“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength.”
– Deuteronomy 6:5
As a coach, I’ve always been interested in how to motivate athletes. How do you get them to willingly give 100% on every play. How do you get them to buy into the culture you’re trying to establish for the team. The legendary John Wooden said, “You have to give 100% every day. Whatever you don’t give, you can’t make up for tomorrow. If you give only 75% today, you can’t give 125% tomorrow to make up for it.” Steve Prefontaine, one of the greatest runners of all time, went straight to the heart when he said, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Well known slogans encourage us to “Row the Boat”; “Keep Chopping; or be “All In.” Comedian, Bill Murray helps us to maintain some humor in our quest for maximum effort by telling us “Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you’re donating blood.” Quotes and slogans are great to hang in the locker room and share in a pep talk, but what does it take to live them out?
Jesus’ put together a team known as the Apostles. When He put this team of twelve together, they weren’t very productive. They came from varied backgrounds and had very different gifts. They were often self-centered and selfish. For three years, these men watched and listened to their coach without fully understanding who He was or what He was trying to teach them. One accepted money to betray Him and another refused to even acknowledge he knew Him. How did a group like this turn into a team that not only gave 100%, but was willing to die for their coach? First, they changed their focus from themselves to the message their coach was modeling – a love for all. Second, they had a fire in their soul. We could say their passion for sharing this message was unshakable. Third, they suited up for the challenge with all the equipment they needed – faith, prayer, and the Word of God. No cute slogans or inspirational pep talks, just a 100% Jesus centered mindset.
Lord Jesus, I don’t take my claim to be a Christian lightly. Guide me today as I strive to give you 100%. Amen.