Monday, November 30, 2009

Jared Crick on Intensity

Recently, the Nebraska football team discussed the importance of playing with great intensity. Defensive lineman Jared Crick discusses the need here to fight through all circumstances on and off the field.

Execution of the Son of God

John 18:1-19:37

The events of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and execution receive attention in chapters 18-19. Because John’s purpose was to present Jesus as the Messiah an Son of God, he produced evidence to substantiate this purpose throughout his accounting of Jesus’ passion. John’s account is very orderly and follows the logical flow of events” His rejection, His four trials, and his His crucifixion. As you read about Jesus’ final hours, give thanks for his sacrificial love.

You can download this week's lesson here. The study guide can be downloaded here.

John MacArthur: What role has athletics played in your ministry?

Dr. John MacArthur was recently asked question: What role has athletics played in your ministry? Here is the answer to that question along with amazing story of his old football coach becoming a Christian.

John MacArthur - Study Video from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do athletes violate the Tenth Commandment?

A reader of Phil Johnson's blog recently sent him this excellent question about the Tenth Commandment and how it applies to not only gambling but sports.

QUESTION: Do you think your principle ["if you merely participate in a gambling contest with a desire to win, you are guilty of coveting that which belongs to your neighbor"] applies exclusively to gambling, or does it apply to any and all forms of competitive activity? For example, if I enter a boxing match, or any other competitive activity, I am entering it to win. Does this mean that I am guilty of violating the tenth commandment by coveting my opponents title, belt, or even reputation? It seems to me that it does, but I'm not sure.

ANSWER: Possibly but not necessarily. There's nothing wrong with competing in a contest to win. The apostle Paul clearly commended that desire in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

There are undoubtedly times, however, when an athlete's motives might be tainted with sinful pride and even sinful ill-will toward the opponent. (I think that's been a pervasive problem in modern professional sports at least since the time of Cassius Clay.) But I don't think that's always necessarily a part of athletic competition, or Scripture would condemn athletics altogether.

What makes gambling different, and always wrong in my estimation, is that there's no way to win without actually hurting other competitors. Your victory costs them something real (not just their own pride or title), and what you win is something to which you have no legitimate entitlement. Therefore, I have suggested it's tantamount to stealing.

Winning someone else's title isn't nearly the same thing, because you are entitled (by definition) to compete for that. It isn't really the other person's personal and private possession—except for a stint between contests.

I made note of this obliquely in my description of why gambling is tantamount to stealing: "It is the taking of that which belongs to your neighbor and to which you have no right."

You couldn't say that about the title in a sporting contest. You have a right, if you have the ability, to be champion of the US Open. But if you win, that title is rightfully yours for only one year, unless you legitimately win it again.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ron Brown on Isolation

Tight End Coach Ron Brown talked about biblical principal of "Isolation" following the Huskers 17-3 win over K-State. I will post a lesson here later in the week, but for now you can use the questions for study and discussion listed with Prince Amukamra's blog on isolation.

Prince Amukamara on Isolation

Defensive back Prince Amukamara talked about biblical principal of "Isolation" following the Huskers 17-3 win over K-State. I will post a lesson here later in the week, but for now you could use these questions for study and discussion. You can also watch Coach Brown's post-game comments on "Isolation" as well.

Ice Breaker Questions
1. What is the biggest “turning point” you have experienced in sports?
Discussion Questions
1. How do you define a turning point in sports?
2. How can you completely forget an error or mistake during a competition?
3. Explain how turning points are usually mental and not physical.
Going Deeper Questions
1. Explain the concept of “isolation” and how you can apply to your workouts competitions.
2. Read Philippians 3:12-14. What does this verse mean by “reaching forward”? How can you “press on” with greater intensity?
3. How can you deliberately take positive action when things go badly?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

With Christ in the Garden

John 15:1-17:26

Christ prayed, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (17:3-4 NKJV). Jesus glorified the Father by accomplishing His mission of providing eternal life to those who trust in Him, by reconciling lost men to the God they had forsaken. Jesus’ supreme purpose on earth was “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). That is therefore also the supreme mission of Christ’s church.

You can download this week's lesson here. Check back later for the downloadable Study Guide for this passage.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Helu’s Faith Kept Him Grounded Through Injury and Challenges

Big games bring out the best in Roy Helu Jr.

Helu cited his faith as the source of his strength, enabling him battle through injury and persevere through some tough mental roadblocks in recent weeks.

Check out the personal thoughts Helu shared with in a recent Quick Hits interview at this link. You can download a lesson here on how Roy's faith has helped keep him grounded.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

With Christ in the Upper Room

John 13:1-14:31

It is tempting to compromise our commitment when the cost becomes too high. But the fact that Christians are sometimes disobedient, does not alter the truth that the character of the true disciple is manifest in obedience. Although imperfect obedience is inevitable because of the unredeemed flesh, the basic desire and life-direction of the true Christian is obedience to the Lord.

Whether it’s the desire to scream at the referees for a bad call or give your coach the stink-eye look when you’re benched or corrected for the wrong behavior, it’s important to remember that we are called to “be like Christ.” While our imperfect obedience is never to serve as an excuse for our bad behavior, it’s important to remember that when we do sin we have Savior; a mediator that took the punishment for our sins and gave us His perfect obedience. We must never forget during competition that we need a mediator. There isn’t a moment when we don’t need Christ. In light of the Father’s holiness and my sinfulness, I cannot approach Him directly apart from Christ. You can download this week's lesson here. Check back later for the downloadable Study Guide for this passage.

Soccer Match Turns Ugly on the Field

By now, you have probably watched the video of the New Mexico women’s soccer player whose antics at the last Thursday’s game against BYU were shown throughout the internet and TV. Elizabeth Lambert's hair-pulling, punching, slapping, squeezing and anything else that would fall under the umbrella of dirty play have been discussed on most sports programs. Julie Foudy was even featured on “SportsCenter” as a soccer expert to tell us that this type of behavior is over the line. It’s a sad commentary on our culture when we need an expert to tell us that yanking someone down by their ponytail doesn’t qualify as good sportsmanship.

For the Christian athlete or coach, the chief end of every athletic practice or competition is "to glorify God and to enjoy him forever." This goal directs every aspect of our participation in sports. Although, as Christians, we should compete with intensity, we should never compete in a manner that brings dishonor to the name of Christ. We should use the opportunity of competition to draw the attention to the more important "crown that will last forever," the prize of competing in a manner that pleases our Heavenly Father. Sports activities are given by God as an opportunity to bring glory to him.

Check back later in the week for a downloadable lesson on sportsmanship.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Roy Helu and Ron Brown on Setbacks

Husker running back Roy Helu and Tight End Coach Ron Brown talk about setbacks following the Nebraska victory over Oklahoma. You can download the lesson here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The King Enters Jerusalem

John 11:55-12:50

Enthusiasm was demonstrated by Mary’s act of unmeasured love. By pouring the expensive perfume on Jesus, she demonstrated her enthusiasm and adoration for Him. She did not selfishly seek a visible and tangible result from her generosity but without hesitation offered her most expensive earthly possession to the Lord in an act of adoring worship. Enthusiasm can be defined as lively, absorbing interest in each task. This week's lesson is here. The Leader's Guide is here.