Sermon Illustrations

Illustration: On December 11, 2005 Tony Dungy, head coach of the Indianapolis Colts was asked about his plans for the remainder of the regular season. His team had just won it’s 13th game in a row to start the season and had clinched its division and home field advantage throughout the playoff, by defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville.

The challenge was play your starters and risk injury, leading to scrutiny by the media if something did happen. Or, give then some time off to both protect them from injury and give them time to recover in time for the playoffs. This had its pitfalls as well as a break in continuity (especially the offense) could cost them a game and a shot at the Superbowl.

Tony Dungy, a born again believer, told the media that he would have to pray about it and then make a decision. Overnight he was ridiculed by the national media. ESPN’s Dan Patrick went as far as to say that God has more important things to do than to discuss football strategy with Tony Dungy!

On December 22, 2005, just three days before Christmas the world awoke to the news that Tony’s eldest son, James, who was 18 years-old, was dead. In short order we discovered that he had taken his own life by hanging. And what would Tony’s response to this tragedy? Grace... He once again used his faith to determine the decisions he would make. The result? The one who should have been ministered to was ministering to others. He thanked the people who came and then explained that James had placed his faith in Christ and that one day Tony and his wife and family would again see his son: alive!

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