Do your best to present yourself to God . . . 2 Timothy 2:15, RSV
God gave us His best. Throughout the scriptures, we see example after example of how God saw to it that His children would be and get the best. Pharaoh gave Joseph and his father the best of the land, the land of Goshen. Years earlier, Jacob gave his favorite son Joseph a robe of many colors, or what we could call, a beautiful, fashionable garment. The New Living Translation calls it “the finest robe.” Centuries later, when the prodigal son came home, this father also gave this son “the best robe.”
God gave us His best. He gave us His Son Jesus. And Jesus, in turn, gave us his best; he gave us His life and He gave us His death. God’s love for us is not half-hearted or half-witted; it’s not half-baked or half a–ed (you know what I mean!). God’s love for us is the best. It’s simply the best. Thank goodness God gave us nothing but His best!
In Christ we see and have the best. The incarnation was God’s idea. It was simply the best inspiration for the worst altercation; the problem of man’s rebellion and sin and shame. Thus, the totality of Christ’s life, death and resurrection was an astute and adroit assembly, not an absurd or asinine aggrandizement.
To be the best, you must beat the best. In order to be the best Christians, we need to know what we believe, and why we believe it. Debate only clarifies God’s nature. God’s cost-benefit analysis, i.e., the risk He took in creating man and the mitigation of that risk by sending His Son to redeem mankind from sin and evil was, of course, sheer, Divine genius. It wasn’t a brainless, bubble headed scheme; it wasn’t a cockeyed, crazy, cuckoo conspiracy; and it certainly wasn’t a daffy or dipsy design; it was simply the best that God could do. Simply the best.
But in order to get the best we must give our best. Take if from our darling Olympic ice dancers who just won the best prize. After 17 years of difficult training, Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the ice dancing gold medal. It wasn’t a fluke win or a happenstance victory. Davis and White put the time in. They practiced and they prepared; they trained and they strained; they did their homework and laid the groundwork for a historic, first time victory for themselves and the grand ‘ole US of A.
So let’s follow the example of Meryl and Charlie. They started early and trained late. They had parental support and mutual admiration. They had exotic mystery and dramatic flair. And it paid off. And it will pay off for you and for me. They Did It! They gave their best, and so did our Lord, and so should we.