Chang, was originally posted on March 2, 2013.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“We, too, Are in Recruitment Business

Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

In 2010, when a well-known pastor of a mega church in Atlanta was accused of using his position to pressure young men into sexual relationships with him, he vowed to fight against the charges; later, his wife of 21 years, who had initially stood by him, filed for divorce.  Perhaps she suspected that the allegations were all true since her husband settled the lawsuits with his accusers, although he never admitted any wrongdoing. Then the pastor’s spokesperson declared, “He will continue to serve as the senior pastor” (i.e., without missing a beat).  This decision gives new meaning to what Jesus once said: “The people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of light” (Lk. 16:8b).   

Those who run the Big-Ten Football, which typically generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue, certainly qualify as “the people of this world.”  Thus, when a coach in the conference gets fired, like Joe Paterno of Penn St. or Jim Tressel of Ohio State, it is big news. While the coaches are typically fired for poor performance on the field, neither of these brilliant coaches were dismissed for that; instead, they lost their jobs over an off-the-field issue, the kind that ended coach Gary Moller’s tenure at the University of Michigan in 1995.  

Despite having won many games, Moller was suddenly fired over one incident: public intoxication.  Having lost control after much drinking, Moller was found cursing and swearing, even resisting the police who came to accost him.  Thus, news quickly spread and even casual fans knew what happened. However, the people whom the school officials feared the most were the parents of blue chip prospects who would decide which scholarship offer their son would accept.  Why? First, winning and losing in college football largely depend on recruiting the top players; second, it is the job of the head coach to personally visit them mainly to impress the parents to win their consent.  Cognizant of this, the school officials felt that Moller lost an edge in recruiting because the parents would think twice before sending their kids to be coached by someone behaving like that in public.

How does this relate to us?  Christ called us to be fishers of men (Mt. 4:19) and his “ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Cor. 5:20).  In short, God has sent us out to recruit people to join the kingdom. To be effective in our task however, it will take more than just knowledge and persuasive speech.  The Hebrews writer reminds us that without holiness no one will see the Lord in us, meaning no one will want to join the kingdom as long as we are the recruiter. Perhaps the apostle John had “spiritual recruiting” in mind when he penned, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as he did” (1 Jn. 2:6).  So, how is your walk? 

Prayer: Dear Lord, help my walk with You to be genuine and authentic.  Help me to be holy in Your sight, not through legalism but through a distinguished lifestyle lived out in humility and love. Amen.    

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Kings 25 and Haggai 1

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