“Training Camp 8” By Pastor Joe
"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.
1 Timothy 4:8-10. NLT I'm going to leave this verse at the top of the article. This has always been one of my favorite verses even before thinking about this new set of articles relating to training camp. I've had a number of great counselors and teachers, individuals who have helped me to grow my spiritual life, and all of them have said just about same thing about a very critical part of training: keep the Word of God before you on a regular basis. With repetition over the next number of weeks all of us should begin to embrace this passage into our long-term thinking. There's a lot of interesting “sayings” we hear throughout our life and we sometimes make them part of our own personal repertoire of thoughts we express. We say things like… “what's good for the goose is good for the gander”, “I want that guy in the foxhole with me”, “110%”, “I’m all in”, and many other sayings leaving the impression we are totally committed. What does it mean to be totally committed? A key portion can only be decided by the person knowing their own skill set, physical capabilities, emotional balance, and mental acuity. You are the best judge of your commitment level. God gives each of us the capacity for certain talents, some talents are based on physical parameters (flexibility, height, strength, speed, balance, weight,) no matter what your DNA looks like, each of us need to be fully committed to the advancement of God's kingdom here on earth. Pastor and Evangelist David Ring has Cerebral Palsy but it has not limited him, even though he has a very difficult time communicating. One of his favorite sayings is, “What’s your excuse?” Football season is here and whether it be high school, college or NFL we are engaged as spectators. Clearly, we observe that these individuals have chosen to give a substantial amount of time to be the very best at their skill set. Our anchor scripture says physical training does benefit us, but spiritual training is much more important. What have you done in this season of your life to be more committed than ever to the advancement of the gospel of the Lord Jesus? (Help at Spooner, Donate at TUTBT, Invite a friend to Church, greet a visitor, attend women’s book club, just a few ideas.) There will be a judgment day and we will want to hear the Judge say, “Well done good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of your reward”. It would do us all well to evaluate where we are right now in our commitment to God's kingdom. All NFL teams had nearly 95 players on the roster and now they have 53. (Actually, closer to 75 if you figure their practice squads and those on injured reserve, etc.) Nearly a quarter of the players from each team are no longer on the roster. To even make the beginning roster you must be very talented. You’re the “cream of the crop”, yet in the NFL, there's only so many spaces. How does this correlate to us as followers of Jesus, because the Scriptures are clear that whosoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. That’s true, but we don't want to enter into heaven with just our garment of salvation. We don't want to get into heaven by the skin of our teeth! We want to be fully committed Christians, like those the scriptures talk about in the book of Revelation, who have on Robes of Righteousness. The scriptures declare there are going to be those in different positions of leadership and of recognition, but no one will be jealous because we realize each is rewarded according to their efforts. So, my final question to you is, what do you think will be on your jersey?