About two weeks ago, my wife Mindee and I had the privilege to go to the Minnesota Vikings game in the brand new US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. I have been a big fan of the football team ever since I was very young and so this was something I was exceptionally excited about. I had never been inside of the brand new stadium before. I had only ever driven past the brand new fortress in complete awe of its enormity. I couldn’t wait to see it from the inside. Game day finally came and we scurried down the interstate full of excitement to watch our favorite team play some Thursday Night Football.
We arrived about two and a half hours early to the stadium. After walking around admiring the outside of the stadium for awhile, we finally entered the gates. My initial thought that we would be there with plenty of time before other fans filtered into the stadium was completely wrong. It was already packed about an hour and a half early. We walked around the whole stadium in a passionately flowing purple stream of Vikings fans. As we walked around the new stadium my eyes were widened and my jaw was dropped the whole time. I couldn’t help but contrast the magnificence and beauty of this new stadium to the old run-down Metro-dome I had been in several times. I felt so grateful that we had the honor to be inside such a tremendous place to watch our favorite team.
After walking around the stadium we took our seats about six rows from the top of the stadium (which were still expensive seats) and watched as our team was introduced out on the field. I had never seen so many passionate people fill a stadium like that before. People from all different places were clothed in purple and gold from head to toe shouting and jumping up and down in excitement and praise of this team. As I scanned the stadium for a second time my mind immediately thought of what we have been talking about in church for awhile now, namely “Living on Mission.”
Unusual Thoughts During a Football Game
I couldn’t help but think of the book of Revelation as I was taking in this whole experience. I thought about how this brand new stadium had been ushered in to replace the old broken down stadium. As I thought about that, I couldn’t help but think about how God is going to restore our broken down, fallen world by ushering in a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21).
I thought about how in awe I was at this new magnificent stadium as I explored it’s splendor. As I thought about that, I couldn’t help but wonder what my reaction will be living in the perfection of heaven in an eternity with God. I know it will be far more than just jaw dropping and eye widening.
I thought about the passionate sea of purple around the entire stadium surrounding the field with loud praise. As I thought about the approximately 66,000 people from all around, clothed in purple, I couldn’t help but to be reminded of John’s witness in Revelation 7:9-10:
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
What an amazing picture! A multitude from all over, clothed in the righteousness of Christ praising our God!
As I felt honored by being able to watch my favorite team right in front of my face in such an impressive place, I couldn’t help but wonder how honored I would feel to spend an eternity with my Savior face to face in heaven.
Now obviously it is quite far-fetched to compare a new football stadium to an eternity in heaven with God. However, I think the Spirit works to remind us in unique ways of what we have to look forward to because of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. This was one of those ways.
As I scanned the stadium throughout the game, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people in this stadium actually knew Jesus as their Lord and savior and live in obedience to Him. I don’t know their hearts, but if I had to guess it would probably be a small percentage. As I cheered on my team throughout the game and watched others around me cheer I thought to myself, “I want to stand beside all of these passionate people in heaven rejoicing and praising God.” I felt so motivated to live on mission.
An Ambassador’s Desire
When our hearts desire is that people have a personal relationship with Jesus and one day spend an eternity in heaven with him, we will go to great depths to tell others about him and love others with his love. We will joyfully and boldly live on mission.
The great Jonathan Edwards once prayed, “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” Family, as we look at others, would we consider their eternal souls. Let’s run our race with a kingdom mindset. As we encounter our everyday ordinary interactions, would we be prayerful and expectant that the extraordinary could happen.
You have a great honor and responsibility child of God; you are an ambassador of the Most High. You get to live on mission for Him.
Living on mission can present many struggles, but it will all be worth it one day. On that glorious day we will all be together gathered around the throne praising our God forever.
I can’t wait for that day.
This last week we made our way through the book of Numbers. We learned how this book, filled with some pretty famous Sunday School type of stories, is also shot-through with the sad themes of unbelief and rebellion. It is shocking how a people who experienced so many displays of God’s faithfulness could still be ungrateful and unsatisfied with his provision and timing. Which ironically makes it so relevant for our study, for we all struggle with being satisfied with the circumstances of our lives.
It is the backdrop of Leviticus — with its thousands of priests and millions of sacrifices — that causes the beauty of the work of Jesus — the one priest, and the once for all sacrifice — to shine all the more brilliantly.
There are a number of major themes that weave their way through the whole story of the Bible: covenant, kingdom, and temple, just to name a few. This last Sunday we looked at the theme of God’s presence in each of the sections of the story that we have covered thus far (Genesis 1-11, Genesis 12-50, and Exodus 1-18), and then how this idea of God’s presence comes into a bit of a sharper focus in Exodus 19-40.
I think it is probably safe to say that there are two great peaks in the mountain range of God’s rescue and restoration of the earth. What the cross-resurrection event is to the New Testament, the exodus is to the Old Testament. In each case, the great redemptive salvation act (exodus/cross) produces the covenant community of God’s people (Israel/church) who are called to serve God and his universal mission.
Genesis 12-50: I Will Bless You
It is hard to look at any one text in the Bible and say that it is more important than any other text of the Bible. Since the whole Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit as God’s Words, it is all equally valid and useful for growth in the grace and knowledge of our King, Jesus (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:18). At the same time, there are those passages that are particularly vital and important to knowing what God is up to in his rescue and restoration plan for the world.
The Whole Story: Genesis One Through Eleven
This last Sunday, January 7th, we kicked off our new sermon series, The Whole Story. As Genesis is the first book of the Bible, we began there, by covering chapters one through eleven...
Why Should I Read The Bible?
Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.