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Time Out: Get in the game

Topic / Time Out

Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)

Since the 1990s, football has surpassed baseball as the most popular spectator sport in the U.S. The 32-team National Football League (NFL) is the most popular professional league. Its championship game, the Super Bowl, is watched by nearly half of US television households, and is also televised in over 150 other countries. College football is also popular. College games are widely televised with millions of viewers. Yet despite the large numbers of people who enjoy watching football, it like other sports was created to be played, not watched. Football is not supposed to be a spectator sport. The real benefit and enjoyment comes not from watching others participate but by getting involved ones self.

The Christian life is that way as well. Living for Jesus isn’t a spectator sport, although many Christians have taken themselves off the field and watch others from the sidelines. But that’s not the way to really benefit. Each one needs to pick their side, get dressed (put on the pads/armor) and get in the game. Sure, you’ll get bumped around some and you’ll get dirty, but football is a game to be played, not just watched.

Perhaps there was a time when you were really living for Jesus. You read the Bible and prayed each day, talked to others about Him, were involved in your local church – and loved every minute of it. But it got hard and you got banged up a bit, so now you find yourself on the sidelines watching others take on the enemy for God’s sake. Or perhaps you got busy doing other things and you got distracted and before you knew it you were on the sidelines. It’s time to get back in the game! There’s not much time left on the clock so make the most of it. You know you’re on the winning team. So get in the game!

Scripture
Joshua 24:14-15, “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Reflect

  • How does your commitment as a young Christian compare to your commitment now? Have you faded and taken yourself out of the game? Spend some time asking yourself why. Be honest with yourself.
  • Being in the ministry doesn’t mean you are really in the game. It’s easy to fake it. Are there any areas in your life where you have withdrawn from living as God would have you?
  • What do you need to do to get back in the game in that area?
  • What can you say to a friend who is watching from the sidelines?

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Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!


Posted on December 14, 2008

  • I respectfully disagree. I’d much rather watch those guys beat the crap out of each other than play it. I’d be up for some touch or flag football, though. :)

  • I see myself more at this stage in the game as an assistant coach; taking leadership from the Senior Coach but working both independently & cooperatively with his knowledge/input. While I agree personally I feel at times out of the game, I still think sideline work is part of how I actually am part of the game. Does working actively on the sidelines mean I'm still a valid part of the game or am I just fooling myself? This is a serious question. Thanks.

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