Church Vs Football
July 15, 2010 4 Comments
Now is the time football fans are gearing up to watch a little pigskin and hard-hitting. Fans are pulling out their jerseys and buying tickets to head to their team’s “Mecca”. It’s a full on fan fair for the latter part of the year to see their favorite team take on team rivalries.
But there’s another rivalry being forsaken. Another arena where the two teams fighting is abandoned. This place is church. In the Greek it’s called “ekklesia” meaning the assembly.
Hebrews 10:19-25 (New International Version)
19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
There’s so much in these verses but I want to focus on v24 and v25. How do we stimulate one another to love and good deeds and encourage one another? The answer is by using our spiritual gifts.
1 Peter 4:10 (New International Version)
10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
Romans 12:4-6 (New International Version)
4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
So what are some spiritual gifts? Here’s a few.
Romans 12: exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, teaching, wisdom
1 Corinthians 12: administration, apostle, discernment, faith, healing, helps, tongues
Ephesians: evangelism, pastor
Now let me get on my soap box and do a little preaching for a moment. If we are the body and every part has its function, how can the body function properly with missing parts? Doesn’t the leg need the knee to bend, or the hand need the fingers to pick things up? Maybe your thinking, “I have nothing to offer. I’m like an appendix.” Leave it to me to disagree with you. If you didn’t have anything to offer, then you would have no purpose.
You have a purpose!
Peter says each one should use the gift given to them. This means everyone has a gift and it should be used. You embody one of the gifts, if not more mentioned above. You may not realize it yet because you have not appropriated it yet. But you have one… or more.
Maybe you think you have the gift of exhortation (encouragement), giving, or helps, those gifts that most people think are small in the grand scheme of things. I would “encourage” you to think again. Try thinking back to when one of these “small” gifts served you.
Maybe you were having a bad day and someone spoke encouragement. Maybe you thought you couldn’t accomplish something and someone helped you. These “small” gifts turn into “huge” gifts when utilized to turn your world upside down. You made it through something you thought would be the death of you.
Let me twist the knife in your chest now. Is it worth forsaking (Hebrews 10:25) the assembly (church), forsaking your gifts, and forsaking possible life changing moments for 60 minutes of football? The next time your team is playing an early game and you decide to miss church to catch the kickoff, consider how you are abandoning the needs of the body for a football game. A life changing moment is eternal. A 60 minute football game… well it’s over in 60 minutes (of play)!