Influencers Weekly Devotional
Friday, March 18, 2011
Abide with ME
Abiding Physically - Part Three
Meek, But Strong
“God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight.” Reggie White
SCRIPTURE: “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12
THOUGHT: In today’s world, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience are seen as weak characteristics for a man. But as a man of God, we are told to embrace these characteristics in our life and live them out. This takes great strength of faith and perseverance to do so. One of our greatest demonstrations, to a lost and dying world, is that we can be both an unashamed man of God who has these characteristics and be strong and courageous at the same time.
APPLICATION: Reggie White was nicknamed “The Minister of Defense.” There is a reason. He was not only an unashamed, courageous Christian man and minister of the Gospel, he was also one heck-of-a football player. He played defensive end in the NFL for 15 seasons and was selected to the Pro-Bowl 13 times. He was also chosen NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice. He was a man’s man. But best of all, he was God’s man. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue issued a statement at his death saying, “Reggie White was a gentle warrior who will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history. Equally as impressive as his achievements on the field was the positive impact he made off the field, and the way he served as a positive influence on so many young people.”
I played in the NFL long enough to realize two things. One thing is that no man plays at that level of competition with only normal body strength and speed. Those guys are required to increase their weight, speed and strength from the get-go and maintain it their entire career. If they do not, they are out looking for a real job. The next thing I realized during my brief career in the NFL---- it didn’t take me long before I would be looking for a real job. Therefore, you can understand why I would be impressed with the credentials of Reggie White as an athlete. Another thing that impressed me about the man was that even though it seemed a contradiction, he was both strong and gentle. He was spiritually strong as God’s man, and this made him gentle and kind in spirit. But he was also strong of body, and this made him a successful professional football player.
I have often observed that many men are mistaken in thinking that being “meek’ as a man means weakness. Therefore, they are confused when they read the quote by Jesus when He said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” It is a contrary message to what we hear about the way things are done by the world’s standard. Think about the many success gurus who tell us their formula for being successful, and it is about swagger, arrogance, aggression and self-confidence. Have you heard any of them say that being “meek” is the way to success, whether it is in business or athletics, or anything they promote? On the contrary, their formula is the antithesis of “meek,” for this trait is thought of as weak. So, let’s get it right so that we can understand what Jesus was really saying about meekness, and why it takes great courage and inner strength for a Christian man to live God’s way, rather than the world’s way. “Meek” means gentle and humble, it doesn’t mean weak. It could also be described as having strength under control. This is why Reggie White was admired in both areas of his life and would have been accurately described as “meek,” for he was gentle and humble, yet he was also very, very strong. Even Jesus Christ Himself was described, while on this earth, as being “meek,” because he was gentle and humble, yet He was the strongest man Who ever lived. After all, He could move mountains with His faith and calm a raging sea with a gentle spoken word. Talk about strength! Is there anyone who could top that? And yet, He was “meek.”
So, how does this information relate to abiding with Christ physically, and being good stewards of our bodies? I think I can make a case that God’s man will serve His King’s work best, when he is “meek” in spirit, but also strong in body. He must be strong in his faith, and he should be strong of body, so he can have the stamina to stay active. But he must always be gentle and humble, if he wants to be like Christ. When these characteristics are evident in our life, then, as Paul Tagliabue observed about Reggie White, we will make a “positive influence” on our world around us. God created us with minds, emotions, bodies and souls. Although we tend to think God’s main interest about us is the health and condition of our souls, I’ve got to believe He wants us to keep our bodies healthy and strong along with the other aspects of our life. If we delay, there will likely be a day in all our life that we will regret having put off our physical training to a later day. There will also likely be a consequence for doing so. Therefore, let us build strength in our bodies along with faith, and present these bodies as “Living Sacrifices” to the Lover of our soul, mind and body. After all, He created our life, which includes all these aspects, and He then entrusted it to us for proper care and use. So use it to glorify God in all areas, and you will be a good steward of God’s special creation --- which is the man looking back at you in the mirror.
REPLY: Lord, I want to be a man after your own heart. Make me into this man. Make me strong of character, mind, soul and body. With this life, I come before You as a living sacrifice, to serve Your cause, and to serve the people in my world. Help me in all aspects of my life, by abiding in me in every area. Then, I will be complete, and completely Yours. In the name of Your Son Jesus, I pray, and go forward.
Category: Influencer's Weekly Devotionals
Links & Resources
Influencers- Bakersfield, CA
Influencers-Bayside Church, Northern California
Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest"
Tulsa Men of Christ
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