Summary: To share with the listener how the sport of wrestling is much like our Christian life.

Wrestling prepares a person to compete in the game of life. The wrestler is the one athlete that must meet their opponent and do battle completely on their own. No one can substitute and time outs are not possible. You have no one to check, screen, and block or assist you in anyway; there is no one to pass the ball to and no one to blame for your mistakes. When you win, you must display quiet pride and modesty; when you lose the responsibility is yours.

Wrestling is a special sport. In other sports, when contact is made, they blow the whistle and stop the action; in wrestling when contact is made, we’re just getting started.

No sport requires more sacrifice and discipline than wrestling. The individual, through self-denial, offers more of their character, than can ever be explained here. It is something you carry with you throughout your life, and through every trial, test, and tribulation.

Wrestling … truly teaches life skills and values. And today I want to share with you how the sport of wrestling can be related to a true relationship with Jesus.

We started this season with 19 individuals on the team. And here we are a little past the middle of our season with a grand total of 8 wrestlers. Sadly, this is how every season is. We can always count on the fact that we will lose a large number of individuals throughout the season. Some, because of having poor grades, some from injuries, but most of them will not remain because of being released or simply quitting.

You see,

I. Wrestling takes Sacrifices and Commitment.

A. Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is true worship.

1. God call each of us that have joined the so called “Christian Team” to be living sacrifices. But what does this really mean? Many Christians that have given their lives to Him really have no idea what the true meaning is to “live as a sacrifice”.

2. A successful wrestler lives their lives as a sacrifice to the sport in order to be the best they can be. Many people that begin the sport of wrestling really have no idea about all the sacrifices they must take in the sport.

3. One of the biggest sacrifices they make is to weigh a certain amount. This takes both sacrifice and commitment in order to achieve a certain weight. Being careful as to what they put into their bodies is a large sacrifice. No more cake, pie, Mountain Dew, or junk food. All these things do is slow the body up and pack on the pounds. It’s really a huge sacrifice for most.

4. The wrestler sacrifices their bodies to extreme sessions of training in practice and out of practice. Running miles upon miles outside of practice time, avoiding the daily temptations of eating un-healthy, reviewing matches and keeping regular hours of rest.

5. Likewise for the Christian, we must be very cautious as to what we are placing into our lives if it is healthy or not to live as a living sacrifice to God. Once we joined the Christian team we are held to certain standards that we must meet in order to truly live as a Christian.

6. The things in the world in which we use to take into our lives are unhealthy for Christian living. It is vitally important for each of us to stay fit and healthy physically but it is also important for us to keep fit spiritually as well.

7. Each Sunday we gather, this is our practice so to speak. We come here and get knowledge and wisdom and encouragement to place into our lives. Our coach, Jesus Christ demands us to work hard, and it was never said that being a Christian would be easy.

8. If we believe that we can show up to practice each week and go on about our lives not really thinking much more about our walk with Jesus and still excel, we’re wrong.

9. Our commitment isn’t to just show up and go through the motions, it’s to live it out and apply it within all we do. The truth is that it is hard and we are to stay determined and committed to not just ourselves but to our team as well.

II. Wrestling Takes a Team

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

1. This verse speaks volumes about how we live our lives. Most people believe the sport of wrestling as simply an individual sport but it’s much more than that.

2. In order for me to get the most out of our team it takes each individual. I need each one of the wrestlers at the top of their game at all times. Their motivation and presence is highly important. Have you ever tried wrestling by yourself? It just doesn’t work. There are many things for that matter in life that just doesn’t work if you try it alone.

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