The Agony of Defeat

aaronGospel, Life, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

This past Sunday my beloved Packers lost a heart breaking playoff game in overtime.  The game was filled with ups and downs throughout–a game that was incredibly exciting to watch.

Without question sports can dominate much of our time, energy, and even our money.  You can hardly go any where without seeing someone wearing a hat or shirt displaying their favorite team’s logo.    Year after year Americans spend millions upon millions of dollars on tickets and apparel in their attempt to be the best fan they can be.

As a Christian, sports can either do one of two things.  Sports can either ruin one’s Christian testimony and joy, or it can be a means of grace and a way to further glorify God.  I am sad to say that for years my week was dependent upon the outcome of the weekend’s game.  If my team won I was on cloud nine; on the other hand if they lost, I was down in the dumps.  Although, admittedly at times, I still put way too much emotion into watching a game, I am learning that one can bring glory to God, even in sports.

So how does a Christian watch sports in a God honoring way?  I think it all revolves around your heart and mind set.  When we watch sports it can be absolutely amazing what athletes can do.  I am amazed at how fast some athletes can run, or jump, or the strength that they hold.  While it is natural to give the athletes praise for their abilities, how much more praise should God receive for creating mankind who is capable of such actions.  God has such creativity that is worthy of our worship.

We also need to ground our joy in Christ and not in the outcome of a game.  Despite what many fans think, a loss is not the end of the world.  God is still good and in control even if your team loses the big game.  While you may be heartbroken by the loss it should not effect who you are or your attitude.

I think it is important to see sports as a great means of evangelism.  If you are a sports nut like myself use your love for sports to get to know others with the intentions of  directing the conversation to the gospel.   Take your neighbor who is not a Christian to the game or have him over to watch it with you on TV.  Use sports as a bridge to get involved in peoples’ lives.  Just as Paul became “all things to all men”, as Christians we need to use sports as an avenue to spread the gospel.

Finally, I would encourage you to read the book “Game Day for the Glory of God” by Stephen Altrogge.  I found this book very helpful as I desire to channel my passion for sports into greater passion of our great God.

I pray that during the next game or next season you grow in God’s grace and experience a deeper level of his joy.

aaronLifeLeave a Comment

The year 2010 marks a year of much excitement yet much uncertainty for my family and me.  This past weekend we arrived in Madison as we begin our church planting ministry.  From all accounts church planting can be incredibly rewarding and exciting but also incredibly difficult and draining.  We have many questions–how will we start the church?  Who will help us?  Will anyone come?

I am sure as the new year starts you too have questions concerning the future.  The economy is still down, jobs are still being cut, terrorism is once again front page news, and on and on.  Without question we live in a most uncertain world, a world that offers us no real hope.  If you take away death and taxes there it would seem that their is nothing we can count on.

However, despite the uncertainty this life seems to offer, the Scriptures are clear that there is always one thing that is constant–the Lord Jesus Christ.  One of my favorite verses in the Bible declares Jesus to be “the same yesterday, and today and forever.”  The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote this to a group of 1st century Christians who were looking in the face of looming persecution.  The author uses this letter to not only show how Jesus is the great fulfillment of the Old Testament but also their only true hope in whom they can put their faith.

As the year 2010 begins let us hold to the truth that despite what life throws at us this year we can be assured that our Great God will always be consistent.  Let this truth guide our prayer lives, fuel our passion for the spread of the Gospel, and be our greatest assurance.  Let your hope this year “be built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”.