Summary: What kind of game are we playing. Is it one God is proud to watch?
1st story: Coach and Joe. Joe was a very special kind of player. He was not a very gifted athlete, had little size or speed to talk about, but he had heart.
We are a very special team; we are in a very important game.
I. Since we are in this important game lets look at God’s word to see how we should play this game.
1PE 1:17 Since you call on a Father, who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
1PE 1:25 but the word of the Lord stands forever."
And this is the word that was preached to you.
We live in a world that has been redeemed, bought back by God with something that will not lose its value like gold or silver, but by the blood of the Lamb that will never lose its power.
1st Story: Joe tried hard to make the team, did whatever he was called on to do. Finally in his senior year he made the dress squad, he rarely got to play, only if it were a blow out, or the other players at his position needed a rest for a play or two.
II. Since we have been redeemed we are now a Royal Priesthood, a holy nation.
1PE 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
We are sent to be an example, we are sent to be light in the darkness, we are sent to teach men and women everywhere of this glorious redemption.
TIT 2:1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Like Joe, we may not have all the gifts, but we are called to use the ones we have for Him.
1st story: It was near the end of the season, things have gone well for the team. They were one game away from winning the National title. They had several weeks to prepare and mysteriously Joe missed several practices before the big game. He finally showed up at the coach’s office. Uncharacteristically Joe made a demand. Coach I have to start in this weeks game he said. This threw the coach, Joe never made any demands before, secondly he made no apologies or excuses for why he missed practice. Ok, Joe had never missed practice in the four years he had been there, maybe I can overlook that, but the demand to start? At his position were the team captain and on the other side was an All-American. The coach said he would get back to Joe about it. The coach prayed about it and decided he would let Joe in on the opening kickoff but that was it. (The Game).