By February 15, 2011 Max Out Blog

I have often wondered how many people would participate in sports if there were no audience.  Sure some people would compete just because they love sports and they don’t care who is watching.  But my guess is there would be significantly less people involved with participating in sports if we played before empty gyms and stadiums.  So being as the audience is such a big part of what makes up sports, it is important for the Christian Athlete to consider what audience matters most to them in order for their sports to matter.

Matthew 28:18-20 says this: “Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  For the person who has had their life changed by God’s Grace through their understanding of their own sinfulness and need for a Savior, this passage of scripture matters a lot.  They understand passages of scripture like John 15:5 which says “you can do nothing without Me.”  The question I would have for the believer is:

Do we really believe that Jesus is with us always?  Or is He more of a fairy tale, imaginary friend?

Would it matter more to us if Jesus were physically present as we lived our day to day life or competed in our day to day practices or games?  Would it change our effort?  Our attitude?  The quality of our work?  The reality is that Jesus is every bit as much present in the Spirit as He was when He physically walked the earth.  John 14:16-17 says this: “And I (Jesus) will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.  He is the Spirit of truth.  The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him.  But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be with you.”  The world sees Jesus as an imaginary friend because they do not know Him.  But as believers we do know Him and He remains with us.  So why don’t we talk to Him as we fight for the Glory of God in the midst of our practices, games, and lives as if this is really true (aka – pray)?  The scripture refers to the Holy Spirit as the Counselor and also the Spirit of Truth.  He might be a wise one to seek counsel with as we are tempted more than ever to be distracted from what really matters.  A lot of the time we care more about what coaches, fans, and teammates think about our performance than what the Spirit of Truth thinks – Jesus – the one who saved us from God’s wrath for our sin.

The difference between sports that matter and sports that don’t is a conscious awareness and belief of our Savior present with us.  As we compete and live our lives it keeps our eyes focused on passages of scripture like 2 Corinthians 5:9 where it says: “we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him.” because we know that the most important being in the universe, the one who took God’s wrath for our sin and rose from the dead, is present with us, watching our every move, aware of every thought, hearing our every word.  I don’t know about you, but that motivates me to work at everything I do with everything I have for Him…because He deserves it and I love Him because He first loved me when He died for me.

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