Sermon Illustrations

In the movie Glory Road, Basketball Coach Don Haskins, was just a small-town family man trying to make an unforgettable mark in his first job as a collegiate basketball coach. He got a coaching job with the Texas Western miners. He went on the recruiting trail to find the best talent in the land, black or white. 7 blacks and 5 whites made up the legendary 1965-66 Texas Western Miners. They were mocked and ridiculed for their showboating and flaunting of black players on the court. Yet, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, Haskins and his Miners came together as a team united to reach the National Championship game against powerhouse Kentucky.

Haskins and his scrappy Texas Western Miners were unwittingly about to revolutionize basketball and the American landscape. Haskins decided to play an all-African-American opening lineup at the NCAA championships against the all-white juggernaut of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Haskins did it to win. But his bold decision would help break down barriers of segregation that affected every segment of society and set a new course for the future as his team did the one thing they could to prove themselves to a watching world: the played their hearts out. They won because Coach Haskins was true to himself despite the ridicule he received.

Are you wearing someone else’s armor or are you being true to yourself by growing in the life to which God has called you? Paul often compared training for the Christian life to the way athletes prepare themselves and stay in shape. I love the Phillips paraphrase of 1 Timothy 4:7 - which says, "Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.”