Saturday, February 4, 2017

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 the New England Patriots in white or the Atlanta Falcons in red? The Falcons have never won a Super Bowl. We put a lot of stock in who will be “Number One”.

·        More than 80,000 fans will pack the NRG Stadium in Houston today to cheer for their team. Among the crowd will also be 5,000 journalists who all want to be first to report the winner.
·        Houston is currently the 4th largest city in the US and yet expects an estimated 1,000,000 additional visitors this weekend. These visitors will spend an average of $400 per person per day not including the money they spent on flights or for the tickets to the week long event.
·        The average price paid for a ticket to Super Bowl 51 is $5,216.
·        Think the seats are expensive? Think again! 30 seconds of national advertising on FOX during the game are 5 to 5.5 million dollars each.
·        An estimated 1.5 million people will call in sick at work on Monday. Many due to the estimated 325 million gallons of beer which will be consumed today.
·        The more than 110 million Super Bowl fans watching the game by television today will consume:
o   14,500 Tons of Chips
o   8 Million Pounds of Guacamole
o   4,000 tons of Popcorn
o   2 Million Pizzas from Pizza Hut alone
o   $237 Million in Soft Drinks
o   51.7 Million Cases of Beer
o   1.23 to 1.33 Billion Chicken Wings (600 to 700 Million Chickens)

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. No Super Bowl has ever gone into overtime. The winners today will be paid $107,000 each while the losers a consolation award of $53,000 for the day’s play.

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 being “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 51 will find themselves in similar situations not because of decisions made by Brady or Ryan, but because of decisions which they will 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 lives.

Reality is we all end each day with something or someone in that “Number One” place 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. It will occupy your thoughts, demand your money and either warm you or weigh you down. Perspectives and Priorities are a choice. There is only one place for the number one and if that gets messed up, everything can get messed up.

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 recognizable order of importance from Him.

This year God is committed to helping us establish priorities in life and put first things first. Today you can begin to set your life in God’s perfect order.

When the Bible refers to people and things which are “Number One” it often uses the word “Chief” to describe that priority 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 makes a point to describe:
·        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. However, God’s Word is plain when it instructs us to:

1 Corinthians 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

Your life does not have to be limited by what you did with your yesterdays but rather by what you are willing to give to God and put first in life today. It goes without saying that we need to acknowledge God as Number One in our lives daily and also pay close attention that we establish and commit to living our lives in accordance with His priorities. What are His priorities?

A Life in Order
  1.   A growing personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2.   Family – God ordained the family as a first priority. Depending on the age, stage and situation of your life currently, you owe allegiance to your family above others.
a.   If you are younger – it may be limited to parents and siblings
b.   If you are married – it includes spouse and children
c.   Trust, Respect, Provision and Support
d.   Not only do I trust and respect them but can they trust and respect me … Looking not only for their provision and support for me but rather at my support for them. What do I add to my family? Can they depend on me? Are they my priority?
  3.   Church – The Family of God. We are brothers and sisters in Christ and as such hold a special spiritual family relationship with other Christians. The Bible says we should do good to all men but especially those who are of the household of faith.
  4.   The Lost
  5.   The World

Matthew 6:33  “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”