The deadliest Sport

For some reason, Mankind loves extreme-sports… sky-diving, bungee-jumping, parkour _(acrobatic leaping from building to building & over urban obstacles)…

There is the thrill of flirting with death and getting away with it. The survival rate is pretty good for these sports. Over 90% survival/no injury rate.

Deadliest sport: living a life of selfish fleshly indulgence, while wearing the 🎭 of a godly life… Trying to get God to buy our ”holy joe” PR image. This sport has 100% fatality rate… for tortured eternity.

We’ve been reading through the Prophets. God kept calling His people back to Him. But they thought that as long as they offered sacrifices, He’d stay sweet, and continue to be their “pet guardian & blessor”.

Hmmm…. God created Heaven & Earth. He cannot be tamed, or fooled.

He called to Israel to rend their heart, not their garments. They banked on His grace, and did as they pleased.

Result: Northern Kingdom – swallowed & digested by Assyria.
Southern Kingdom (Judah) – Babylonian exile and finally complete scattering among the nations

2020 will be remembered as a year of various extreme disasters… cyclones, vast forest fires, the largest locust swarm in decades sweeping across Africa & the Indian peninsula, earthquakes & floods, the Beirut explosion, huge devastating oil-spills… and of course, the pandemic… (The Book of Joel feels like news reports from this year)

Well over 2 million people died through these causes last year. And there is an unreported number of people who died of various other causes.

Every human being is appointed to die once, and then to face God’s judgment. [Heb 9:27]

I wonder, just how many of them indulged in the deadly sport of 🎭-wearing, or its cousin-sport denying the existence of God & Jesus.

God had declared to Israel: “Why doesn’t one of you just shut the Temple doors and lock them? Then none of you can get in and play at religion with this silly, empty-headed worship. I am not pleased… And I don’t want any more of this so-called worship!
[Malachi 1:10 MSG]

Israel did not course-correct… the Temple was torn down… It remains in ruins to this day, as a stark reminder that God does not speak idle words.

God has shut the doors of church-buildings. And we crow about modern technology which allows us to keep meeting… BUT…

🤔 have we considered that it maybe God’s last wake-up call to the Church?

🤔 Have we considered that God has deliberately ended religious activity, so that we might see that the bottom line is honest, abiding fellowship with HIM?

🤔 Have we considered that 🎭-wearing is a sport, which has been created by satan, for satan’s purposes* – to build his kingdom, to keep us enslaved, to gain “friends” who will suffer with him for eternity… – to build his kingdom, to keep us enslaved, to gain “friends” who will suffer with him for eternity…_

Satan knows the weak & wounded places of our hearts, and exploits them to keep us under his control.

✝️ But, at the Cross, Jesus died to break every chain that kept us bound to satan. He died to purchase us a life of true freedom, true fulfilment of true love, everlasting joy, unshakeable peace.

🤔 Why then, are we stupid enough to remain slaves to satan? Why do we eagerly do satan’s will and moan about how hard it is to do God’s will?

Israel’s history shows us that God is slow to anger, but when, His patience runs out, there is no hiding, there is no escaping…. BUT… it also stands as proof of God’s faithfulness & the grace with which He restores & grants new beginnings.

Abba Father, would you open our eyes to see how we have been doing satan’s will.
Fill us afresh with Your Holy Spirit. Grant us the gift of godly repentance. Lead us in truth.
Help those bound by addictions to see how it is harming them & others. Help each of Your children to walk out of slavery to satan into the freedom Jesus died to purchase for each one.
Help us to reject the lies of satan, stand on the truth of Your word, and allow You to change us from the inside-out. Heal our hearts as we lay them open before You. IN JESUS NAME. Amen.