Summary: God has called us to work as a team like the early church

We’re all on the same team

Team Spirit Day

Today is team spirit day and as a Church or should I say as the Body of Christ we are a Team, Team Jesus. “ Give me a J” We can look around and see many different teams represented here with the different Jerseys we have on, but in the Body of Christ there is only one team and Jesus is the head of the body.

In the church today we see many different denominations, yet that’s not what we see in the Bible with the early Church. They worked as one or should I say one accord to get the work of the kingdom done.

In Baseball you have different position, like the picture, catcher, well you know what, I’m going to have a couple guys who are experts in this area explain the different positions in baseball.

Video, Abbott & Costello: Who’s on First?

The book of Acts the 5th book of the N.T. and the history of the early church shows us a team. They might not have known how good of a team they were, but History has shown it. From these few people the gospel has gone around the world.

Every team has an owner and the owner of our team is our Father God, we have a captain on this team, and His name is Jesus Christ, and we have a coach on this team and His name is the Holy Spirit.

We need to know that were on one team and when each of us does our part, the Job got done.

1 Corinthians 12:12-25 (NKJV)

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?

18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.

21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."

22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.

23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,

24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,

25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

Think of that, The Head of the body Jesus cannot say to the lowest part of the body, I don’t need you. How much more us.

Because of this attitude of team work or oneness, you see statements in the Book of Acts Like:

Acts 2:40-42 (NKJV)

40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation."

41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Acts 2:47 (NKJV)

47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Acts 5:14 (KJV)

14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)

Acts 6:7 NKJV

7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Acts 9:31 (NKJV)

31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Acts 11:24 (KJV)

24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

Acts 12:24 (NKJV)

24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

You notice that we see 2 words here, Added and Multiplied. I don’t see the word divide.

The reason for that is because of the churches Unity.

God is not into division:

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)

16 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,

18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,

19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

Throughout the book of Acts we see this statement “One Accord” and that’s what held the church together.

One Accord means with one Heart, One Mind, one attitude. Doesn’t mean that every word that they said was the same, but that they were one in spirit

Acts 1:14 (NKJV)

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Acts 2:1 (NKJV)

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Acts 2:46 (NKJV)

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

Acts 4:24 (NKJV)

24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: "Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,

Acts 5:12 (NKJV)

12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.

Acts 8:6 (NKJV)

6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

Acts 15:25 (NKJV)

25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

As we the Body of Christ, Position ourselves to Him, to walk in unity and oneness, we are going to see a move of God like never before.

I want to close today and talk about this Jersey that I have brought.

Mickey Mantle

The #7 is for the Mick, or Mickey Mantle, who played for the New York Yankees.

Why do I bring this out about Mickey Mantle. Well 1st of all without a team playing with Him Mick would have won zero World Series. But because of a team effort Mickey played in 12 World Series, and won 7 World Championships.

And because of a team effort they won 113 and only lost 54 in 1961.

2nd. Because of a certain player on his team, who let his light shine, Mick might not be in heaven today. Here’s the story.

Remember, it wasn’t how Mick started his life but how he finished it.

You might have read the stories how Mick would come to games drunk, He had a problem with alcohol and it cost him his life.

Mickey Charles Mantle (The Mick)

Born: October 20, 1931

Died: August 13, 1995 (Aged 63)

Some of his awards

1956 Major League Player of the Year

1956 AL MVP

1956 AL Triple Crown

1957 AL MVP

1962 AL MVP

1965 ML Hutch Award

He was one of the most compelling athletic heroes in American history. Long after he’d hung up his fabled pin striped uniform, grown men would stammer and stutter in his presence and faithful fans would pay outlandish prices for his memorabilia. His achievements were many, but they cannot explain his enduring popularity. His legion of admirers felt a deep emotional attachment to this man who moved with such fluid grace and raw power. They loved Mickey mantle.

His statistics are staggering--536 home runs, 1,509 RBIs, .298 career batting average, seven world championships, and three MVP awards--and they are all the more impressive when we consider how the Hall of Famer courageously battled chronic, painful injuries during his 18 years with the New York Yankees. In addition, he won the Triple Crown in 1956--a .353 batting average, 52 HRs, and 130 RBIs. In 1961, he hammered 54 homers, just six shy of Babe Ruth’s record.

But these numbers pale when compared to what happened in the harsh summer of ’95 when his heart took over in that desperate final inning. Faced with an aggressive cancer, he displayed incredible courage, humility, even humor as he battled for his life. And when he chose to drag his frail body in front of a mass of microphones and address the public, there was not a trace of self-pity in his words--only heartfelt pleas to avoid the mistakes he had made. "Don’t be like me," he humbly declared, "I’m no role model!" But despite his flaws, Mantle remained a hero to his multitude of fans, and due to his honesty gained many new ones.

At age 19, Mickey Mantle left the lead mines of Oklahoma for the bright lights of New York City. Unfortunately, those lights cast an eerie shadow over his life. After Mickey’s first season, his father, Mutt Mantle, died of Hodgkins disease at 40. His grandfather and two of his uncles also died to the same disease before their 40th birthdays. As a result, a growing fear of dying young haunted the budding superstar. He would talk long into the night with close teammates, confiding to them this nagging fear.

Convinced an early funeral was his fate, though often joking about it, he played hard and partied even harder. For him there was no tomorrow. Tragically, this attitude led to a 40-year bout with alcohol that caused his body to grow older before its time and clouded his mind. Many criticized his self-destructive lifestyle, saying it sabotaged the greatest combination of power and speed the game had ever seen. In autumn of his life, Mantle came to agree with those critics, admitting that his drug of choice, alcohol, kept him from reaching his full potential--as a player and a person. Mickey Mantle had learned the hard lesson that a man reap what he sows.

Finally in 1994, at the urging of his family and friends, Mickey Mantle sought help for his addiction. After checking himself into the Betty Ford Center, he was able to win his long battle with the bottle. But he knew something was still missing in his life. He just wasn’t sure what it was.

In June of ’95, doctors discovered that cancer had destroyed Mantle’s liver. He was fortunate to receive a transplant, and for a while it seemed as if the greatest switch hitter of all time would live to fight another day. Then doctors found that cancer remained in his body, and he began chemotherapy. Mickey knew he was facing death. During the All-Star break in Dallas, he picked up the phone and called his old friend and teammate, former Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson--a committed Christian. Mickey asked him to pray for him over the telephone. A few weeks later when the doctors had discovered that the cancer aggresively spread, Mickey’s family asked Bobby if he would come visit him.

His death was imminent. After entering the hospital room, Richardson went over to Mantle’s bed and took his hand. Locking his eyes on him, Bobby said, "Mickey, I love you, and I want you to spend eternity in heaven with me." Mantle smiled said, "Bobby, I’ve been wanting to tell you that I have trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior." Faced with the crushing weight of his sin against a holy God and its dire consequence-- eternal seperation from God--Mickey had asked for and received the forgiveness he so desperately needed. For Richardson, news of his conversion felt like cool rain after a summer drought, and brought tears to his eyes. For years, he had talked to Mickey about the Lord Jesus, but to no avail. Now, in the final inning of his life, the Mick had won his greatest victory--more glorious than any of his tape measured home runs.

When asked later how he knew he would spend eternity with God in heaven, Mickey, after some reflection, quoted John 3:16 from the Bible: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

At Mickey’s funeral, Bobby Richardson told 2,000 mourners and a national TV audience that there are only two groups of people: those who say "yes" to Christ and those who say "no". He added that, since none of us knows when he will face his own final inning, saying "maybe" is really saying "no". The Bible confirms this when it says, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him" (John 3:36).

As I close this service, I thank God for the team we have here at CFFC, but the most important team or most important thing that we can do in life is to make sure that were on God’s team. I want to ask, if you have never made Jesus the lord of your life.