|Today’s Scripture: Some indeed preach Christ of envy and strife; and some also of good will: the one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. Philippians 1:15-18|
|Have you ever heard the phrase, “There’s no ‘I’ in team”? That saying is not only true in sports, but also in the Christian life. We are on the Lord’s team the minute we believe, and it is imperative that we learn to work together. When we watch any form of sports and see teammates yelling at each other, we know they are not going to go very far together. On our team as believers, we aren’t just representing a college or a city, we are representing the Creator of the world. Each of us needs to check our ego at the door because it is a terrible testimony to the world if we are prideful and dysfunctional.
One of the Bible’s best team-players was Paul. There are at least 24 different people listed that were very important to him. He didn’t work alone and was humble enough to work well with others. In fact, he knew he needed them. Paul didn’t care if people spoke negatively about him as long as Jesus Christ was preached. Like Paul, we must remember that we can’t right every wrong, and if we attempt to, we will end up focused on that instead of preaching Christ. Paul even had a sharp contention with two other Godly men during a disagreement with John Mark and Barnabas. But, later Paul forgave and included both as essential on his team.
The other superstar in that day was Apollos. He was a compelling orator but didn’t understand the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. Aquila and Priscilla helped him understand that he should no longer be preaching the baptism of John. Apollos accepted it and realized he was speaking in error. What if they would have ignored or blasted him? Had they corrected him in anger, it probably would have ended differently.
God is calling each of us to be a leader or a servant of a leader. Sometimes it’s your turn to be getting your teammates a towel and water rather than making the shots. Maybe you feel like a bench-warmer right now. Your service may be totally in the background, and you wonder why your position on God’s team can’t be more exciting. Perhaps you are there right now because others need encouraging and you are the best teammate for the job. You may be on the opposite end of the court and be the one making the shots. The pressure is intense when you are running back and forth trying to be a leader.
Stay strong and rely on the Lord. He will only give you as much as you can handle in His strength. No matter what position you are in, be set in your defense of the gospel. Focus on giving all glory back to the Lord, and serve as if He is standing there on the sidelines right next to you.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.