Faith is living in the knowledge and confidence that our God is always going to give us everything we need in order to live. But it’s also knowing that the truly important things — the eternal things, the things that really matter — he gives us in abundance. We have more of those things than we know what to do with.
In his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul uses hyperbole to describe these great spiritual gifts. In fact, the actual greek word he uses over and over is pronounced “hyperballo.“ It’s translated into the English words “incomparably,” “immeasurable,” and “surpassing.” It’s extravagant! It’s over the top! It demands exclamation points!
Ephesians 1:19 – “his incomparably (hyperballo) great power for us who believe” Overflowing power! Overwhelming power! More than enough divine Holy Spirit power within me to annihilate sin and death and Satan and everything that works so hard to separate me from God!
Ephesians 2:7 – “the incomparable (hyperballo) riches of his grace” Through the kindness of Christ Jesus! Buckets of grace! Grace in spades! More than plenty of grace to be saved and to join God in doing good works!
Ephesians 3:19 – “love that surpasses (hyperballo) knowledge” Incomprehensible love! Love that cannot be fathomed! Heavenly love up to here! God’s love coming out my ears! A surplus of love that fills me to the measure of all the fullness of God himself!
God’s love! Christ’s grace! The Holy Spirit’s power! Lavished on us! More than we need! Why? Why does God give us so much?
“To the praise of his glory” ~Ephesians 1:14
“To do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~Ephesians 2:10
“Glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” ~Ephesians 3:21
Some of us are having to pinch pennies right now. Some of us are having to pinch half-pennies. Economically, some of us are struggling right now. What a blessing to realize that the eternal things, the things that will not fade, the rich blessings of divine power and grace and love are piled so high on top of us by our God, that inspired writers don’t quite know how to say it.
The three girls started back to school today. Whitney’s a sophomore at the all-new-and-improved Richland High School here in North Richland Hills. We attended the ribbon cutting and open house yesterday afternoon and were blown away by how nice the place is. It almost looks like Mark Cuban built the place with huge HDTV screens placed about every 20-feet throughout the campus. It’s now, by far, the high school with the nicest facilities in the district. Not sure if that’ll add up to another football win over Birdville this year. Valerie’s a 7th grader at Northridge. And Carley’s in the 4th grade now at Green Valley. Three girls at three different schools. Yeah, it takes 30-minutes taking them in the mornings and almost a full hour to pick them up in the afternoons. Carrie-Anne starts her second year at TWU next week.
20 days now until the Cowboys begin their 50th NFL season. And we’re counting them down with the Red Ribbon Review, a look at the second-best players in Cowboys history according to jersey number. #20 on our list is running back Ron Springs. You already know the moving story of Springs’ Type 2 Diabetes and how former teammate Everson Walls donated one of his kidneys to Springs three years ago. But do you also remember that he was a pretty good football player, too?
Springs was drafted in the 5th round out of Ohio State in 1979, mainly to back up Tony Dorsett. In that rookie season he was fifth in the NFL with an average of 9.8 yards per touch. And the Cowboys were forced to think up other ways to get him the ball. So Springs lined up at fullback. He lined up as a wingback. As a tight end. In motion of the backfield and then in the flats for a pass. He was big enough to stay in and block blitzing linebackers on third-and-long and quick enough to run a draw play up the gut for 12 yards and a first down. In his six seasons in Dallas, Springs racked up 2,180 yards rushing, 2,028 yards receiving, and a total of 38 TDs. He played in 3 NFC Championship Games.
The image, though, that’s stuck in my mind is of Roger Staubach joyfully leaping in Springs’ arms after throwing a fade route for a touchdown to Tony Hill in the back-right corner of the end zone at Texas Stadium to complete a 35-34 come-from-behind win over the Redskins that simultaneously clinched the division title for Dallas and knocked Washington out of the playoffs. Dallas actually overcame two separate 17-point deficits that day in a win that turned out to be Staubach’s last ever victory. I love the picture.
Catching up from yesterday, #21 in the Red Ribbon Review is probably a backup running back you’ve never heard of. Doug Dennison was an undrafted free agent out of Kutztown State in Pennsylvania. (I couldn’t make that up.) He made the team in 1974 and only carried the ball 16 times that rookie season. But four of those runs resulted in touchdowns. He had a nose for the end zone. So he was able to hang on until his big break in ’76 when he filled in for an injured Preston Pearson. Dennison led the team with 542 yards that season. He scored a team-leading seven touchdowns the next year. But in ’77 the Cowboys drafted Tony Dorsett and that pretty much ended Dennison’s career in Dallas. Dennison only got a total of 26 carries in ’77 and ’78 and was traded to Cleveland before the ’79 season.