Friday, July 3, 2015

“It takes the trust of God for things that exist, to wait on him for the evidence of things that do not exist. Faith and hope make you to thank God for the invisible things by looking at the visible things which were once invisible too.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

Sometimes, you believe with no physical or empirical proof.  In 1994, the Arkansas Razorbacks won the national championship in basketball. As they do in every big game, after the game, the players cut down the nets.  I have a piece of that net, given to me by one of the players in that game. Many people have seen it and were excited to be able to see (in real life) a “piece of the net.”  Of course, the net had very little to do with the game itself.  It just hung there, oblivious to the frenzy, sweat, and squeaks of the shoes on the floor beneath it. The net didn’t care who won or lost or even whether there was a game or not. It did its job just by being there.  We, the fans of the winning team, are the ones who give value not only to the net, but even to its pieces (my piece is not very big, maybe an inch long).  That little piece of nylon has value for me because I’m a fan and because I knew the player who gave it to me.  You know, I just don’t believe that my piece of the net would have much value to an Alabama fan, and it would probably have a negative value for a Duke fan.  I wasn’t on the team that won the national championship, I wasn’t an assistant coach, I didn’t drive the team bus. In fact, I wasn’t even at the game. Yet that little piece of the net still has great value for me.  In the same way, I was not one of the twelve apostles, and I never heard or saw Jesus when He was here in physical form. I never knew an eyewitness who could have told me what Jesus was like.  If there are any pieces of the cross on which He died still around, I don’t have one and have never seen one. In spite of the lack of any physical proof,  I never questioned either the fact of His existence, His death on the cross, or His resurrection.  Some have questioned the authenticity of my piece of the net, and I have no proof to offer them save my knowing the player who gave it to me.  I’m sure there are some who question the authenticity of my life in Christ’s service, and I can offer them no proof save my faith in He who gave me life and life eternal.  I value my piece of the net even though I did not receive it directly from the hands of the player but from another acting on his behalf, but that does not diminish its value, because I also value the hands that actually brought it to me. 
   I value my life in service to my Lord because of the wounded, bleeding hands that gave it to me. We are all precious to God, of infinite worth, or He would not have sent His son to die on the cross in our place.  Only a few can have a piece of the net from any single game, but every single soul who truly seeks salvation will find it. Centuries from now, my little piece of the net will not have much value, but a life lived in obedience to God and blessed by His grace will have value forever. And that’s the truth.

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