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Fly Eagles Fly!

February 20, 2018

I picked the Eagles to win the Super Bowl. My Son-in-Law, Jason, a Philly fan his entire life, has had us singing “Fly Eagles Fly” for a while. But it wasn’t just a homer pick. I actually asked God which team to root for (since my resurgent Rams weren’t in the Super Bowl). Gods seemed to say, as He always seems to say, “Look into My Word!” So, I did.

 

The word eagle or eagles surfaced 26 times in the Bible. The word patriot or patriots, exactly zero times. So, it seemed like a no-brainer.

 

Did I mention that I believe the Bible is infallible? Duh.

 

By the way, you know how many times the word ram shows up in the Bible?

 

168.

 

The way I figure it, if they ever make it to the Super Bowl again, there’s no way they can lose.

 

Anyway, I saw this post before the big game: “A friend of mine has two tickets for the Super Bowl, including box seats, airfare, accommodations, etc., but he didn't realize when he bought them that the game was on the same day as his wedding. So, he can't go. If you're interested and want to go instead of him, it's at St Peter's Church in New York City at 5pm. Her name's Louise. She will be the one in the white dress.”

 

That’s funny to us because we can’t imagine anyone who could be that self-absorbed. Actually, it’s not that uncommon for people to be jaw-droppingly petty, so focused on less important things that even the most important thing goes unattended. Not a good way to live the only life they get.

 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. —Romans 12:1

 

The word mind is the Greek noús. It describes thoughtful analysis, literally, “moving from one side of an issue to the other”—seeking a balanced conclusion by considering multiple options, mitigating any presumptions that could compromise the bottom line.

 

We all have opinions. But, if we’re not careful (really careful), our mind will construct a silo for us to live in, even hold us prisoner to our prejudices, feelings and fears. (Yep, those frustrating people who live in those other silos aren’t the only ones with that problem.)

 

The Apostle isn’t concerned with political compromise in his treatise to the Romans. Neither is he necessarily recommending a strategy to mend broken relationships. Clearly, his pen is pointing upward, reminding us that God has opinions too. And the first order of living a balanced life is to invite Him into the discussion, to reach across, all the way to His side and embrace what His opinions reflect.

 

We all think we’re always right. I suppose, if we ever thought we were wrong, we’d change our minds, so we could all think we were always right again! But the true test of “right” is not what we or our friends might believe to be right. The true test of right is in the bottom line—what works best. Paul's point is that God’s opinions always work best. God’s will is always that “good.”

 

The Greek kalos would refer to something that appeared to be good, that was attractive on the outside. But Paul didn’t use that word. Rather, he chose a functional word, agathos, describing what worked well, even if it initially appears that it shouldn't.

 

I've owned some kalos cars and I've owned some agathos cars. While I detailed the former, I depended on the latter.

 

I purchase certain products because I believe they'll work better than others. When I'm right, I purchase them again. When I'm wrong, I try something else the next time. Like the wise man once said, "When you find yourself on a dead horse, get off."

 

So, let me propose a sideways description of a life of faith: look beyond what might at first seem intuitive, seek the wisdom only found in God's Word, being confident it will eventually work out to your advantage.

 

 

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© 2017 by Tom Mercer