Out of Bounds

Out_of_BoundsWhether it’s college or professional football, all is finally right with the world again. This is the season where Sundays become just as fun as Friday nights, and the beers, wings and pizza are limitless. The summer months filled with trips to the beach, music festivals, family, friends and barbecues will now be replaced by angry screams, trash talking and drunken Sundays. Regardless of whom you are, watching football is a great American pastime that has brought together families and friends for decades. However, many have begun to complain about all the penalties sucking the life out of the game, a violent product coupled with troubling off-field issues and the league grasping “brand” over all else. The proliferation of penalty flags makes it difficult to sit back and enjoy the games. It not only disrupts the flow, but until the ball is snapped for the next play, it’s become second nature to expect a flag.

Many view God the same way as they view the rules in football, basketball, hockey, or any of the other contact sports or the rules in life which could also be considered a contact sport for some. These rules or boundaries in life are called morals.  There is stuff that happens in the world that God doesn’t want to have happen, in fact there’s tons of it. Every day thousands of things happen that God doesn’t want to happen. Yet even though God doesn’t want those things to happen, and could put a stop to any or all of them. He uses them to make happen what He wants to happen. Even though men make wrong choices, God uses it all and makes right choices.

Let’s take a look at a passage of Scripture that shows God’s sovereign will together with His moral will. His moral will represents how God has chosen to intervene or not intervene in our daily lives. For example, it says in 2 Peter 3:9, “. . . not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Is that His sovereign will or His moral will? That’s His moral will because though God doesn’t want anyone to perish, some people will perish. Everyone won’t come to repentance. “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” —2 Peter 3:8-10

The moral instructions that fill the Scriptures are expressions of what God wants or doesn’t want us to do. They tell us His moral will. But we disobey His desires for our best and choose what is not good. Thus we end up out of bounds. In the Ten Commandments and in all of His teaching, when God says, “Don’t,” He really means, “Don’t hurt yourselves.” Very much like to the rules in sports, they are in place so the players don’t injury themselves. We don’t get to choose about His sovereign will but we do make choices involving God’s moral will every day. All of God’s instructions for us to live a healthy life make up His moral will.

2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . .” Everything you need to make wise choices and do the moral will of God is in His Book. You can hear it from me or from someone else, but you need to study and confirm what you hear in God’s Word. All that God desires us to be and do is in the Bible. It’s God’s moral will.

Now let’s get back out on the field of life, play ball, and stay in bounds.

God’s Peace!


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