Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thank God for FCA posts :-)

I am so thankful that I get these in my email every day. They bring me comfort and bring me close to God. I wouldn't want to worship a god who jut saw my sins and condemned me and gave me no hope for a future. I wouldn't believe in that god. I would believe in "myself" or in nothingness.
Mine is a god who loves, who asks us to love others, who shows mercy, who asks us to show mercy. He gives us a playbook, and we get most of the plays and try harder on the ones we have failed at. But He loves us and knows our hearts, and knows we try. He is never finished coaching us.

Many people go about their days, getting closer to a god who holds OTHERS accountable, but not themselves. In my opinion, then that god IS you. 

I choose to let God be God. I am in no position to condemn anyone. I'm busy working on myself, and there is, and always will be lots of work to do!

Is God keeping score? 
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 
“LORD, if You considered sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness so that You may be revered.”
Psalm 130:3-4

As a young baseball player, I found myself on the losing end of a lot of games. Many times my team had the mindset of losers, and our attitudes showed that we had lost the game long before the seventh inning. We went through the motions to the finish, but we were defeated long before the end of the game.

Perhaps many of us live as if God were keeping score, as if He has His own scoreboard with everyone’s name on it. One side lists “Good Works” and the other “Sins/Bad Things.” Can you imagine if eternal life depended on being perfect or trying to make sure all our good outweighed our bad? We would be like my little league team: living in defeat with no hope.
As a believer in Christ, are you tempted to think God is keeping score—that you have to do better in order for Him to love you? We may know intellectually that we are forgiven, but let’s think about the way we live. It’s normal for us to try to “prove ourselves” in life, especially in athletics. Perhaps you play or played for a coach you could never please. Breaking news! God is not keeping score, at least not for those who have put their faith in Him and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 130:4 says, “But with You there is forgiveness so that You may be revered.” Think about someone who showed you mercy. Maybe a coach or teacher who chose not to give you what you deserved. How did that make you feel? That is our God! If God were counting our iniquities, as the Psalmist says in verse 3, “who could stand?” We would suffer the ultimate defeat with no hope of eternal life! But Romans 5:8 says, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
Why did Jesus die? Because we were hopeless losers, dead in our transgressions and sins, behind on the spiritual scoreboard by thousands of runs we could never erase. But God, in His mercy, sent His one and only Son to die in our place. We win! And the victory results in reverence or worship of Him. He wants our hearts and is merciful and compassionate to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now that you know it, go out and live like a winner in Christ!

1. Can you think of an act of mercy you have received from a coach? How did you respond?
2. As an athlete or coach, have you ever been on a team with a losing attitude? How did you break a losing mindset? What difference does a winning mindset make on your team?
3. How can we practically live in a winning mindset with the assurance that God has forgiven us and is not keeping score?

1 Corinthians 15:57
Ephesians 2:8-10

Derrill Martin is an FCA Area Director in St. Charles, Missouri. Click Here to check out his website

Friday, October 15, 2010


Each day I get an email from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Today's was good enough to post on my blog, which I have been neglecting like a fading campfire, too. But the fire I like to keep stoking is the one within, which has grown warmer and more dynamic than ever.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me, for showing me true love, for blessing me again and again and again. You are the way, the truth, and the life!
I am forever undeserving; and I need YOU, not the other way around, yet your love for me is blazing. Well, just so you know, Jesus, I love you back. More and more and more. You are the best comforter, the best listener, the best provider, the best rock to cling to, the best protector from darkness.

Here's the FCA message: I hope you like it and let your own fire start burning again for Jesus. He is also pursuing YOU every day. He loves you. Let Him!

"Without wood, fire goes out…”
-Proverbs 26:20a

Fall has always been a wonderful season for me. I love the leaves crunching and the beauty of the harvest sunsets. I enjoy sweatshirts and sweatpants and the warmth of an outdoor fire. In fact, campfires are one of my favorite things. I love the sound, the smell and the fellowship that usually comes with a good campfire.

Recently, this short, yet powerful, verse from Proverbs caught my attention. Proverbs 26:20a says, “Without wood, fire goes out.” Don’t you just love how the Bible can be so simple yet so profound?
When I read this verse, I thought, “Duh! Of course a fire dies out without wood.” And then the Lord rumbled inside my heart. He seemed to ask, “What are you fueling your fire with?” It was a great moment of conviction.
To keep our fire for the Lord, we must continually fuel it with good things—solid pieces of wood that will sustain our fire for Him.

At times, my fuel is like a dead twig. Am I lying? Gossiping? Having negative thoughts? Am I trying to fuel the fire with activities and duties for God instead of just getting to know Him better?

As an athlete or coach, am I fueling my fire with stats and scores instead of simply deepening my spiritual intimacy with the Lord through competition?
Each of us has to face these and many other issues in our own lives. But what I find amazing about the Lord is that He wants us to give Him all of our firewood, no matter how rotten, wet or small it might be. With it, He will bless each of us with a fire to warm the cold places in our hearts, a peace to calm our souls, and a comfort to know that when we give Christ our all He will enlighten us through His grace and mercy.
Today, may each of us give our fuel to the Lord, in whatever shape it may be and know that it will spark God’s great plan in our life!

1. What is fueling your spiritual fire?
2. Are you concerned that your offerings aren’t good enough for God?
3. Read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. What does this say to you about your personal offering to God? How does He want you to use what He’s given you?

Jeremiah 29:13
Matthew 25:14-30
Hebrews 11:6
1 Peter 3:11