This Sunday is the second part of a two-week sermon series called, "Christianity is a Team Sport." The Christian faith was not designed for Lone Rangers. We need each other. Last week we invited anyone who'd like to "Be On Our Team" to join us. All are welcome. But it's not enough to just be on the team. God expects us to "Get in the Game." There's no reason to be on the team if we don't get in the game.
Every person who professes faith in Jesus receives the Holy Spirit. God takes up residence in our lives. He gives each of us spiritual gifts, talents and abilities we need to be able to play our position and serve him. In football, every player on offense and defense has a specific assignment on every play. They must have the God-given ability, as well as master the the skills necessary to do what is expected of them. So it is in the church. We are to serve the Lord together, each of us using our unique God-given ability and the skills we have learned to share our faith with others, to teach a class or lead a small group, to be a leader, to serve in a ministry, whatever God wants us to do.
In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul gives a similar example of the church being the body of Christ. Every part that makes up a human body has a role, a job that it is to perform. When all the parts of the body are carrying out their task, the body works like a well-oiled machine. But if one part of the body doesn't do it's job, the whole body is handicapped, or the body may even die. Likewise, the church, when everyone is doing their job, is able to do great things for God. But if some parts are not working, then the body is handicapped and unable to do what God asks of it.
That's why we every Christian who is on God's team needs to get into the game. If someone doesn't play their role, not only are they letting down the coach (God), but they're letting down their teammates as well. When one person doesn't do their job, all the other members of the team try to compensate by doing more than is expected of them, but that leads to burnout and discouragement.
Serving God in the church or in the community takes time and energy, it may require sacrifices and we may endure opposition. That's why many people refuse to serve. They say they're too busy, they don't have time, they can't do what's asked of them. We need to remember the sacrifice Jesus made to save us and think about what our fate would be if Jesus didn't suffer and die for our sins. What would our future look like if Jesus didn't come to save us because he was too busy, didn't have time, it was too hard or because he had to endure opposition. We are called to be a contributing member of the team because we owe our lives to Jesus.
We also need to remember that others are counting on us. If we're unwilling to serve God and others, there are people who may never hear the gospel message and be saved. A ministry that might touch another person's life might never happen. A believer may not grow in their faith and be able to serve others because we did not teach them or mentor them. If we don't get in the game it will affect the lives of many people.
Join us for worship this Sunday at First Baptist Riverside and learn how to "Get in the Game." We have traditional worship at 9:00 a.m. and contemporary worship at 10:45 a.m. We hope to see you here!