UNPACK this

Taking Excellence for Granted

Published on June 17, 2016 | By
The Cleveland Cavaliers have forced a Game 7 in the NBA Finals after an impressive win last night, and another incredible performance by LeBron James. He has taken his play to another level with a second consecutive 41-point game - adding 11 assists, eight rebounds, four steals, and three blocked shots. I agree with what ESPN’s broadcaster, Mike Breen, said about LeBron last night: “...the sustained excellence sometimes you take for granted…” When you take a look at LeBron's career, he has been to 7 NBA Finals, won multiple MVP awards and gold medals, and his stats/records are unbelievable. Although LeBron is truly one of the best players ever, fans and media always seem to find something to criticize him for…or reasons to downplay his place in history. I think we’ve taken him for granted by assuming that getting to the Finals is easy, and he should win every time he’s there. We tend to forget we are watching one of the all-time greats, and don’t pause to appreciate just how talented he is. When it comes to our own lives, I think it’s easy to take people or life’s gifts for granted too. We expect our spouse or parents to always be there for us, but don’t appreciate fully what they’ve done for us. We take our friends for granted by not acknowledging how much they mean to us. How often do we pause to be grateful for the food we have to eat, the clean water we have to do drink, and the air we have to breathe? Most importantly, I think we take God for granted. All too often we act spoiled and think we deserve God’s blessing, and that He should do whatever we want Him to do. We forget to appreciate that He first loved us, sent Jesus to die for us, and offers us eternal life. He saved us from our sin, yet we don’t pause enough to be grateful for that reality. We can take His love, grace, and mercy for granted. Each day, let’s remember to reflect on how amazing God is, and truly appreciate all He has done and is doing for us, by never taking for granted His “sustained excellence.” Let’s make Psalm 105:1-5 (ESV) our daily guide: “Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He uttered…”  I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please forgive me for taking You for granted and assuming I deserve anything. You have been so good to me, and I’m thankful for the love, grace, and mercy You’ve shown me. Help me to appreciate You more and acknowledge Your matchless character. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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