Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Have you prepared for the big game?

I taught last week on how Jesus actually prepared for ministry. He wasn’t born with it. He was fully man and thus had to prepare to be used by God. He studied scripture; he was baptized and received the Holy Spirit; he prayed and fasted; he said no to temptation. (Checkout Luke chapters 2, 3, and 4)

I used the following football team analogy to underscore the importance of our preparation to be used by God:
Player: Hey coach, put me in. I’m ready to play. Come on, let’s go.

Coach: Who are you?

Player: I’m Eric. I’m on the team. Look, I have a team jersey on. I’m ready. Put me in.

Coach: I don’t remember you being on this team. Have you been to practice?

Player: No, but I’m here now and I’m ready to go in.

Coach: I don’t think so. You haven’t been to practice. You are obviously out of shape. I can’t trust you with the ball. I don’t know if you can run, catch, or throw. And finally, you don’t know our playbook and won’t understand a single signal I send you from the side lines. Again, I don’t know who you are, but I can guarantee you that you will not be going into this game. This game is for the championship. Everything is on the line. I am playing those who are ready – those who are prepared. Take a seat.

Jesus prepared himself. Have you prepared yourself? Do you continue to prepare yourself? Are you always in training? You need to be. Don’t be arrogant and think that you can just suit up and play in the big game without the conditioning, practice, training, and knowing the playbook.

God has a role for you in the big game. He wants to give you the ball. Be coachable! Follow the example of the coach and the other successful players who have gone before you; those who have finished well and have been mightily used by God.

Prepare yourself. Study the Word of God; be baptized; listen and respond to the Holy Spirit; pray and fast; and say no to temptation and put off the old ways.

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