January 15, 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

In this great game that we coach as committed Christians, the Father empowers us for a life of service (giving ourselves away). The more we become like Jesus (imitate of His character), the more we will serve and Biblically disciple others. Is this happening to you and others you’ve been helping in soccer? If not, you need to seriously find someone who can disciple you by coming along-side you pouring themselves into your life just as Jesus did to His Apostles. The Father did not design you to float through life once you know Him and what He did for you on the cross.  If you do not get mentored by someone, you might be ignoring the work of the Holy Spirit.

This game of soccer is the perfect place for coaches. We usually have 20-30 players or maybe an entire club in the palms of our hands. They need more than the just the 90-minute matches, your training sessions and winning games. As coaches, we believe we’re doing our job for Christ because we win games, read our daily devotionals, pray for meals, often go to church if we don’t have a Sunday match, maybe we’re even part of bible study group. We might look at our results off the field and consider who we challenge and bring about radical changes in their hearts as we do the great commission Christ calls us into Matthew 28:16-20).  Our serving the Lord is often stopped by the day to day family and work pressures that affect us by the demands old world.  Without the right way, we are merely going astray, and off the course Christ wants us to live. It’s the same in the game. If we don’t practice the right way to score and defend, using the tools of our trade, we lose matches.  Our Father so desperately wants for us to live life right. The verses below in Romans and Ephesians say it so well!

Romans 6:12-14 says, “That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day and don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly remembering, you’ve been raised from the dead and into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.”The Message

Ephesians 2:7-10 says, “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”  – The Message

What your next move forward?