Did you ever see Mike Singletary playing middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears? Now there was a man’s man. You would not have wanted to be hit by him! Or, how about Ray Lewis the great defensive star of the Baltimore Ravens who retired at the end of last season. He was a terror on the field, as well. Or, Giants’ defensive end Justin Tuck, or Steelers’ safety Troy Polamalu?
What do these tough-as-nails NFL players have in common? They are all professed, committed men of God. Yes, these guys are tough. Who says connecting with God is for wimps. That’s what a lot of men think, but it’s not true.
And, it was never true. Check it out in the Bible. The first guys Jesus picked to be part of his team. They were fishermen. Not recreational, weekend fishermen. No. These guys fished for a living. They were like the fishermen on the tv show “Deadliest Catch.” Tough-as-nails. Read in the Book of Acts what they did with their lives.
You may see yourself as tough, sturdy, rugged, independent…with God by your side, you will be stronger. And, everyone has times of weakness…it’s then God is there to hold you up.
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they (Peter, Andrew, John, James) left everything and followed Jesus. Luke 5
If you’ve never seen “Deadliest Catch,” watch this minute and a half youtube video to see what kind of men I was talking about:
This is an interesting time of year in the National Football League. Now is the time free agents can search for new teams. A free agent is a player who is eligible to sign with any team. He is not under contract to any specific team. If the player is pretty good, lots of teams may want him…which drives up his chances at a big salary.
In life there are no free agents. You can’t go running out your front door into life and not have any support. You can’t go blazing off without someone covering your back. You need family and friends and teachers and mentors. You need help.
God doesn’t believe in free agency. Not at all. He wants you to depend on him. He wants to be your friend. Part of your family. He wants to help guide you and care for you when the going gets rough. God is all about being there for you…anytime, any place, anyhow.
The problem with being an NFL free agent is sometimes no one wants you. You may even end up re-signing with your old team…for less money.
In life God always wants you. The Bible says he even pursues you. He seeks you out. That’s how much he loves you and wants to help you succeed. Think about giving him a chance.
(God speaking) Those who search will surely find me. Proverbs 8
Do you spend your Sundays watching NFL football? I am constantly amazed at the speed of the game. A quarterback has literally seconds to decide who to pass to. Some of the rookies with bad offensive lines have to just take the ball and heave it…get rid of it as fast as possible, or they end up getting sacked.
Life is like that sometimes. You have to make decisions so quickly you barely have time to think. How do you go about making those decisions? The fast ones. You might try running every decision through the 10/10/10 test. What’s that you ask? It’s taking a minute to consider: How will I feel about this choice in 10 minutes, 10 days, and 10 years from now? In other words, what are the immediate consequences, the near future consequences, and the long term consequences of what I’m about to do.
God can help you there. He knows your future. Pray about that decision. One of those arrow prayers that you just shoot up to God quickly because the decision has to be made now. He’ll still honor that prayer. He’ll let you know if you’ll be at peace with the choice in 10 minutes…in 10 days…in 10 years.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29
Making those quick decisions is not easy, but by praying and using the 10/10/10 test, you can be more at peace about what you choose to do. Try it.
There is still a lot of news about the NFL draft and which player was taken where and by what team. Most sports analysts were shocked that West Virginia’s Bruce Irvin was taken in the first round. He was projected as a No. 50 pick and he was taken No. 15! But there’s more…here’s a guy who five years ago was arrested for breaking into a drug dealer’s house and spent two weeks in prison. Then, three months ago he was accused of knocking a magnetic sign off the top of a food delivery car and was arrested again. He dropped out of high school; his mom threw him out of her home. People are just shocked that the Seattle Seahawks are giving him another chance. How many chances do you think this guy should get?
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! Matthew 18
You would expect the Bible to have a set number. Hmmm, maybe five chances, no, three, and after that…THAT’S IT! One of his disciples asked Jesus: “How often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” Did Jesus say, yeah, that’s about right? NO! Shockingly, Jesus says, “No, not seven times. but seventy times seven!” And, that wasn’t even a specific number, he was saying as long as the person is sincerely asking, there is no limit! Notice, too, he doesn’t put a restriction on what sins can be forgiven. Any and all can.
Have you ever thought: I could never be forgiven for all the horrible sins I’ve committed There are just too many. Reread paragraph #2…it’s all true.
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9
The NFL draft is over. It was a foregone conclusion by draft time who the Indianapolis Colts would pick…Andrew Luck. The first round picks are the ones with the greatest skills. Teams are banking on those players’ success. But the most interesting ones are the mid-round picks. Those are the players who a coach or general manager believes could be a great player. They aren’t great yet, but they have potential and someone is able to recognize it. Next, the team has to have good coaches who know how to develop that potential. In football terminology it’s called “coaching up” a player. Some of those “potentials” do quite well…like the 2000 sixth round pick…Tom Brady.
Jesus is great at seeing potential. He sees it in everyone. Yes! He sees your potential. He knows you, knows your skills, your abilities, your distinctive features. Ones you may not know you have. And…he has the power to develop you into a better self. It wouldn’t do much good if all he did was see the potential. But Jesus is a great coach! He knows what he’s doing. He can coach you up, get you to a higher level.
In college football not everyone has the choice to be drafted. As the NCAA commercial says most student-athletes end up somewhere other than professional sports. With Jesus…everyone is a potential draftee. It’s your choice to join Jesus.