Game Day: Practicing, Training, and Working for God
Last night I had a dream about a young man who was a student athlete at one of the biggest universities in the country. He had spent years training with the best coaches and working to perfect his skills. All of his training had led him to become of the top players in his sport and he was well respected across college sports because of his talent.
He was so well respected that other players would sneak into his practices and training sessions to watch him and hopefully pick up a few pointers. Every time the young man saw them, he would invite them to join him and would always share pointers with them. Unheard of in sports today, right?
The bulk of my dream took place at the biggest game of the season, the young man was preparing for a game against his school's biggest rivals. In the days leading up to the game, the young man's teammates began to trash talk their opponents. Because the history of this rivalry was so rich and deep, it didn't take much trash talking from either side to really heat up the situation. But the young man with so much talent did not engage in the trash talking at all. He kept practicing, training and working hard so that he would be ready for the game.
The big rivalry game finally came and the young man and his team won! After the game, when all the fans had left and the arena was empty. The young man went back into the gym and kept practicing. One of the players from the rival team walked by and noticed him in the gym.
Now this young man had always admired the skills of his talented opponent, but because they were such rivals, he never joined the ranks of those who would sneak in and watch him practice. But this was his chance! The rest of his team was gone and he may never get a chance like this again.
Walking into the gym, he walked up to the young man practicing and said, "Hey, I know we're supposed to be rivals and all but I really admire you. You're one of the best players in the country and even though we're rivals, do you think you could show me a few pointers?" Smiling, the talented young man agreed and their practice session began.
Afterwards, his rival turned to him and asked, "Why do you do this? Why do you help your competitors and especially me, one of your biggest rivals? Don't you think it's kind of a waste?" The talented young man replied, "Because someone helped me. My talent and skills would only be wasted if I hoarded them all to myself or only used them to help my own team win. That would be the real waste."
What good is it to be saved, to be Christian and not share the love of God with the world? While Jesus did die on the cross for you, He didn't die only for you. So who are you to hoard the gift of salvation?
So many times we let fear keep us from evangelism. We're afraid of what people will do, how they'll respond to us or worse, what they will say behind our backs. So we only discuss the Bible and Jesus with fellow believers. After all, it's much safer that way.
But evangelism isn't always what we say or even how we say it. When God first spoke to me about going into ministry, my pastor gave me a book to read entitled, "Every Christian, a Minister." The title of the book has stuck with me more than the actual content; what a title! But I'd like to play with that title a little bit, how about this one: "Everyone, a Minister."
Whether you are a born again Christian or not, your life is on display and someone is watching and picking up pointers. We are all ministers...either for God or for Satan.
Who are you representing?
Who do your actions and lifestyle really say you're following?
Are you sending mixed signals; maybe one day you're ministering for God but come Friday night it's a different story?
When someone wrongs you, when you're worried, when you're just having 'one of those days'... who are you ministering for?
Light is noticeable, it's attractive and will draw people to you. But darkness (the absence of light) is noticeable as well.
“…Choose you this day, whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)