Playing Well In The Sandbox Awards (Romans 5:6-8)

“Hey, I have to tell you that I won the ‘Play Well in the Sandbox’ awards!”

“Really? Tell me about it!”

I was having dinner with a dear friend and brother in Jesus Christ. For the past six years, I had the honor to know this young man, seeing him graduate from college and now, medical school. I was excited for his burgeoning career as a physician, particularly to learn of his awards.

“The day before our medical school graduation, we had a special awards ceremony. I received the Dean’s award. It is given to the student of the graduating class who exemplifies outstanding service and dedication to his/her classmates by assisting in their classmates’ educational goals and achievement. This was chosen by the faculty.”

I was elated for his award. “That’s wonderful!”

“Thanks! I was honored to receive this but the second award was an even greater honor for me. It was the Outstanding Graduating Medical Student award and given to the graduating student who has truly benefited the community around him, who has worked well with others, and as perceived by his peers, has shown dedication to the school and the community.”

I was speechless and was tingling with pride for my friend. “So you received two awards that your faculty and your peers nominated and voted for you. Impressive!”

“Thanks! As I said, they were the ‘Play Well in the Sandbox Awards’ ”!

It was a phrase I often quoted to him and he was returning the sentiment. These two awards recognized that my friend was a team player, one who unselfishly put the needs of others ahead of his own. He played well in the sandbox and his peers recognized this and honored him.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 

Romans 5:6-8 (NLT)

Jesus Christ died on the Cross, receiving the punishment that we justly deserved because we are all sinners. Jesus is God but willingly chose to put aside His glory as God and came to earth as a man so that He could restore the relationship between God and man that was broken by sin. Jesus put our needs ahead of His own.

Let’s all strive to play well in the sandbox. Our example is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who died for all of us when we were utterly helpless and trapped by our sins. 

Praise God!

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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