Get In The Game!

"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."

Hebrews 10:25

I laughed out loud when I read Pastor Greg's devotional as a million memories raced through my mind. I grew up in a very athletic minded home and the analogy he made regarding how people approach church in comparison to sporting events I could easily relate. I enjoyed playing not watching sports and I would not have cared how far away my dad or mom would have to park from the venue. To be honest, I never even thought about how uncomfortable the seat was (I couldn’t sit still), and the last thing I cared about was if the coach was talking to me because I knew if the coach was talking me that meant I was not in the game. Yes, loved one, I learned early on in my life being a spectator is not the greatest joy in sports, being in the game where the action is where you want to be.  

As you read Pastor Greg's devotional for today keep in mind, loved one, God created us to "get in the game”, to be participants not spectators in the Gospel. The Christian faith is an active faith. I’m not even sure it has a sideline? Don't make excuses why you are not actively involved in serving the local church, don't look for reasons to get out of what you were Born Again to get into, what Jesus gave His very life for. The church that Jesus died for, is a team, a family that meets regularly together, that studies the playbook (the Bible), enjoys getting together to share Jesus love, and the breaking of bread is made up of both meals and communion, praying with and for one another that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  

When you really think about it there are four plays in God's playbook, and no excuse we could offer will satisfy the Lord as to why these practices don't make up our daily lives. Like my friend and fellow pastor, Rich reminds me, "don't compartmentalize your faith, live each day, live every moment, make every decision and choice you make based upon pleasing the heart of our Heavenly Father." That's not only getting in the game, that's winning!

"Excuses Not Reasons"
Greg Laurie

A reason is what we offer when we are unable to do something, while an excuse is what we offer when we don't want to do something and want to get out of it. And people offer a lot of excuses as to why they can't go to church.

Yet I look at the commitment that sports fans have—how they will go and support their team, no matter what. No matter what the circumstances or weather conditions, they will root their team on. They will dress in the team colors and even paint their faces. And when their team scores, they will yell in their excitement.

What if people were like that in church—never missing a service, never missing an opportunity to worship? And what if people offered the same reasons for not going to sporting events as they do for not going to church? Think how stupid it would sound: "Yeah, I don't go to the games anymore. The people who sat around me didn't seem all that friendly. And it is so crowded. There are just too many people." Or, "The seats were too uncomfortable." Or, "It is too hard to find a parking place." Or, "The coach never personally came and talked to me."

Or how about these excuses? "Well, I read a book on this sport, and I think I know more than the coach anyway." Or, "My parents took me to a lot of games when I was growing up, so I just don't want to go anymore."

I doubt you would ever hear these excuses for missing a sporting event, yet these are things people say about why they don't go to church. They may have a lot of excuses to offer, but none of them are reasons."

"I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the Lord."

Psalms 122:1

Michael Osthimer

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