Summary: We get more done when we work together.

The Team

Col 4:10-14; 2 Tim 4:9-16

Col. 4:10-14 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas' cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him); [11] and also Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision; and they have proved to be an encouragement to me. [12] Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. [13] For I bear him witness that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. [14] Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas.

2 Tim. 4:9-16 Make every effort to come to me soon; [10] for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. [11] Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. [12] But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. [13] When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. [14] Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. [15] Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching. [16] At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.

On September 18, 1999 I sat in seat 108 of row 2 in aisle 505 of Wrigley Field. It was a day to remember. I've been to a few major league stadiums through the years, and I've got to tell you, Wrigley is a different experience. First, there is absolutely no parking. We parked close to a mile away and had to walk to the park. Second, the stadium is old. I mean really old. Not rickety old, more like historic old. Really, as I walked through the turnstile, I felt like I was walking into Baseball's Cathedral. Third, Wrigley fans are, well-different. It almost seemed like the baseball game was secondary.

Cubbies are among the most faithful of any fans. It doesn't matter whether their team is winning or losing, they support the team. After watching a game with them, I think it is because they are not really there for the baseball-the beer maybe, but not the game. By and large, people weren't paying much attention to the game. That is, until Sammy Sosa came to the plate.

Vendors stopped selling their goods. Everyone stood, everyone cheered and everyone's eyes were on the field. The atmosphere was electric. Sosa didn't disappoint. He knocked a home run over the fence. It wasn't just any home run, it was the 60th of the season, making Sosa the first slugger to hit sixty or more home runs in two consecutive seasons.

I don't remember who won the game, but I do remember the ball barely clearing the center field fence and Sosa's "home run hop" as he started running toward the record books one more time.

Who would have ever thought that less than a year later Sosa would be named in trade rumors? I guess his skipper doesn't feel Sosa is hustling enough. His glove has never been that great, but there was a time when Sosa worked harder around the base path.

In 1998, he was the National League's Most Valuable Player, in 1999, he was the first person to hit 60 or more home runs in back-to-back seasons and in 2000, he may very well be traded. I always thought Sammy Sosa would become Mr. Cubs like Ernie Banks, but maybe not. How do you interpret Sosa's situation? Some may say, it's a "what have you done for me lately" thing. Maybe so, but I think there is another lesson here. No person is more important than the team.

(Fresh Illustrations .)

Whenever I read Paul's epistles, I get the feel that he was a team player. He wasn't an apostolic superstar, he was an individual that worked toward the good of the team. Sometimes we read through his closing words of epistles quickly, like they don't have any important information in them, but today, let's examine his closing remarks in Colossians and in II Timothy.

Colossians was written about AD 61 at the beginning of Paul's 2-year imprisonment that resulted from his appeal to Caesar. Acts 28:30 says, "And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters, and was welcoming all who came to him," We know that under Roman law, he would either be executed or set free in that 2 years. (ZPEB, p. 654) Since Luke didn't mention an execution, we deduce that he was set free. Luke's record ends here, so we have no authoritative word what happened next.

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