Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "We've A Story To Tell To The Nations"1 (Lyrics)
As I write this, it has just been announced that a number of baseball players have been suspended for the use of illegal, enhancement-performing drugs. They continue to be the subject of different news sources.
These players obviously had the talent to be good athletes, but somewhere in their careers, decided that "good" was not good enough anymore. They wanted to do better, make more money, be of more value later, perhaps, or be better than other players on their team or in their league. Perhaps they achieved this, maybe not. They were not content, and they were willing to risk their career and reputation.
Of course, they were not the first to do this. We have heard about others over the years, who, even with everything they had achieved, were not happy; they lacked inner contentment. Some had their medals or trophies taken away from them. But Paul has a good message for them (and us):
2 Timothy 2:5 – And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (NKJV)
In sports and in life, there are a number of rules that we have to obey, but over the years, it seems that circumventing or ignoring these rules and laws has become more frequent.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 – But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God. (NKJV)
Even though this was written some 2000 years ago, it refers to us, right here, right now. There are so many people who are not happy with the way things are for them, so many people who are always looking for ways to change things. The present trend seems to be that we always want more. Advertisements encourage us every day to buy more, own more, wish for more material things. They never tell us to be more, to be better people, to be content with what we have.
Hebrews 13:5 – Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (NKJV)
Self-centred ambitions do not honour God and are ultimately destructive. Therefore, we need to keep our ambitions in line with the Lord's purposes, so that everything we do brings glory to God. Jesus never undermined ambition, but viewed it as a normal part of human nature. Instead, He directed the focus of our ambition towards the glory of God. He instructed us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the words of Scripture and the clear rules expressed in those words. We pray that we will live and act and talk according to Your commandments, that we will be content, and that if we fail You, we will ask for forgiveness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.