Rick McClain Deaf Missions Council Bluffs, Iowa. Series: Sports Link Sermon: 4 of 5 Date: September 23, 2007 FOOTBALL DISCIPLINE

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1 Rick McClain Deaf Missions Council Bluffs, Iowa Series: Sports Link Sermon: 4 of 5 Date: September 23, 2007 FOOTBALL DISCIPLINE Oh! Hi! Come on in and join me. I am glad to have you here at my home. Feel free to sit on the seat by me and we can discuss the Bible. You can discuss with me about the Bible if you want. Let s find a place to sit. My name is Rick McClain. I have been working and have a lot experience in football, my favorite sport. Oh, do you want to discuss football? Sure I will discuss this with you, as I have been playing football for the last 38 years. I want to encourage and help you to learn more about football from my experiences. I know that I have a lot of experiences to share with you. Did you know that I have won a lot of football games? But, I have also lost a great deal. I have not won 100% of my games. But, I have learned a lot about myself from both wins and losses. I have learned a lot about myself and who I am, but I have also learned that it is not all about me. It is all about our Owner and Coach, Jesus Christ. He is my Coach, my Lord, and my Savior. All of my life is about Him. He teaches me a lot of different things, and He guides me in the right track in every way of my life and encourages me in every step. He equips me with every good and perfect gift from above. He also supports me. The successes in my life did not come from my labors, but rather, my life s successes come from a personal relationship with my Lord, my Savior. It is not from my talents, but my relationship with Him as He teaches me and what I have learned from Him. Now, it is important to continue that personal relationship with Him. How can we continue that relationship? We can continue our personal relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit. He knows my weaknesses. He knows my strengths. And guess what He also knows my enemies, their strengths and their weaknesses, too. It is wonderful. I call the Holy Spirit my Coach. Now, He gives me the position of quarterback (QB). As a QB, I have to take the responsibility to learn about each team we play against, their positions, and their responsibilities such as linebacker, cornerback, etc. As a QB, I have to learn about them in order to control the game like a general in the army who commands the soldiers to be prepared for war. The position of QB is similar to a general. My position is QB and so is yours. When I am on the field of life, I must remember that He has given me each member of the team to support me. Let me introduce you to my teammates. You may know more about them in Galatians 5:22-26, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus 1

2 have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. This Scripture teaches me about who my teammates are. I want to show you who they are to help you understand more about them. I will tell you about their positions and their names. Then I will explain what each of them does for me as a person in my battle against Satan. Satan battles with me everyday. Wide-Out: The responsibility of a wide-out is to receive the ball as the quarterback throws it. He also blocks for me, too. His name is Joy. He is really important because I have faced many trials and tribulations in my life. We have all experienced trials, either good or bad. In James 1 it explains that we must look at our trials and consider them joy when we undergo them, instead of whining. They are a joy because they are the opportunities for us to experience and learn. I used to be a whiner when problems came or when my life was not in order. This Scripture teaches me that I have a teammate named Joy. I must look at my trials with Joy. God has promised that He will be with us when we go through storms. He will always help us. He never leaves us alone. When trials come up, he will always give us a way out. That s wide-out. Flanker: I also have another player flanker. I call him Gentleness. Gentleness is soft and nice, not hot-tempered or destructive toward other people. I used to be destructive toward people, but since I encountered Jesus Christ and received Him into my heart, He has changed my life. He gives me the spirit of Gentleness. Whenever I am in a bind, I have gentleness to remind me that God is in control, not me. I have to trust God because He has given me Gentleness. And Gentleness always seems to find a way to get me out of trouble. I have learned to trust Him because He gives me the spirit of Gentleness, who always finds a way out for me. Tight End: The responsibility for the position of tight end is to block, or sometimes he receives the short pass to help me escape from the defense. His name is Patience. He always teaches me how to be patient. Patience is staying with your task to the end without giving up because giving up means that you have no patience. To have patience, we have to be able to know what to do and be able to wait until the job is done. And patience requires us to always give our best efforts. Patience and faithfulness are similar. I want to thank God for giving me patience, too. As you know, we sometimes have no patience, but remember that you have patience because God has given us the spirit of patience. We have to learn how to use patience properly. Left Tackle: Then I have my left tackle; his name is Goodness. Goodness means that we have a good relationship with other people. He helps keep things in perspective for me. Whenever I want to run, to avoid people I don t like, I am reminded by Goodness that I should be willing to approach them. Want to avoid trouble? Goodness helps me to stay with and be friendly with other people, instead of running away. I can remain and be good to other people. God has promised me that goodness will follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23). 2

3 Left Guard: It is the left guard s responsibility to protect the quarterback. He is a close companion and friend of Goodness. His name is Peace. We often misunderstand the meaning of peace. Peace doesn t mean that there will be no troubles. Having no troubles doesn t mean that there is peace. We may go through an uproar and during the uproar we may still feel peace inside of us, knowing that God is in control of everything. Peace is always with me. When I am facing many different problems, peace helps me to think more clearly and find solutions. When things get too overwhelming for me to think clearly, I pray for peace. What He gives me is beyond my understanding. Center: Then I have a center that snaps the ball to me and protects me, too. His name is Self-Control. It is nice to have self-control. We sometimes feel like we cannot control anything because circumstances get out of our hands. Thus, we give up. Wait a minute. God gives us self-control. Sometimes when I feel that things are spinning out of control, I have to stop and trust that He has already given me self-control. When I need to talk with my Coach and there are only two minutes left of the game, worrying about time is a waste. I should come to the Coach and ask Him what the best option is. Communicating with Him allows Him to give me self-control. Right Guard: Then I have a right guard. His name is Kindness. He is also a close friend of Gentleness and Peace, as close as sisters and brothers. Kindness and Self-Control work together well. Those four players work hard and help me to keep my focus on Jesus Christ no matter what may come in my way. Those four players help me to remember to keep looking to Christ. Peace, Patience, Kindness, and Self-Control are all valuable players. Kindness keeps me moving on, not allowing me to become bitter or disgruntled. Kindness helps, teaches, and encourages. Right Tackle: My right tackle is Faithfulness. He is a close brother to Patience. They are very close to each other. Faithfulness is the strongest member of the offensive line. He is what keeps everyone together and working together. Faithfulness shouts encouragement to all of the other members to keep on doing their jobs. He reminds me not to quit. Through every incident or every opportunity, he continues. He always encourages, helps, and serves others faithfully. God has given us all the gift of faithfulness. Faithfulness never gives up. But you know what, I don t have to run the ball and I don t have to do all the work because I have teammates in front of me. They help me maintain control and keep my mind, heart and eyes fixed on Jesus. There are two more players left. Halfback: I call this player Flexibility. We need flexibility because sometimes we are stuck in one place when we don t want to change or help others. We don t want to follow their ways, but our way only. We need to learn how to become more flexible with other people. God has given you flexibility to help you to learn how to interact with others, even through difficult times. As you communicate, you may learn something new and they help you change in what you do. Sometimes what I 3

4 am doing does not work. Then, I have to learn how to change my view and see how it works with different perspectives in my life. That is called flexibility. He is a good player. God has given him to me. Fullback: And the fullback s name is Love. When I give him the ball, he will run through the opponents and keep us moving yard by yard. He is a strong player. His name is Love. You cannot stop Love. And Satan cannot stop Love. With all of those players in front of him, Love is an unstoppable force for sure. I have to remember that if I want to break through the world, I have to break through with love. That is why Paul has written and spoken about truth in love. All of those players are on my team. My team is called Highview Lane Harvesters. Why did I call my team that name? Highview Lane is the name of the street I live on. It is my responsibility to reach out to people on my street and tell them about Jesus. Harvesters shows that it is my job to harvest souls for Jesus. This team is my team, but guess what this team is your team, too. The best team is one that works together and one where the quarterback communicates clearly with his teammates. They work together to accomplish their job. Here are my questions for you today: How is your football team playing? Are you winning? Or are you losing? Do you know your team members? Do you know that the Holy Spirit has given you those gifts? Do you know who they are or what responsibilities they have? If not, then I encourage you to learn more about the Holy Spirit, God s Word, and Jesus. And allow Jesus to change your life. The best team is not always the biggest or the fastest. The best team is always the one that works together, with gentleness, with joy, and with all of the fruits of the Spirit. Well, that is my team, as well as my experiences with the game of life. I want to encourage you to go and play the game of life with Jesus as your Coach and with the Holy Spirit as your Teacher and Guide. Here is the Lifeball and I am going to throw it! Let s go! Catch it! Touchdown! 4

5 2007 Deaf Missions This printed manuscript is the English translation of a sermon presented in American Sign Language. The sermon may be viewed at LINK is a ministry of Deaf Missions. Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. The NIV and New International Version trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society. Deaf Missions, Greenview Road, Council Bluffs, Iowa

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