A Personal LetterSeptember 11, 2019
The Personal God Tells Us His StorySeptember 25, 2019
I am continuing my push to encourage you to read your Bible more, and not just to read it and check it off the list, but to dive deeply into the scriptures, expecting—yes expecting—to meet Jesus personally, as he draws you ever closer to himself.
Last week, I told the story of going to basketball camp and being instructed personally, one-on-one, by my idol Pete Maravich. I then introduced this idea:
Suppose Pete Maravich had pulled me aside and said, “Sam, I want you to experience the fullness of basketball, and all that this basketball life has to offer. So I am going to write down all my thoughts, my teachings, my philosophy on basketball, everything I have in my heart and in my head, and I am going to send it all to you in a long letter.”
This is what the scriptures have become for me. And not just for me, but for so many others I have watched grow in their love for Jesus. So let’s take this example a bit further. What would Pete include in his letter … his basketball bible … about life in the kingdom of basketball?
There would of course be an abundance of “do this and this and this,” as well as perhaps an equal abundance of “do not do that and that and that.” Is Pete’s motivation to limit my enjoyment of my basketball life? With these “rules,” is he wanting to prohibit me from having fun? No, he obviously wants to teach me; he wants to help me. He is taking the time to write down his thoughts to show me how to live and experience “life to the full” in the kingdom of basketball.
Yes, there would be, as they say in the sports world, a lot of “X’s and O’s” that may seem pedantic. I can imagine he would include disciplines and drills he found helpful in his growth as a player. Drills that would not necessarily be fun to drill on in the moment, but would enhance my experience of the game.
If Pete is a good teacher, he would tell me stories to illustrate his teachings. These stories would give examples of times when players followed his teachings and things went well for them, as well as the opposite. Perhaps more of the opposite, because we … I mean, players … seem not to be able to follow good teaching very well.
He would warn me about following after lesser basketball gods who do not have my best interest in mind, and do not even know the true secrets of the kingdom. Yes, there would be warnings, but not to limit me or prohibit me, rather to protect me, to heighten my awareness, and to enrich my basketball life.
Now, if basketball is truly important to me, and if I absolutely trust Pete Maravich, then I am going to absorb every detail. I am going to pour over it. I am going to carve out time and ignore other distractions, so I can spend more focused time on this most precious book. I certainly will not resent the time spent because I will not see it as time spent—it will be time invested.
Please, step back into the scriptures. If you are gun-shy of the Old Testament, okay, then stay in the New Testament for as long as you want. But please do dive into His personal words of teachings and life. He wants to meet you there.
He wrote the scriptures for you.
Next Week: Yahweh – The Personal God Tells Us His Story