Wearing the Team Jersey

AthleteWord: When you commit to the RIGHT team, you NEVER want to leave! STRENGTH WORK Matthew 22:1-14 Take your mind back to the team events at the Games. The athletes ran out of the tunnel as their team name was announced. They were thrilled to represent their team! But what if we witnessed the unimaginable? When one team took their place in the arena the crowd noticed something very strange. One of their athletes was wearing the jersey of another team. His name was on the team roster but he was obviously confused. How could something like this happen? DISCUSSION Why would an athlete choose to wear another team’s jersey? How could this behavior be similar to a Christian’s refusal to live like Jesus? Jesus once told a story of a man who refused to wear the team jersey. In ancient times it was customary to wear the special wedding clothes given to those invited by the king. One man was found without his proper garments. Jesus said this man was immediately removed due to his lack of respect for the gift he was given. Scripture instructs followers of Jesus to “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which they have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). Christians are honored to wear the team jersey of Jesus Christ. When they accept Christ through faith, repentance, and baptism, followers of Jesus “put Him on like a garment” (Galatians 3:26-27). Team unity is experienced when followers of Jesus commit to wearing the same jersey. As we imitate the character of Jesus Christ we practice the unity He purchased through His sacrifice on the cross. How do we begin to wear the team jersey? Remember your calling. Let the word of God remind you of the high calling you have been given. You were designed for greatness! “We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For He called you to share in His Kingdom and glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:12 NLT) Remember who called you. Let scripture remind you of the power of God. His approval is all that matters! “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” (Ephesians 3:14-17 NLT) SKILL WORK How do you struggle to wear the character components of Jesus as His competitor? What parts of His character do you need to “put on?” Share your thoughts with a friend. Read Galatians 3:26-27. Have you made a commitment to put Jesus on as a garment through faith, repentance, and baptism?
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