[CS-FSLUG] Given a Reprieve

Fred A. Miller fmiller at lightlink.com
Tue Nov 17 18:53:39 CST 2009

*Given a Reprieve*

Jonathan Falwell

I was very saddened to learn this week that NBA legend Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar is being treated for a rare form of leukemia.  I was
pleased, however, to discover that his doctors are hopeful that they can
manage his illness.

When I was a kid, Abdul-Jabbar was known for his unstoppable sky hook
which led to19 All Star seasons with the Lakers and Bucks.  He was one
of the most dominant players in NBA history.  I think like most guys, we
like to believe the sports heroes of our era are virtually invincible. 
But like all of humans, they are not.

Noting that he's "been given a reprieve," Abdul-Jabbar said on MSNBC's
"Countdown with Keith Olbermann," on Wednesday, "I need to spread the
good news" regarding the advances in treating his illness.

I believe that statement should strike a chord in every Christian.  You
see, we too have been granted a reprieve --- one with eternal
significance.  As such, I believe we should be constantly talking about
the ultimate Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ every chance we

Listen, I understand that it's often difficult to talk about Jesus,
especially in this culture that rejects the absolute truth the Gospel
claims.  We get intimidated about speaking to people about God and often
convince ourselves that our words will be met with opposition.

In the MSNBC interview, Abdul-Jabbar noted that he is a private person
not prone to talking about personal issues.  But he is so thrilled with
his health prognosis he feels it is essential to tell the good news.

I fear that many Christians today have lost that fresh feeling that
comes with the newness of salvation in Christ.  We forget the wonder of
that first love and, in our humanity, we get sidetracked and focused on
temporal matters and maybe we even begin to have doubts about God's
interest in us. 

We need to rediscover the joy of salvation.

Let's look at a pivotal section of Scripture, Mathew 28:18-20, where
Jesus is addressing the disciples, some of whom the Bible tells us had
their own doubts even though they had witnessed His resurrection.  Jesus
said to them, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on
earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo, I
am with you always, even to the end of the age" (NKJV).

How can we remain complacent when reading Jesus' stirring words?  How
can our hearts not swell with utmost praise to God when we understand
what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross and through the empty tomb? 
How can we not tremble with gratitude when we understand that Jesus
literally is with us, no matter what challenges we face or what hurts
come into our lives?

You know, I think we need to regularly return in and minds to that day
when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior so that the freshness of
that day again resonates in our hearts.  If we were to do this
regularly, I think it would encourage us to be more vocal about calling
people to follow Him.

In 2000, a conference called Amsterdam 2000, organized by the Billy
Graham Association, saw more than 10,000 people gather to focus on ways
of fulfilling the Great Commission to all nations.

The conference prepared a declaration, which read in part: "Deliver us
from ignorance, error, lovelessness, pride, selfishness, impurity, and
cowardice.  Enable us to be truthful, kind, humble, sympathetic, pure,
and courageous.  Salvation belongs to you, O God, who sits on the
throne, and to the Lamb.  We ask you to make our Gospel witness effective."

I believe such a prayer should be on our hearts at all times so that we
are always prepared to proclaim the love of Christ and the truth of
God's Word.  My friends, please join me in praying that God will grant
us the joy, confidence and boldness to never be ashamed of the Gospel
and to humbly call people to a personal relationship with Christ.

Just as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is spreading the good news of his reprieve,
we must commit to spreading God's Good News to mankind---that they can
have eternal life through Him.

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, 
but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to 
maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt 
to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

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