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Roping Religion: God provides; give back for that

Many of the ideas and scriptures for this article are from the devotional “God Wants You To Win!” by world champion calf roper Jeff Copenhaver.

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.

The faithfulness of God continues to amaze me. When we look back on our lives and see the times that God has protected us, led us, fed us and loved us, it is amazing that He would care so much for each of us.

At one point in his life Jeff had made rodeo his whole life and his god. Perhaps there is something or someone in your life that is consuming you. God wants to be first place in each of our lives. Sometimes He speaks through others in order to get our attention.

After Jeff had won a world championship he took a year off and found out that there was more to life than rodeo. The emptiness of being a champion without knowing the Lord led him to seek the Lord. If your life is feeling a little empty or purposeless, right now would be a great time to seek the Lord. When we seek Him we will find Him.

In 1977 Jeff competed in the world’s richest roping and wound up winning the event thanks to listening to his wife, Sherry. Jeff had just purchased his horse Sugar and he was going to leave Sugar home. Sherry convinced him to take Sugar to the roping and Jeff was smart enough to listen to his wife. I bet a number of us men could learn something from this situation. God has given husbands helpmates. Our wives are gifts from God. Sometimes we actually know what we need to do but we need a little reminder now and then.

God provided both Sherry and Sugar to Jeff. Sugar was in rough shape but he and Jeff had good timing together. Sugar worked well and Jeff roped as good as ever. The winnings paid for the horse and gave Jeff almost $10,000 extra. Remember that this was in the ’70s. God’s faithfulness to Jeff and Sherry is awesome. We need to remember that God loves you and me just as much as He loves the Copenhavers.

God provides what we need at the right time. His mercies are new every morning. God’s faithfulness is great. Jeff felt the presence of the Lord while riding and roping in the rodeo and this was seven months before he and his wife asked Jesus to come into their hearts. The couple had been seeking the Lord and eventually their search ended in salvation. To my knowledge, Jeff and Sherry have spent the past four decades serving the Lord with the gifts, abilities, and resources God has provided them.

Do we realize that God’s kindness is intended to lead us to repentance? Whether our current circumstances are good or bad, God wants us to be seeking Him. If God can provide salvation for Jeff and Sherry, then He can surely save every person we care about as well. If God can provide the necessary tools for Jeff to do his job, then God can provide the resources you and I need in order to accomplish the work He has assigned each of us to do.

Sometimes we act as if the return of the Lord is a long ways off. We put off seeking the Lord and praying for His return. We need to pray “Come Lord Jesus” while still going about and taking care of our earthly responsibilities. This year, I had the opportunity to teach my 2-year-old grandson how to start a fire and gather wood for the fire. He kept going into the woods to gather pinecones, sticks and branches for the fire. His comment was always, “I’ll be right back.” I thought that was cute and then I realized that Jesus told us that He was coming soon. We need to continue to work as if we are working for the Lord. We ought not to neglect our responsibilities while thinking of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We need to prepare and plan in the natural as if we are going to be on this earth for some time while we prepare our hearts to be ready for the Lord’s return.

May God bless you big.


This is the 26th in a 30-column series of Roping Religion columns by Kevin Barsotti, pastor of Ark Church in Havre.


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