You’ve Gotta Get Into the Game to Win

When it comes to sports, my son know a lot more than I ever did at his age.  He understands the rules of baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer (just to name a few).  He has played many of these same sports with enjoyment and zeal.

A few years ago, he was on a soccer team where he was a substitute player.  He didn’t play much but wanted to commit himself to this team.  I believe part of it was because he loved to play soccer.  I think the other part of it was that he was committed to them because during his time of operations, his team cheered him to get well.  On one occasion, they even gave him a ball with all their signatures on it.  It was one of these displays of love that allowed my son to see what a team was really about.

When we look at sports and analyze it a bit, here are some observations about the sports we love.

  1. Most of us cheer the team we love.
  2. We yell and scream when our team does bad.
  3. We wear their jerseys and hats to show our commitment to them.
  4. We argue about who is better and why.
  5. We understand the technical aspects of our beloved sport and no one can say otherwise.
  6. We tell others about what our favorite team or players have done to make them successful.

However, there is one aspect that I didn’t list.  WE DON’T PLAY!  We are not the one’s who are getting hurt.  We are not the one’s who train for hours on end to become a driving machine for our team.  We are not in the game so we don’t win.

How many times have you heard someone say, “My team won that game” or “My team did a lot better than they have in the past”?  Even I have been guilty of saying that but unless I have a financial stake in a team, they are not my team.  The players don’t know anything about me.  They don’t think, “Oh I have got to call J.D. tonight and thank him for paying my salary”.  But most times we all are guilty of having this sense of success and pride when it comes to our team.

In most sports, there is also a “Hall of Fame”.  Even my favorite sport, bowling, has a hall of fame.  The best of the best are listed there.  They have been successful in their sport.  They have become experts in the craft they love.  These men and women are the one’s we look up to and think “I want to be like that someday”.  Did you know that there is a ‘hall of fame’, in the Bible?

In Hebrews 11 (the later part of the New Testament), there is a list of people who, for all intents and purposes, are the hall of fame’rs’ in faith.  They are real people with real lives.  They did extraordinary things but lived ordinary lives.  All of them made plenty of mistakes and all of them had something special that God liked.  Here is a short list of these people:

  • Enoch – A man who dedicated his life to God’s purposes.
  • Noah – A man who believed God would flood the earth and built a boat.  He also was a drunkard.
  • Abraham – Known as the father of all nations who left his comfortable life to travel with God.  He also committed adultery and lied often.
  • Issac – He was committed to God’s purposes in his sons lives.  He too was a consistent liar.
  • Jacob – A deceiver who conned his brother to sell his birthright.  He also wrestled with God and understood that without God, nothing can be accomplished.
  • Moses – The man who led Israel out of Egypt.  He was also a murderer.
  • Rahab – She hid the Israelite spies when they were approaching the Promised Land. She was also a prostitute.

There were many others listed.  But did you notice one thing?  Most of these people were sinners like you and I.  They weren’t perfect.  They doubted God, did their own thing but ultimately knew that it was God’s Kingdom that they needed to be committed to.

In this same chapter it states, “They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were put to death by the sword.  They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated – the world was not worthy of them.”  Isn’t it amazing to see this?  We view our heroes as wealthy, athletic and successful.  We don’t see them as homeless and destitute but these people did one thing that most of us are unwilling to do today – to give up our comfort zone to be a success on God’s team.

When I see this list, I wonder how many of us would say, “I want to be a part of that list.”  And how many of us would then take the actions to be a part of that list?  If we are to be truthful with ourselves, we would say, “Not me.”  I don’t want to take part in losing my home, my rights,my cell phone, Xbox or computer.  I want to live a life of comfort.”  Fortunately, we don’t have to be poor or destitute.  Abraham was very wealthy and he made this list.  So do you want to be a part of God’s hall of fame?  Here is how you do it.  Ready?

“By faith” do what you were called to do.

That’s it!  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  We are just to obey what God has destined us to do.  We are to do the work that God has for us to bring His message of hope to all generations and all people.  Start by doing the simple things, then as your faith grows, your actions will follow that faith.  If you have a lot of faith, you will do a lot of things.  If you have a little bit of faith, then you will do a little bit of things.  But no matter where you are at, remember, to be in God’s Hall of Fame, we need to start simple.  Start one thing today and your faith will grow.  When we do this, we show the world we are a part of the best team – God’s team.

God bless and encourage someone today.

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