Category Archives: Devotional

A Few Thoughts About The Gospel

gospel
Here are a couple of thoughts about the Gospel that I have found very helpful:
“The gospel is not a set of instructions.  It is an announcement.” Tim Keller?

“The gospel is not just a set of propositional truths. It is first and foremost a story, THE STORY.”

“The overall drama of Scripture forms a single plot whose main twists and turns nonetheless converge remarkably on a main theme.” N.T. Wright

“We usually read the Bible as a series of disconnected stories each with a moral for how we should live our lives. It is not. Rather, it comprises a single story…” Tim Keller

“We will never begin to understand our lives and ministries or what this so-called gospel is that Christianity speaks of until we understand the story in which we have found ourselves.” John Eldredge

“[The Gospel] is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight…This is the fairy tale of the Gospel with of course one crucial different from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that is it true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept happening ever since and is happening still.” Frederick Buechner

How about you? What have been some good thoughts you have for the Gospel

Submitted By Ken Cross, Executive Director, Sports Chaplains Network

“Frog a Day”

“Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.” -Unknown

Have you ever had one of those times in your life when you think, nothing worse can happen to me and then it does? Pretty soon you find yourself waiting, even expecting, the next bad thing to happen!

It becomes really dangerous when we get into a downward twisting spiral that takes us from one adversity to the next. What can stop this roller coaster of life? Will eating a frog each morning give us a brighter outlook on the day ahead?

What does God’s Word say?:

If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! Proverbs 24:10

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. Ecclesiastes 7:14

See, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have tested you in the furnace of adversity. Isaiah 48:10

May I be real with you? I get tired of God refining me. I appreciate His desire to make me a better man, but I won’t be heart broken if I never feel the heat of the furnace of adversity again.

Yet I know my only hope of ever reaching the depths of spiritual maturity, that I see in other Godly men and truly desire for myself, is through life’s adversities. There are days I wonder if spiritual maturity is worth the price. Maybe being a superficial, pseudo-spiritual man would be enough.

The older I get the more I realize contentment only comes as we grow in our faith and love for Christ. And our faith and love grows exponentially within the arena of adversity. Even if you opt to skip the frog and cheese omelet this morning, know that God wants to deepen you, He wants to mold you and He wants to refine you. Don’t be scared to face the furnace of adversity, it sure beats eating a frog! Just a thought!

By WhoUWith? Ministries

For more about WhoUWith? check out their website @ http://www.whouwith.com/

 

 

The Gospel Is…

By Bob Schindler, Director of Church Sports Outreach (CSO)

Here are a couple of thoughts about the Gospel that I have found very helpful:gospel

“The gospel is not a set of instructions.  It is an announcement.”  Tim Keller

The gospel is not just a set of propositional truths.  It is first and foremost a story, THE STORY.”

“The overall drama of Scripture forms a single plot whose main twists and turns nonetheless converge remarkably on a main theme.”  N.T. Wright

“We usually read the Bible as a series of disconnected stories each with a moral for how we should live our lives.  It is not.  Rather, it comprises a single story…”  Tim Keller

We will never begin to understand our lives and ministries or what this so-called gospel is that Christianity speaks of until we understand the story in which we have found ourselves.”  John Eldredge

[The Gospel] is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight…This is the fairy tale of the Gospel with of course one crucial different from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that is it true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept happening ever since and is happening still.”  Frederick Buechner

How about you?  What have been some good thoughts you have for the Gospel?

 

 

Together

“There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.” –Lyndon Johnson

How do you tackle tough times in your life? How do you deal with the obstacles of life? Have you found it easier to go it alone? Or, do those around you help you make it through?

There have been times in my life when I tired to handle a situation on my own. I can remember telling myself, “No need to bother anybody with this deal”, or “Thanks God, but I can handle this one on my own.”

Why is it so hard to get the job done alone? A better question might be, why would we want to try to get it done alone? Pride, searching for personal significance, unwilling to trust those around you, arrogance, etc.

What does God’s Word say?:
For where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

God never intended for us to go it alone! That is why Moses had Aaron and Joshua, Paul had Timothy and even Jesus had Peter, James and John. And guess who we have, Jesus! He promises to never leave us nor forsake us.

Swallow that pride and let others help you. It’s called being a team or a family! Let go of that arrogance and trust Christ to lead you through whatever problem you are facing today! Just a thought!

WhoUWith? Ministries

For more about WhoUWith? check out our website.

Website: http://www.whouwith.com/

Follow Lance on Twitter: @BroBWhoUWith
email: lance@whouwith.com

 

 

The One Thing That is Sure to Kill Your Ministry

What is the one thing that will kill your ministry faster than anything else?

PRIDE.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has a passing familiarity with the Proverbs. There is nothing that kills effective ministry faster than pride (even if that ministry seems to be thriving on the outside). Consider the following:

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18)

Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. (Prov. 21:4)

“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride. (Prov. 21:24)

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. (Prov. 8:13)

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Prov. 11:12)

Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. (Prov. 18:12)

One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. (Prov. 29:23)

Seven times in these passages, God’s Word says the same thing:

Pride is an abomination.
It leads to destruction.
It brings disgrace.
It humiliates.
It is hated by God.

We dare not pass over these words quickly. If God truly hates pride this much, then we must consider our actions in the face of criticism and in light of success. If we follow the wisdom of Scripture we see that seeking celebrity will kill our ministries. Bad company will kill our ministries. And failing to listening to wise counsel will kill our ministries.

Do we get the picture, yet?

To be proud in ministry is to jeopardize our ministry—to risk God, in his loving kindness, humiliating us if we start foolishly believing that the number of people who show up matters, how many copies of our books are sold or that we’re above being corrected (even by nobodies who apparently attend Star Trek conventions and live in their moms’ basements). Brothers in ministry, let this never be said of you. Surround yourself with godly men who love you enough to tell you the truth, accept criticism well and fear God above all else. Wisdom and humility will save our ministries—pride will destroy them.

*Blog provided by SCN’s sister ministry, Church Sports Outreach and its director, Bob Schindler*

 

 

Vision

Chapel – Vision

1 – Your coaching staff and your senior leaders have a vision for your team. To be champions is a vision worth believing in and pursuing.

2 – Habakkuk 2:2-3 (read the text)
• Record the vision…
o Write it down.
o Talk about it with your teammates.
o How would you keep a vision like this in front of you?
• For an appointed time… Destiny.
o Do you have a sense that we’re on a track toward being a great team? That comes with vision.
• The vision is on the move without fail.
o What are some indicators of progress toward this goal for your team?
• It is certain…even if delayed.
o The delay has been long.
o Now it’s time to see the vision fulfilled.

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Team Unity

Chapel – Team Unity

1 – Competitions like this one require tremendous team unity. Each one must bring his/her best to make the team all it can be.

2 – Think for a moment about how diverse your team is:
• Size
• Strength
• Background
• Ethnicity
• Skill sets
• Personalities

3 – Think about how the team is diminished if any one of you is at less than 100%.

4 – Think about how the team’s personality on the floor changes with each substitution. You are not interchangeable parts in a machine.

5 – Think about the factors which unify such a diverse set of people. These are most important.

6 – Ephesians 4:4-7 (read the text)
• One body / one Spirit / one hope of calling
• One Lord / one faith / one baptism
• One God / one Father
• Over all, through all, in all…
• But each one was given grace as a gift.
• Each one is uniquely gifted. All united, but not all the same.

7 – Today, your team will be most successful when each one brings the best of his/her unique giftedness to a unified effort with the whole team.
• You will be very good today as you play as one.
• Unified in purpose
• Unified in values
• Unified in strategy
• Unified in heart

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Suffering and Success

Chapel – Suffering and Success

1 – This is the sort of situation a competitor dreams about.
• We’re playing for a championship.
• All the events of this season and our combined character have lead us to this day.

2 – Suffering and success – they go together.
• Throughout this season we have experienced plenty of suffering.
o Injuries, infections, illnesses
o Disappointing losses
o Players lost to other issues
• We have also experienced great success.
o Big wins on the road
o Players winning awards
o Come from behind wins
o Great achievements by the coaching staff
o A conference championship
• Suffering and success have been closely linked. That is normal and even proper.

3 – I see a similar situation in Romans 8:18 (read the text aloud).
• By comparison, the suffering is far surpassed by the success!
• The enduring success totally eclipses momentary suffering.

4 – Examples from this team’s life:
• The pain of pre-season conditioning is far outweighed by the thrill of powerful second-half comebacks.
• The worry and anxiety related to a teammate’s illness or injury is greatly surpassed by the joy of seeing him restored to our team.
• The discomfort from injuries, concussions, infections, and illness pales in comparison when laid along side the victory we’ll achieve this evening.

5 – I encourage you to view this day’s pain and suffering as investments in the victory that awaits us. Make those investments again today and we’ll celebrate our success together.

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Strength and Courage

Chapel – Strength and Courage

1 – Today’s contest will require strength and courage for us to finish the day with a victory.

2 – Strength and courage are character qualities required for all of life and especially for competition.
• Joshua 1:9 (read the text aloud).

3 – Be strong
• Strong of mind (focus well and tune out crowd noise)
• Strong of body (prepare to finish the contest strongly)
• Strong of soul (to deal well with momentum swings)

4 – Be courageous
• Before a strong opponent (skilled, strong…)
• Before a hostile crowd (tune out distractions)
• Before difficult conditions (noise, trash talk…)

5 – Wherever you go
• You have competed well on the road
o Game at ….
o Game at …
o Game at …
• Today in __________ let’s compete strongly.

6 – The challenge for today is to:
• Be strong
• Be courageous
• Believe in your team and its destiny
• Compete like a champion and you’ll be one

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org

 

 

Servant Leadership

Chapel – Servant Leadership

1 – Today’s competition will require a tremendous amount of leadership for us to be victorious. It will require a unique type of leadership.

2 – This kind of leadership is best described in Mark 10:42-45 (read the text aloud).
• This is not the usual kind of leadership – it’s not about power or position.
• To be a great leader – make those close to you better.
o Communicate well
o Lead your unit
• To be the best leaders – make your whole team better.
o Even those who annoy you
o Even those outside your responsibility
o Even the coaches
• To be a Christ-like leader – sacrifice for the team’s greatest good.
o Sacrifice playing time to further a younger player’s development
o Play through pain
o Submit to the game plan
o Press through difficult situations
o Free your teammates to become all they were created to be

3 – Lead strongly today
• Be great leaders
• Be the best leaders
• Be Christ-like leaders

This resource provided by Roger D. Lipe
lipe@earthlink.net
www.sifca.org