Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015 - Game-Changers (Difference-Makers)

It’s a new year… and I am betting you have at least thought about resolutions even if you didn’t officially write them down. We all think about what it is we feel will make us feel better physically, emotionally, and maybe even spiritually.

May I encourage you this New Year to commit to having a game-changer mentality?

Let me describe a few different types of players for you:

I have coached some players that to be honest didn’t even want to get in the game. They were content going through the practices for the exercise and camaraderie of the team; but when it came time to step out on the court in the game they weren’t so eager… and when facing really strong opponents seemed to be hiding on the bench. (Many Christians love the spiritual exercise and camaraderie of the church but shrink when it comes to really getting out into the game of life.)

Then you have those players that get in the game and just stand there. (I am reminiscing about times spent yelling onto the court. “Move!”) They tend to run to a spot and stand with their arms at their sides, not in a ready position. Or maybe they just go through the motions and run the designed pattern of the play while not even looking at the guy with the ball to receive a pass. In the sports world I would tell the players you have to “show”, or in other words make sure your teammates see you if you expect to get the ball. (May I just lovingly scream something to Christians? “MOVE!”)

1 Corinthians tells us to always be abounding in the work of the Lord… (15:58)

James tells us that if we know to do good and don’t do it, it is sin… (4:17)

Some players are very dependable. They will learn the plays; they will make the designed pass; they will take the shots that are designed for them; they will box-out for rebounds; they will go where they are supposed to go and do what they are asked to do. They feel they understand their purpose on the floor; but it is easy to be a player that does this and lacks passion. Often these players struggle when the game is not going as planned. (To the believers that are faithful… Thank You! But do a self-check. Are you just going through motions or are you driven and passionate about the game of life?)

Then there are the game-changers that step on the floor fully intending to disrupt the opponent’s plans and fully intending to change the course of the game. They make hard cuts and call for the ball; they dive for loose balls; they don’t just box out but instead pursue rebounds; everyone knows they are on the floor…

When the opponent grits his teeth and proclaims, “I’m gonna bust you up!” They respond with
“Go for it!” (I love that scene in Rocky 4! – Or the quote from Rocky Balboa that said “’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward!”)

Rocky is an example of the “whatever-attitude” I mentioned earlier. What I don’t mean by that term is a passionless apathetic person… but instead the opposite. The “whatever-attitude” of a game-changer is this:

“I am so focused on my goal… whatever you do to me… whatever life does to me… whatever the enemy does to me… I’m moving forward and making a difference!”

The Apostle Paul had this… through beatings and imprisonment he had joy and contentment because he had purpose and passion! He had a “whatever-attitude”!

In Philippians 1:12 he states that all the bad stuff that had happened simply helped further the Gospel. He states that some were against him and even using the preaching of the Gospel for selfish gain and to add harm to him (vs 16.) But then he gets to the attitude… in verse 18 he asks, “What then?” (In other words… what I am going to do about this bad stuff that has come my way?) And he answers that he will rejoice because Christ is being preached!

I could spend multiple weeks just talking about Paul’s attitude that is displayed in this book but it is summed up in his statement in vs 21: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

He was sold out and all in to his goal of sharing Christ! He was a game-changer… everywhere he went… wherever he was chained… whatever came his way… he shared Christ!

Are you sold out and all in to your goals? What are your goals? Do they at all reflect the Apostle Paul’s pattern for living?

This year let’s disrupt the enemy’s plan!
This year let’s commit to sharing the Gospel… whatever comes our way!
Lets’ be game-changers!
Let’s Go MAD (Make A Difference)!

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