January 22, 2018

By Paul J Banta

Acts 20:22-24 says, “But there is urgency before me now. I feel compelled to go to Jerusalem. I’m completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there. I do know that it won’t be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead. But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.”The Message

After you came to the Lord through your salvation experience, you can waste a lot of your time without really knowing the right steps your journey requires. You can spend time doing things that are not serving the Lord, or you can start choosing to invest your time into what the Lord has planned for you beyond having great training sessions to win matches. One of the best use of your time is spending it on using words and doing tasks that will last longer than your time on earth. Something where one day you will hear the words of your FATHER, “Well done Faithful Servant.” In Mark 10:45 we know that Christ came to earth to do two things: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – NIV

How do you measure up to Christ’s example?

One of the worst things you can do is to live just for today and to live for yourself. If God has this unique plan for you in this game, you’ve got to find out what’s it about and get on with it as you deliver soccer to others to change their hearts on and off the field. We have to dream the dreams God has planned for us and make them happen by praying and efforts that He called ‘works.’ Coaching and the way we do life is not about us, it never was and never will be. The game, if God is providing soccer as an avenue for us, becomes a place where we use our abilities to change lives. We must strain to work daily to make this happen partnering with the power of His Holy Spirit infused into our lives. God did not put you on earth to live for yourself. He created you to be like Christ, His Son, and to imitate who Jesus was and what He did so you will see actual your efforts patterned after Him. When you coach if you’re not imitating Jesus you’ve got it all wrong.

Think about how you should do soccer biblically using your gifts and the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22. If there’s anything, you do that is not biblical? Have you moved any part of your coaching away from what God’s plan is for you? The game is not about you, your team, the fans, your bank account, the community, the country or your family. Coaching the game is about doing it for Jesus first. As He did it for you on the cross, you lay life down for Him to do your very best. It’s that simple, and it’s not a complicated decision, and besides, you’ll have a lot more success than doing thing by yourself. As you fix your eyes on Christ, let His light shine on the path your travel. He will make your way straight not you, and He’ll keep you on track. God called you into soccer to a higher level of service and discipleship in the game and in living your life fuller.

Mark 8:34-37 says, Calling the crowd to join His disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?” The Message

What your next move?