Don’t Be a Cricket Player

I was going to start this post with “please bear with me and allow me to be a shallow human being for five minutes,” but as you’ve probably noticed, that’s not the way this is going to go. Because then I realized: we don’t get to take a day off. We don’t get to let our guard down. I’ve given my life, my breath, and everything I am to my God and King; I can’t take it back, and I don’t want it back. I’ve made a choice and I’m sticking with it. Yes, I slip. Yes, I fall. And yes, He always helps me up again. But there is no taking a day off. When you’re in a match, when you’re in a struggle, you don’t take five minutes to chill (unless you’re playing cricket). Maybe a marathon is a better analogy. You run hard and long and to the best of your ability until you get to the finish line. There is rest in God. There is peace in God. But taking a breather? Nah. Life is short. By the time you’re done taking a break, life’s halfway gone. So since my original post is halfway to somewhere dark and cold by now, here’s something I compiled a while ago that has helped me a lot in life, and that might help you, too. It’s long but worth it πŸ™‚ And if it’s too long to read the whole thing, then at least read the very last verse, helpfully marked by many asterisks.

Do not be afraid: keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to harm you, because I have many people in this city. {Acts 18:9-10}

And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. {1 Corinthians 13}

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. {2 Timothy 4:1-8}

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before God and he will lift you up. {James 4:7-10}

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. {2 Peter 1:3-4}

So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. {2 Peter 1:12}

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. {1 John 1:5}

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. {1 John 1:9}

This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. {1 John 3:11-24}

Everyone who believe that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loved the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commandments. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ. he did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and blood, and the three in agreement. We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.

Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

*****And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life. {1 John 5:1-12}*****

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