Pastor's Monthly Message..March,2017

Listen To The Coach
A distinguishing feature of our way of life in this era is the increasing number of people who are involved in athletics of one kind or another. Most young people now participate in some form of sports competition. While in the past, it was the domain of young men, today's world includes young women almost equally. Spectator sports are a major focus of leisure time in many of our lives.
Unfortunately, recently we have been confronted with many negatives in sports. Cheating seems to be common, drug use which enhances performance seem to be acceptable and money can help determine the outcome of events.
However, there are still many positive results which can come from athletic competitions. The results of disciplined practice, the thrills of pursuing goals and the wisdoms gained from winning and losing are just some of the benefits.
But there is another important lessons that successful athletes must learn. Regardless of athletic power and natural ability, every individual who has aspirations to succeed in the competitive world of sports must first listen to a coach - to listen to someone who has been there before, to a person whose judgment is shaped by long seasons of preparation and experience. It is the coach's advice and counsel that must be placed before the noisy urgings of the crowd and even one's own interest.
Life, in general, demands of us this same lesson. All of us, who participate in the contest of living must also learn to heed the voice of the coach because our success and happiness quite often depend on it.
It is incumbent upon us to turn to the great mentor of ours for counsel concerning the rules and strategies for true success in our lives. Those who knew Jesus of Nazareth best called Him the "Great Shepherd". This title was given Him because of Jesus wise advice and admonitions. Just as the good shepherd would lead his flock to green pastures and sufficient water, so, too, will heeding the Master's advice lead us to an abundant life.
Many times, instead of receiving and heeding the counsel of our Master and Savior, we, instead, seek and accept the advice from those who know little or nothing about the ways to happiness and eternal life. Instead of the wise guidelines for successful living which Jesus left us, we often substitute the unwise persuasion of friends, the urgings of fads and fashion, or the tenuous logic of our own reason. If we do this, we run the risk of losing the rewards of obedience to the true principles taught to us by Jesus.
So, just as athletes listen to the coach, we need to seek to know and then to follow the Great Shepherd of mankind.

Rev. Hans Lillejord