It was easier for me as a kid to fall in love with Ohio State basketball than it was Ohio State football because many of the Buckeyes’ hoops games were on television and back then only two of their football games each season could be televised. (Look it up, kids).
I have so many memories of those OSU teams of the 1970s, with Allan Hornyak (the Bellaire Bomber), Jim Cleamons (the Cougar) and then the first great recruiting class of the Eldon Miller era.
Jimmy Crum, the 40-year sportscaster on Channel 4 in Columbus, did most of the games on TV back then. I can still hear him accent a great play by the Buckeyes with his signature call, “HOW about that?”
Miller’s OSU teams frustrated the daylights out of me — actually, Miller did more than the team — because he always preached defense, defense, defense and wouldn’t play fast-break basketball with talents like Kelvin Ransey, Carter Scott, Herb Williams, Clark Kellogg or Ronnie Stokes.
Every post-game interview, Eldon would drone on and on about defense, defense, defenzzzzzzzzzzzz. I remember complaining to my brother, “Even if you play the best defense in the history of basketball, you have to score at least once to win!”
That reminds me of a spiritual lesson in Ephesians 6, where the Apostle Paul is talking in verse 10 about equipping ourselves with the “full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
If you continue on in the scripture through verse 17 you will see that Paul outlines six things a believer in Christ needs to arm themselves with:
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.“
Notice that the first five things are defensive weapons (Eldon Miller would be happy) and only one — the sword of the Spirit (v.15) — is an offensive weapon.
It stands to reason that one offensive weapon is essential, since it’s the only one you have. And what does Paul say it is? It’s the word of God…which is, the Bible.
I’ve found in my life when I’ve drifted spiritually, when I’ve taken those tiny steps away from my faith, those tiny steps that accumulate over days and months and years (if I don’t get back in the Bible), that’s when I get woefully off track. Those tiny steps add up!
It’s pretty amazing that the Bible has been preserved over thousands of years for our benefit. Paul, after all, wrote 14 books of the Bible, several from a Roman prison…without a floppy disk, laptop, zip drive or cloud to save them on.
And yet there they are, in the Bible, for our instruction, inspiration and guidance.
If God went to all that trouble to preserve things Moses wrote thousands of years before Christ’s birth, and thousands of years after Christ’s death and resurrection, doesn’t it stand to reason He’s going to want an accounting from us if we ignore the wisdom, comfort and direction of His word, but spend hundreds of hours reading blogs, web pages, books, magazines or newspapers?
I can’t and won’t attempt to say it any more clearly than Paul did in Hebrews 4:12:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Spend time daily in your Bible and let the truth of God’s Word take root in you and change your life.