Summary: Living for God isn’t something that just happens. It must be intentional.

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February 22, 2009

Morning Worship

Text: Ephesians 5:15-21

Subject: Living for God

Title: Intentional Grounding

Most of you know that I like sports. I am a life long sports fan – especially for our hometown teams. I love the St. Louis Cardinals, the Missouri Tigers (football and basketball). I even like ice hockey. I am exceptionally fond of the St. Louis Rams football team. Now in order to be a good sports enthusiast you need to have an understanding of the rules. Without understanding the rules the game doesn’t make much sense. But, when you have some understanding of the rules you can begin to clearly understand the purpose of the rules and the part they play in the game itself.

In professional football there is a rule called “intentional grounding”. Here is how it reads out of the NFL rulebook. Intentional Grounding of Forward Pass

1. Intentional grounding of a forward pass is a foul: loss of down and 10 yards from previous spot if passer is in the field of play or loss of down at the spot of the foul if it occurs more than 10 yards behind the line or safety if passer is in his own end zone when ball is released.

2. Intentional grounding will be called when a passer, facing an imminent loss of yardage due to pressure from the defense, throws a forward pass without a realistic chance of completion.

3. Intentional grounding will not be called when a passer, while out of the pocket and facing an imminent loss of yardage, throws a pass that lands at or beyond the line of scrimmage, even if no offensive player(s) have a realistic chance to catch the ball (including if the ball lands out of bounds over the sideline or end line).

Point 1 describes the result of the penalty. Point 2 describes the reason for the penalty. Point 3 describes the exception to the penalty.

OK, enough of my sports analogies. But I do want to share with you today about something that does take place in the church world. It could also be called “intentional grounding” but there is no penalty for it, there is no rule against it, and as a matter of fact it is strongly encouraged in the scriptures.

Let’s look at the Word in order to get “intentionally grounded”.

I want to begin with a word from the great apostle Paul to the church in Collosae. From the NKJV - Colossians 1:21-23, 21And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—23if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Now let’s turn to Ephesians 5:15-20, 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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