One of the things I used to love to do as a coach, was to actually jump into the scrimmages with the players and break a sweat… as a player I remember the coaches that invested in my life on and off the court. I have heard it mentioned many times about how much influence a coach has on a player due to the amount of time spent in practices, games, travel, etc. Bottom line is that mentors are most successful when they spend time in the game with their proteges…
This past weekend I heard a great description about how
God spoke everything into being except man… with man he got in the mud to make
the male and then reached in his side and got in the blood to make the female…
The God of the universe created us very intimately to be in a relationship with
Him. (Thanks, Greg Stier for that reminder…)
Taking it a bit farther, we messed up that relationship and
God again stepped in so intimately that He took on flesh and became a man (John
1:14) and experienced what we experience… He got in the game with us…
understands and even sympathizes with us (Hebrews 4:15.)
We should be taking advantage of the fact that God is ‘in
the game” with us… recognizing His presence throughout our day… even boldly
going to Him (Hebrews 4:6.)
This is the basis of our confidence and motivation to
stand strong (hold fast – Hebrews 4:14.) And it is the pattern of how we should
spend time / function as the body of Christ. I am convinced that we don’t have
near enough mentors… most church emphasis is on peer-to-peer ministry… yet the
Scriptures call for old men to mentor / coach young men and old women to mentor
/ coach younger women. There is even the reminder to be a “pattern of good
works” to them… and to be a pattern one must be “in the game” with them… (Titus
“The game” needs more good coaches! God is a great coach!
Saturday, October 5, 2019
For almost 25 years I have been serving with InBounds Ministries and been blessed through our athletic platform to present Christ as the Substitute God sent into the game of life for us… I love getting to encourage people to throw up a fist to The Coach when realizing they need a Sub…
So, what is a substitute? That may sound like a stupid question, but it is one that has to be asked. This is a central truth to the core of the Gospel itself… many will claim agree with me on that statement, but yet proclaim a message that doesn’t understand what a substitute is…
Imagine with me that a player called for a sub, the coach sent one to check in… Upon the sub checking in, what does the player that is subbed for do? He goes out of the game; the sub did not come to give him strength or encouragement or to get him to play better… the sub took his place!!!
Any so called Gospel message that requires that a player stay on the floor to play better, misses the substitutionary principal of the Gospel: For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) The Gospel is completely about Christ taking our place! When we trust (believe) in that, the Bible declares us saved! (“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” – the words of Jesus, found in John 6:47)
Some will scream at me, “It can’t be that easy! That is cheap grace!” To which I answer, “You just changed the Gospel by claiming that I am not asking people to spend enough for salvation… you questioned to validity of the cost. That is the beauty of the Gospel, it is about Jesus paying the whole price! The true Gospel is not cheap… it is free… that is what grace means!
Once we are “saved” we are then encouraged to still live by faith… trusting God’s Word… living according to God’s Word… I believe that is how we allow Christ to live through us. Christ was described as “the Word (that) became flesh” and we are told in Galatians 2:20 that “Christ lives in me (us), and the life which I (we) now live in the flesh I (we) live by faith in the Son of God.” So logically how the “Living Word” can lie through us, is by allowing His written Word to guide us.
As the Substitute, Christ did not come to play alongside us or to give us a self-improvement plan, but to He came to:
Play for us! – that is justification (salvation)….
and to Play through us!… - that is sanctification!
What does the word substitute mean to you? Have you first trusted in what Christ did for you? Second, do you trust His Word allowing Him to live through you?
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus… sweetest name I know!