Are you ready for some football?

John Hill 

"But whatever gain I had,I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own." - Philippians 3:7-8, 12

It’s finally here: Football! All around our country there are commercials airing, fantasy leagues forming, and betting parlors cranking up their staff to support the flurry of activity that is NFL football in America. Maybe you, too, have a favorite team or player you follow and like millions of people cannot wait for the season to begin.

Football is an interesting phenomenon because it is not unlike religion for many people. Often, teams and players are worshiped as more than human. Money is given to the sport by the billions. Behavior is changed and schedules are re-arranged to accommodate the services (games) each week. For many, these pigskin disciplines are a family ritual. Sunday dinner is replaced by the Sunday tail-gate. Even outreach and evangelism take place as football fans invite friends over to watch the game inside multi-thousand dollar shrines filled with furniture and the latest and greatest electronic equipment and technology. To say that people can be obsessed with football is certainly not a stretch.

So here’s a question for you: do you give God the same attention as you give the NFL? I would suggest to you that our relationship with God is more critical than what happens each week on football fields. I would think that God should receive our highest attention and our greatest effort in the areas of time, money, and family.

After all, no football team or player ever saved me from a dysfunctional past or a destructive future; only God did that! Now, before you get upset and decide that I am just bashing football, let me give full disclosure and say that I am a huge sports fan in general and absolutely love football like most others. In fact, I may be more avid than most.

No, I am not bashing football or calling on you to give it up; I am simply posing the suggestion that however prominent a place football may occupy in your life (or any other activity, hobby, or interest for that matter); shouldn’t God be that much more prominent?

You see, I am not asking you to lower the place football, family, work, or anything else has for you as much as I am challenging you to raise the place that God has in your life. Of course, I will warn you that when you raise the place that God has, some things will naturally lose their value.

Consider the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 3. Here was a man who was obsessed with religion, title, and place in life; yet God radically impacted his life so much so that he would consider everything that he had gained in the world as ‘rubbish’ compared to knowing Christ. He was so committed to God that everything else, while possibly even a part of his life, paled in comparison.

In other words, He was truly committed!
And all I’m asking is, “Are you?”

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