As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm on my way to Lima, Peru. Right now I'm in the Miami airport enjoying a five hour layover in the "Admiral's Lounge."
So with some time to myself, I'd thought I'd share with you the message I'll be preaching tomorrow. Pray for me, because anyone who knows me knows I am not a morning person; I speak at 8:30am (that's 5:30am our time)
Qualities of a Healthy Team
The Apostle Paul said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul paints these word pictures to drive home the point that our faith is much like that of a ball game or sporting event. In Peru, soccer is to them what our Super Bowl is to us, so I'm relating my message in soccer terms to hopefully connect on a deeper level.
As Christians, people who follow the teachings and lifestyle of Jesus Christ, there are some things in this sporting event we call life that we need to understand if we want to have a win for the Kingdom of God.
Fouls and Outs
There are some characteristics we need to stay away from or not become in order to win.
1. Being a Free Agent: Believers who have not committed to a local church team.
2. People who want to be on the team but don’t want to play.
3. People who give up before the game is over.
4. People who talk negatively about their teammates and coaches.
Proverbs 16:28 A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.
I really can't say enough about this subject. Too many Christians and churches are loosing and don't even know it because their mouth is so wide open it cause their eyes not to see clearly.
5. People who never practice and expect to do their best at the game.
6. People who quit and give up when things don’t go their way.
Scoring Goals and Winning
1. Commitment: People who are committed to give their very best.
2. Unity: People who recognize we are stronger as a team than we are as individuals.
Philippians 2:2-4 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
3. Diversity: People who have different skills, talents and abilities.
4. Relationships: People who value their friends and teammates around them.
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2
Think about that for a moment. Look at the words that jump off the page, "caught in sin", "you who are spiritual," "restore gentle", "carry each other", "fulfill the law"......WOW!
What "law of Christ" is he talking about?
The law of sin and death. Jesus came to restore man to God.
God is in the restoration business; which leads to point number six.
6. Possibility: People who say, “We can do it.”
Why? Because it's not easy to stand for love and righteousness. You would think it is, but it isn't. Know that this type of living will cost you more than you know, but at the same time I can't imagine living any other way. It's why the Bible gives us so many challenges and encouragement to live a life that goes out of it's way for restoration and redemption.
A win down here is a victory in the Kingdom.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.