I am not talking about the kind of goat above.
G.O.A.T is a term used in the world of sports. It stands for the GREATEST OF ALL TIME. Question: Who is the GOAT of boxing? Of Football? Of hockey? Of Gymnastics? Of Skiing? Swimming? Of basketball?
Now here is the second question: Who is the GREATEST of the greatest of all time? In other words, who is the greatest sportsman or sportswoman of all time of all sports. Adam Rank sportswriter for of NFL.com ranked the best of the best. And he said…. I will reveal it Sunday.
He did not rank religious leaders. But if he did Rabbi Saul, before named Paul, would be the Goat of Goats. He even said so himself. And like most great athletes he was very self-confident. He names seven thing in which he thought he could trust, Philippians 3:5-6. The first four were due to his parents. The final three he could claim credit.
But on a road to Damascus in a flash of light he walked away from “greatness.” He encountered the Living Lord. It changed him. He was no longer trying to earn God’s praise, but was trusting in God promise.
The worst thing imaginable for a top tier athlete is to lose their confidence. But it happens. Most of the time the athlete fades into mediocrity. Rarely do they regain it
Paul lost his confidence “in the flesh.” In truth he counted it all as rubbish (the word here means what you might step in on a Roman Road leaving a distinct stink. Rhymes with “snoop.”). Concerning this, one pastor said, “Paul’s former accomplishments had become abhorrent to him, not because they were bad (for they were not), but because they kept him from Christ.”
“And he had no regrets. John Calvin noted that when people battling a storm at sea cast their belongings overboard to lighten the ship, they wail afterward at the loss. But Paul did not look back. There was no hidden longing. Why? Because he will gain Christ in that final day when his goal is fully realized. To die will be gain (cf.1:21)!”
He states his new dependence in 10-11. He did not want to know the Torah. He wanted to know Christ, or to know him in a deeper more intimate way involving both power and pain, Philippians 3:10.
During this time of Corona, we are suffering the loss of many things, some personal, some financial, some relational and some even existential. During this time we must hold fast to “the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil…” (Hebrews 6:18-19)
This Sunday our focus is on this hope “Jesus…a high priest forever,” Hebrews 620. If you are not focused on Him, YOU WILL FALTER. Stay focused and stay faithful, especially since we cannot assemble together.