“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” ~Romans 5:6-11
I’ve heard it said over and over again, “God helps those who help themselves.” And it’s always said as if it’s some deep profound theological truth that’s rooted in Scripture. Actually, Scripture teaches us exactly the opposite. From Genesis through Revelation, the entire canon of God’s Word proclaims loudly and unambiguously that “God helps those who cannot help themselves!”
While we were powerless. Ungodly. Sinners. God’s enemies.
It’s at that point that God reaches through the barriers of time and space and rescues me — when I’m wholly unable to do anything about my salvation myself. I’ve never done anything in my life to merit God’s favor. In fact, most of my life, I feel, looking back, is an affront to our God. And it’s at that moment he sends his Son to die for me. God’s love for me is completely without cause.
And it’s without measure. To what can I compare it? With all of my sin and selfishness and arrogance and pride and inclination to evil and rebellion, I wouldn’t die for me. But God did. Who else does that?
And God’s love for me is without end. I’m reconciled through Christ’s death. But the fact that he lives and reigns at the right hand of the Father fills me with confidence that he lives and reigns to keep me, to constantly wash me, to ensure my eternal destiny with him in the eternal Kingdom.
In just 15 days the real football season begins with eleven college games that mean something, that count in the standings, that matter in real life, climaxing with LSU and Mississippi State on ESPN. And today’s all-time greatest to ever wear the #15 is not Babe Laufenberg. It’s a guy who mainly rode the bench at Alabama and wasn’t drafted by his NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, until the 17th round!
Bart Starr spent 16 years with the Packers, leading them to six Division titles, five NFL titles, and two Super Bowl wins. He was the NFL MVP in 1966 and the MVP in both of those first two Super Bowls. He was the NFL passing champion three times and represented Title Town in four Pro Bowls. His career completion rate of 57.4% is among the best ever. And, of course, he’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Packers attempted to manipulate fate and recapture some of that Title Town magic when they hired Starr as the head coach in 1975. But he went 52-76-3 over nine years, making the playoffs only once.
But that doesn’t tarnish what he did as a player. Bart Starr defined an era, almost two decades, as the championship quarterback of the undisputed dominant team in the NFL. And he’s the best player to ever wear #15.
“I expect naught from myself, everything from the work of Christ. My service has its objectivity in that expectation and by it I am freed from all anxiety about my insufficiency and failure.”