Summary: The perfect Super Bowl Sunday sermon. Wear your favorite jersey, and use football as a spiritual analogy to encourage spectators to become participators!
1Pe 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (NIV)
One translation says
1Pe 4:10 God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
#1 GET ON THE TEAM
You Must be Born Again
It’s like going to work and never getting paid. It’s like being a second string water boy. You’re there, but your really not on the team.
When you are born again, you become part of a BODY
Spiritual Free Agents
Get on the team. Contribute your gifts. The KJV calls it "being a good steward of the manifold grace of God." Manifold means many and varying. Your gift is different than mine. A team needs more than a quarterback. The kicker can do what the linebacker can’t. A tight end can do what a cornerback can’t. We all have different gifts, and when we put them together we have a strong team.
Eph 4:16 Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
#2 GET ON THE FIELD
Can you imagine what it would look like for members of the Chicago Bears or the Indianapolis Colts to go up and sit in the stands in their full gear and begin watching the game and cheering on the others? That would be a ridiculous sight!
Players belong on the field!
Christians belong on the field! We were not designed to be spectators, be were designed to be participators!
1Ti 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
We have been thrust into a war, and warriors belong on the battlefield!
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
We cannot take a passive approach to our faith! We must be alert! We must be determined! We must
#3 GET IN THE ZONE
1Co 9:24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
1Co 9:25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
1Co 9:26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.
1Co 9:27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. NLT
1Co 9:24 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win.
1Co 9:25 All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.
1Co 9:26 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me!
1Co 9:27 I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. MESSAGE
You’ve got to train your mind! One verse says, "be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." The word "renew" in that verse comes from a Greek word which means to renovate. To tear something down in order to raise something up.
What needs to come down in your life? Walls of FEAR? ANGER? UNFORGIVENESS? LUST? GREED? SELFISH AMBITION?
TEAR THOSE WALLS DOWN! Build up, Construct, RENEW your mind in the Spirit of the Lord and with the heart of a CHAMPION!
You know, the armies of Israel were "on the field" in the valley of Elah. But they weren’t "in the zone."
1Sa 17:23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
1Sa 17:24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
1Sa 17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.