October 9, 2017

It’s Monday again and I forgot it’s . . . Columbus Day!! Actually I didn’t realize anyone even celebrated Columbus Day anymore until I drove by the school and no one was there. I figured it had probably been deemed politically incorrect but I’m sure I’ll read about that somewhere today. Have a great day and look for those relationship opportunities to share your faith!!

I’m pretty sure I have talked about this subject before so forgive me for bringing it up again. But over the weekend both of my football teams lost and it really made me stop and think . . . again . . . about the role of sports in my life and in the lives of many Americans. Think about how much time and energy and money is spent on sports in America. I read an article that said last year Americans spent over $100 Billion on sports with over half of that spent on sporting events. I often wonder if that is money well-spent or not and of course I lean towards the idea that it’s a little out of control. I understand that we all need some hobbies and diversions and entertainment in life so don’t misunderstand. I love football as much as the next red-blooded American. But we could all imagine better ways to spend that money. And can’t we all agree that we are past the point of sports being too big of a part of our culture? Again, I love to talk about my teams (when they win) and I enjoy sitting down and watching games (when they win – see a pattern?) but as the old saying goes, “too much of a good thing can be bad.”

When I was younger I used to be much more heavily invested in my sports teams on an emotional level. A loss by my team could leave me depressed for days or longer. As a kid I can even remember running into my room and crawling under my bed and crying when my team lost (OK, so maybe that happened again Saturday, I’m not saying). But has the thought ever run through your mind that goes something like this, “God, if you really love me you will help my team win today” or maybe “God, you know how tough my week has been, it would be more than I could bear if my team lost this game.” Ha. I’m sure none of you have ever prayed to God to ask for him to help your team win. That would be incredibly selfish. Think about all the people on the other side who are praying for their team? What is God supposed to do in that case? Is He supposed to help the team that has more people praying for them?

The real problem is our level of obsession. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.” 1 John also tells us not to love the world or the things of this world. We have to be careful about where we put our affections. When we allow sports to have too big of a place in our hearts then God gets lost in the shuffle. Here are a few interesting questions I found that might be good for all of the sports fanatics out there:

Do you spend more time watching sporting events than you do on spiritual disciplines (i.e. reading the Bible, evangelism, prayer, etc.)?
Do you know more about the life and career of LeBron James than that of the apostle Paul?
Are you more familiar with the latest sports statistics than you are with biblical doctrines and how to defend them?
Have you ever given as much attention to anything relevant to your Christian life as you have in following the record of your favorite teams?
Do you think about the Sunday evening 'game' when you are at church?
Is it easy for you to be conversant with a friend about recent sports developments within minutes of being dismissed from the supposedly 'life-changing' Sunday morning service?
Do you believe that you will be rewarded in heaven for your commitment to staying up-to-date on the details of sports competitions?

Now those weren’t my questions but they are a little convicting. Of course I say all this on a Monday after my teams all lost so it makes it a little easier for me to step back and take a fresh look at things. Hopefully God won’t make your team lose (ha) for you to examine your own heart and life!

I also wanted to commend our Church Staff to you today. We had an amazing meeting all day Saturday and I loved the energy and enthusiasm of this group of people. Their commitment to God and to this church is something that should encourage every member. I hope you will pray for them and love them today! They are all working hard for the Kingdom!!

And lastly, let me remind those of you who are local about our Missions Conference coming up this Saturday and Sunday, October 14-15. We will begin at 6:00 PM on Saturday night with a free dinner and some quality time with our missionaries. I hope you will make plans now to be there for a night of Missions. Also, come check out our newly remodeled Fellowship Hall.

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?


P.S. Can you say BLOCK PARTY?!? Join us this coming Sunday, October 15th @ 5:00 PM at the Union Square Apartments!