Sunday, February 3, 2013

Number One


Today is Super Bowl Sunday and before the day is over we will know which NFL Team is “Number One” in the nation. Will it be San Francisco or Baltimore? We put a lot of stock in who will be “Number One”.

·        More than 79,000 fans will pack the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans today to cheer for their team.
·        Sorry, the cheap seats are already sold out; they sold early for $800 each.
·        Good news, you might be able to find a ticket or two online for between $3,000 and $5,000 a piece if you hurry.
·        You think the seats are expensive, try $4 million for a 30 second spot of national advertising. 
·        Some sad news, not one of the 25 top paid players in the NFL will play in Super Bowl 47. Their salaries alone range from 12 to 20 million dollars for this season. They will take their collective $387 million for this season and watch it on TV. At least they will not miss the near $90K winner bonus or the near $45K loser bonus for today’s game. But comparatively, it would cost them money to play today.
·        The estimated 112 million Super Bowl fans watching the game by television will consume:
o   15,000 Tons of Chips
o   12,000 Tons of Guacamole  
o   4,000 Tons of Popcorn
o   2 Million Pizzas from Pizza Hut alone
o   $237 Million in Soft Drinks
o   $125 Million of Chicken Wings

During this 3½ hour contest, which will be preceded by a 7 hour pre-game show today, everything will be aimed at deciding who will be the “Number One” NFL football team in America.

There will be laughter, tears, hard fought battles based on well planned strategies, angry supporters, cheering crowds, anxious gamblers and millions of armchair quarterbacks yelling at the TV saying how much better they could do it they were out there. Money will be made, careers ended, contracts awarded and friendships lost today, all based on who ends up “Number One”.

When it comes bedtime tonight many will be unable to sleep because they are so elated their team won. Others will lie awake devastated because they lost. And yet a few billion people who can’t even tell you which teams played in Super Bowl 47 will find themselves in similar situations not because of decisions made by the Harbaugh brothers, but because of decisions which they make in their own personal lives today that determined whether they ended the day with a win or a loss. And, it’s all based on who or what they choose today to be “Number One” in their life.

Reality is that we end each day with something or someone “Number One” in our lives. Sometimes the day can be a hard fought battle but in the end, when you lay your head on your pillow at night, someone or something is going to have triumphed and that will be your “Number One” for the day. The truth is – it’s a choice, and it’s a choice you can make today.

The Bible has a lot to say about things which are number one. You may not realize it right now but before we are finished this morning we will discover that we get our competitive nature from God. He ascribes priorities and ranks everything in creation in its perfect order. God is a God of order and we inherited our desire to put things in some order of importance from Him.

When the Bible refers to people and things which are “Number One” it most often uses the word “Chief” to describe that important position.

In fact the word Chief is mentioned 328 times in the KJV indicating the importance of knowing who and/or what is “Number One”.

The Bible tells us about:
·        Chief Priests
·        Chief Musicians
·        Chief Captains
·        Chief Fathers
·        Chief Princes
·        Chief Rulers
·        Chief of the Officers
·        Chief of the Guards
·        Chiefs of Asia
·        Chief Singers
·        Chief Elders
·        Chief of the Governors
·        Chief Tax Collectors
·        Chief of all Nations
·        Chief of the House
·        Chief Butlers
·        Chief Bakers
·        Chief Stewards
·        Chief Estates
·        Chief Rooms
·        Chief Seats
·        Chief Ointments
·        Chief of all Spices
·        Chief Adversaries
·        Chief among the devils
·        Chief Men
·        Chief Women
·        Chiefs of the People
·        Chief of the Levites
·        Chief of the Congregation
·        Chief Friends
·        Chief Places
·        Chief Joys
·        Chief Things
·        Jesus is even known as the “Chief Cornerstone” and “Chief Shepherd and Bishop of our soul”

And then the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and said:
·        1 Timothy 1:15  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Not one of the Apostles began life as the perfect picture of a disciple. Each one encountered their own set of temptations, trials, tests and tragedies. Even after being called by Jesus they made a few bad decisions and some costly mistakes. Life is tough on everyone. Nobody gets it right every time.

·        Matthew started out as a tax collector for the Roman Empire and was considered in many ways to be a traitor to his own people.
·        Thomas refused to believe that the other 10 Disciples had seen the risen Lord.
·        At Jesus’ trial, Peter denied even knowing Him. When pressed on the issue, he cursed and swore he had never met the man.
·        Paul held the coats for his friends while they stoned Steven to death for testifying that Jesus was the Messiah.
·        At some point, every disciple left Jesus to die alone on the cross.
·        Yet, they all had a comeback because of whom and what they chose to be “Number One” in their lives.

It’s not about what you did, but what you will do.
·        Your life is not determined by what you did with your yesterdays, but rather by what you do with your today.
·        You will never make a decision to do anything on any day that is not called today.
·        What you are going through does not have to be punishment for your past but rather can be positioning for your future.

Without regard as to what you may face in this life – you can always choose Jesus and His Word as “Number One” and you will win the day.

Paul and Silas were in prison facing a terrible sentence yet they prayed in their midnight hour … they chose their “Number One” and clung to it. Perhaps it was a struggle; maybe they had to make a hard decision; no doubt others around them didn’t understand … nonetheless, they made their choice. So can you! When this day ends, who, what will be “Number One” in your life?

Deuteronomy 30:19  I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.