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Monday, June 22, 2015

Its All About Perspective...

I flipped on the Giants – Dodgers ESPN pregame show last might while I was preparing dinner for my wife and I.  During the show they had a special report on fathers, sons and baseball.  In the segment the reporter interviewed various Major League players as well as a bevy of ESPN sports reporters.  It was actually quite a touching time as the interviewees discussed their childhood memories of how their Dad’s influenced their love for what is dubbed as "America’s Favorite Pastime."
It made me remember my own Dad’s love for the game.  As I have mentioned before, I have many fond memories of him working outside with his trusty transistor radio nearby, blasting a San Francisco Giants game.  I enjoyed playing baseball as a youth and even played on our Parochial league baseball team for a year or two. 
Some of my most favorite times though, were of our epic annual family softball games at Matanzas Elementary School around the corner from my parent’s home.  My first cousins were (and still are…) die-hard Dodger fans and we of course followed the Giants, so it was only natural that we pitted our families against each other for the yearly summer classic.  And even though we haven’t played for countless years, all of us kids still fondly remember the plays, the hits that won the games, and each of our individual claims to fame.  Then we always add… “we need to schedule another game!”
I would have to say that I probably inspired my kids more to love the game of football rather than baseball, as I did not closely follow the game after getting married.  But football was a different matter!  After learning and playing the game in high school, I became enamored with the sport.  For a while there, it would not have been unusual to find me puttering around in the yard or garage on a Saturday afternoon listening to a University of California Bears football game.  And after church on Sundays, I would be in front of the TV cheering on the San Francisco Forty Niners!
My current love for Baseball was opposite to the report on ESPN as it can be attributed to my oldest son.  When we returned from Oklahoma I was captivated by his knowledge of and attraction to the game.  His enthusiasm encouraged me to start watching the Giants again, and then I was hooked as they began their first run to the World Series in 2010.  Josh’s perspective of the game was infectious and I caught it! 
I picked up that same infectious feeling this weekend as I read from Colossians 1:4 and Ephesians 1:15.   The Apostle Paul is greeting the churches and tells them, “We thank God because we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people.”  (Colossians 1:4 God’s Word ©)  Then in Ephesians 1:17 he begins to pray: “I pray that the glorious father, the God of your Lord Jesus Christ, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know Christ better.” (God’s Word ©)
As I meditated on those verses I suddenly thought about the word “perspective” and I could see that Paul was happily inferring that these two churches were successfully living according to the Lord Jesus’ perspective in their daily lives.  Good reports had come back to him because their faith in Jesus and love for the brethren was very evident to all.
The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines perspective as “a true representation of any subject.”  From what Paul had heard, the Christians in these two cities were seeing their surroundings from the correct perspective of Jesus!  When I looked up the verse in the original language, I picked up the importance of the phrase “your faith IN Christ Jesus.”  The Colossians and Ephesians didn’t just believe in Jesus (after all the devil and his cohorts believe in Jesus too!) but lived IN Him on a daily basis.  That little word “IN” refers to “a fixed position in place, time and state, instrumentality and a position of rest.” (Strong’s)
Those early church members knew their position in Christ and lived accordingly.  Ephesians 1:20 informs us that Papa God “raised Jesus from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.” (KJV)  Then we read over in the next chapter that He “hath raised US up together with him (Jesus) and made US sit together (with Him) in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6 KJV)
Those Christians knew their place, practiced His authority and faced life with the one perspective that demonstrated to them and their world, “a true representation of any subject” that they had to deal with.  Think about that for a moment or two.  Is that the way that you live your life?  Is that the perspective that you see your world through?  If not, then you are seeing things incorrectly and are going to make some wrong decisions that could lead to a whole mess of problems!  Check it out in your Bibles and stay tuned for more on this subject in the week to come.  Have a great day.  Get in tune to the truth of your Bible and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s PERSPECTIVE am I expecting to have today… and every day?”

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