Summary: To share we need to get into the game and get off the bench.

In life I have noticed some very valuable lessons and the truth is no matter how I get, God is still teaching me.

Stacy and I have three ornery nephews that live in Lawrence. I received a video that they made recently. They decided to make this video when their parents we gone. I suppose they were board and decided to have a little fun with the youngest boy. I have decided to share this video today as an opening for today’s lesson.

VIDEO: “Nephews”

So many applications are in this video that we could use. The biggest one that I found is that life will beat us down but we need to get up and keep going. We are called to keep in the game so to speak.

"I believe in sports that most games are lost by lack of genuine effort. Many things in life are lost just because we don’t do anything about them. We get on the court, field or even the mat and once we get knocked down, we lose because we don’t get back up. And the truth is that doing nothing will accomplish nothing.

2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

In our Scripture this morning, we read a warning if you will from Paul to Timothy. This is Paul’s attempt to let timothy know how very important it is that he stands faithful with the Word of God. That he needs to stay in the game. The importance is still here today! I believe that we too need to stand up, get into the game. Paul writes, “The time will come”. And as I look around us in today’s world I see that that time is now.

This is the time for us as Christians to decide. We need to decide, are we going to be a benchwarmer or are we going to get into the game? Are we going to be a member on the team or simply a spectator?

Many have sat on the bench for far too long, we have only been a spectator and have not been a key player. I believe that being a Christian is much like being an athlete. So this morning, I would like to share with you three main similarities that I believe can enhance us in being better Christians.. The first point is that we need to….

I. Be a Defensive Christian

A. As Christians, we need to keep the enemy, (Satan and his demons), from scoring on us.

1. I can’t tell you how many times I have failed in this area of the game.

2. Every time I feel guilty because of how I acted in certain situations, I allowed the enemy to score, Every time I doubt my calling as a pastor, I allow the enemy to score, Every time I allow my flesh to take control and I lose my Christian bearing, I allow the enemy to score.

3. Bad days in life happen don’t they? But how we react to those bad days is really what is important in this game. Maybe you will find yourself in the following clip?

VIDEO: “Bad Day”

- Ephesians 4:26-27 In your anger do not sin, Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

4. We all have bad days in life. We get angry, we say something that we regret, or do something that we wish we never did. God offers us forgiveness and a brand new start.

5. It is so very easy for us to score one for the other team. We need to keep them from scoring and we also need to…..

II. Be an Encouraging Christian

A. As Christians, we need to hold one another accountable in our Christian walk.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Illustration: Have you ever tried mowing a lawn with dull blades? It doesn’t work too well, and the more you try to do it, the more frustrated you become with the mower.

Every spring you should do maintenance on your lawn mower. One major part of that maintenance is to sharpen the blades. As the blades are sharpened, the nicks, dents, and small cracks that keep the blade from being effective are taken out. The blades become sharpened and useful in doing what they were made to do. I did not do this to my mowers this year and am paying for it now. I have three mowers and all three are broken down.

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