September 1, 2014

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:23-25 (New Living Standard)

Count me in when it comes to good sports movies. I realize Hollywood always takes a few liberties in their storytelling, but When the Game Stands Tall is worth seeing. The incredible win streak of California’s De La Salle High School Spartans grew to 151 straight over a twelve year period. As Coach Bob Ladouceur built this seeming invincible powerhouse, he also emphasized individual purpose and significance over winning. Players play for their teammates rather than personal glory; they encourage one another when the times got tough; and they openly share their hearts in team meetings. But when the streak is broken, the team must decide if the sacrifice, commitment and teamwork they have always trusted can be rebuilt as the world seemingly falls apart around them. As the team gets back on track and resumes its winning ways, we are reminded that it was never about the streak, it was always about the team!

In his book, 3D Coach, Capturing The Heart Behind the Jersey, Jeff Duke reminds us that as people trying to follow Jesus, it’s easy to lose confidence because as we live our lives, we’re always missing the mark. Where do we go for hope? Where do we go for encouragement? Hebrews 10:23-25 gives us the answers. We are told to hold on and never waver! God’s Word tells us that He was faithful yesterday and He will be faithful today. We’re also reminded to take our eyes off of ourselves and to put them on others. In our “Me” society, that can be difficult to do. Lastly, we are challenged to love each other and encourage one another. As we go through life, we will have our winning streaks and our losing streaks. There will be times when we lose hope and don’t know where to turn. The answer is always Jesus. He is always there and He always has our back!

Lord, make me an encourager. Give me the wisdom to speak greatness into those whom I influence. Allow my words and my actions to change lives. Make me a living testimony to Your great love. Amen.


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