“No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the
authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this
is what my Father has commanded.
– John 10:18
(In remembrance of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed so much to keep our nation free.)
In the world of sports, we understand the concept of sacrifice. As coaches, we sacrifice time with our own families in order to serve the needs of our athletes. We work countless hours with little financial reward and without complaint. We cut the grass, line the fields, maintain the equipment and deal with frustrated parents. The question we are often asked is, “Why do we do it?” The simple answer for most is that we love it! We love the game. We love to compete. We love the sounds, smells and sheer excitement of game day. Most of all, we love our athletes. We love watching them grow and mature. We love building relationships with young men and women and seeing them achieve more than they believed they ever could. We love seeing them years later when they return as mothers and fathers and good citizens of the community to say, “Thanks Coach.”
God, our loving Father in heaven, also understands sacrifice. He made us and more than anything, He wants to have a relationship with us. The roadblock in this desire is that God is pure and because of our sin, we are not. Sin separates us from God. In order to build a bridge that allow us to reach Him, God made a sacrifice. He gave his only Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus did this voluntarily and in His Father’s perfect will. Jesus endured humiliation, beatings, and an agonizing death on the Cross. The question we often ask is, “Why did He do it?” The simple answer is love! John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” What a joyful day it will be when we can stand before God and have the opportunity to say, “Thanks Coach.”
Father God, thank you for loving me. Thank you for the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus Christ, that makes it possible for me to be in relationship with you. Help me to understand that love and to share it with others today. Amen.