Team Jesus

Yup, today is the day… Super Bowl Sunday! At 6:30 PM tonight, the Los Angeles Ram will tee-up to beat the New England Patriots (oops, I mean will tee-up to play the New England Patriots)! Is everybody going to watch the game tonight?

All kidding aside, tonight is probably the biggest night in sports history.

  • CBS Network will broadcast the Super Bowl game. They are charging approximately $5 million for each 30 second advertisement during the game.
  • Each player on the winning team this year will receive over $100,000.
  • Each player on the losing team will receive over $50,000.
  • It is the top “at home” party event of the year.
  • It is the 2nd largest day of food consumption in this country—only Thanksgiving exceeds it.
  • The average “at home” party has 17 people.
  • Super Bowl weekend is the slowest weekend of the year for weddings.
  • Large screen TV’s increase in sales 5 times the week before the Super Bowl.

Who is Your Team

We all have a team we’ll be rooting for right? I’m sure we’ve got a good mixture of fans today. Am I right? How many are pulling for the Patriots? How many for the Rams?

I’m sure, whoever you’re rooting for, you’re pretty into your team right? You’re probably going to wear your jerseys, coats, hats and, in some extreme cases, even your socks and underwear!

Sometimes, during these types of events, we’ve seen name-calling, taunting and even fights breaking out as a result of the intense loyalty one might feel for their side. What a beautiful dedication to your team!

You’re loyal, dedicated and pretty avid about having your team win their battle. Obviously, you’re not ashamed, whatsoever, to let everyone around you know exactly whose team you’re on, right?

This morning, I’d like to speak just a little about playing on the winningest team in this world’s history… Team Jesus! While we watch the Super Bowl tonight, let’s remember the greater Super Bowl that has been playing for centuries.

On one side of the field we have our Coach, Captain and King… Jesus Christ, who has been leading us against our opponent and defeating them at every turn. On the other side of the field, we find Satan and all his demons challenging us.

We should all know who we play for as we’ve received our instructions a long time ago.

Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus has already won so many battles against this continuing enemy and will beat him every time until the end of days.

  • He has conquered Death
  • He has conquered Hell
  • He has defeated every demon he has faced
  • He continues to fight our battles for us as we struggle to get through our lives here on earth.

When his own people put him to death on that hill in Calvary, Satan and all his followers celebrated and reveled in their own glory thinking, “Finally, we have defeated God and His great gift to His people… Jesus!”

Then what happened? Yes, Jesus rose-up again as the prophets had all foretold us about long before He was even born. He died for us, defeated the Devil and cleansed us of all our sin. I’d have to say that was a pretty big victory!

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty proud to be on His team, aren’t you? I mean, why wouldn’t you want to play on such a winning team (like the Patriots)?

Support Your Team

Look at the ways we support our teams. We spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars just to buy tickets. Then, we’ll spend thousands more to fly to where they may be playing and stay in a local hotel.

We’ll pay $8-$10 for a beer and another $10 or so just for a hotdog… and we’ll spend all this money, as well as our time, for one short hour of a football game. That’s dedication!

No sacrifice is too great when your team is playing in the Super Bowl. Remember this though, we’re on the greatest team in the world… Team Jesus!

As a member of this team, we have a responsibility to support our Lord’s word with our time, talents and hard-fought efforts!

John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

That word “nothing” carries the idea that we can do nothing at all without the Lord. Hey, he keeps the sun coming up in the morning; He keeps the air pure enough to sustain our life. He provides food and water to nourish us. He keeps our heart pumping and our lungs working, and He gives us strength enough to get up and go to work so that we can earn a living and pay the bills. Every good gift that we have, has come from God.

Each one of us has a different purpose on Team Jesus. Much like you have a quarterback, running-back and wide-receivers on a football team, we have many positions on Team Jesus’ line-up.

Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.”

Do you understand what it is saying here in Ephesians? Its something within all of us, separate from one another yet serving the same purpose. Its, very simply, who we are.

I’d like to take a few moments and try and explain this a little further. Remember how many times I’ve told you, I’m a “watcher.” I watch people from a distance. I see their growth; I see the increase in their faith and belief; and I see how God can use them to serve His purpose… representing Team Jesus!

Let’s look at a few people. I promise I won’t embarrass anyone, or at least I’m not trying to… I’m just sharing some of my own opinions in how I believe so many of you are playing on God’s team. Don’t worry Phil, I’m not going to pick on you this morning… I’ve already done quite a bit of that already 😊

Tom: Good ole Tom. Biker; club member; been around the block a few times. Tom shows up every Sunday… unless he’s “gone fishing!”

I know he’s listening as, again, I watch. All the time I, or another member of our church speaks, his eyes are firmly fixed on us. He’s listening and wants to hear more.

For those of you who know Tom, can you picture him when someone may be talking to him about God and their “dis-belief” in the Bible? What would Tom say: Turning his head in shock at what they’re saying, “Well you ought to believe dummy… this stuff is real!”

Dee: Jack and Dee join us every Sunday also. Well, that is, when they’re not traveling all over the country or cruising the oceans.

Dee is a firm believer and follower of God. She is dedicated to serving Him and doing what’s right in His eyes. She’s also pretty gun-ho about getting things done. Again, if you know Dee, you’ll understand this story.

Imagine Dee sitting with someone who may be questioning whether or not they should follow Christ. “Yeah, I know I should be but I’m kind of ‘on the fence’ about it right now.” To which Dee would say (smacking the back of her right hand into her left palm), “Well you better get off the fence right now fella! We don’t have a lot of time left here you know! Let’s get this done!”

Pamela: Ahh.. my dear, sweet Pamela. You might not know this, but she isn’t real good at holding-back her opinion. As a matter of fact, she’s pretty darn quick to let you know exactly what’s on her mind.

Let’s picture someone telling her, “I’m not all that sure about all this ‘religious stuff.’ It just doesn’t seem all that real to me. So many people professing to be religious yet not doing the things they supposedly should.”

Okay, here comes Pam. She’ll sit there staring at them as they speak, eyes-fixed and a gaping jaw. Then, when they’re done talking, she’ll respond, “Oh, I’m so sorry. You’re obviously truly ignorant as I’m not talking about religion, I’m talking about a relationship with God! There is a HUGE difference!”

Joe: Now you know I wasn’t going to let Joe off-the-hook! After all, he’s one of our founders here at Sunrise Chapel… been in it for a long time.

Now, lets picture someone arguing with Joe about God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit. “It’s all a bunch of garbage! The Bible is just a fairy-tale and not based on fact at all. There is no such thing as God, and you’re a fool to believe there is!”

Oops, wrong move fella… you just insulted Joe’s team, much like a Patriot-hater. Joe: (getting all antsy) “You think so bud? If you really don’t believe in my God and want to criticize everything I believe in, why don’t we just step outside and let me beat some Jesus into you?!”

No? He’s just standing up for his team right? Wouldn’t you stand up for your team in the same manner?

Make sure you prepare yourself, with the word of God, in the same fashion your favorite team does to play in the Super Bowl.

  • Read, and believe in the word of God
  • Pray and give thanks every day
  • Treat others with kindness and compassion just as Jesus treats you.

No Pre-Qualifications

Now, here’s the best part about becoming a member of Team Jesus… there are no difficult prerequisites in qualifying for our Team! You don’t need to be super-fast; don’t need to be super-strong; don’t need to be super-big; and you don’t need to be anything more than who you are.

The only requirement is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself “ (Luke 10:27)

That’s all there is to it!

Careful to Represent

How many Patriots fans do we have here this morning? I know you guys have an up-hill battle going on. Yup, if you look at all the polls going on across the country, it appears as it’s the Patriots against everyone else.

Why do you think that is? Maybe they’ve gotten a bad-rap by the media. Maybe some of the stories and accusations are true and maybe they’re not. We’ll probably never really know the whole truth but, nonetheless, the Patriots have this dark-cloud following them throughout the season and, now, into the Super Bowl.

All of this because of a “few bad eggs!” That’s all it takes my friends. Here you have a football team with some excellent athletes, perhaps the greatest quarterback in football history, all slandered by a few “bad eggs!”

We need to be very aware of this as well. Let’s not be those “bad eggs!” We need to represent Team Jesus in the way it has been taught to us in the Bible.

Colossians 4:5-6 – “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Here’s a few tips from previous lessons that might help you out in your training for Team Jesus:

  • Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
  • Offer your heart to the down-hearted.
  • Always ask yourself “What would Jesus do?” when faced with difficult situations.
  • Be different, always filled with kindness and humility and not like the remainder of today’s society.
  • Drop to your knees and exalt your Father in Heaven, giving thanks for all that you have and all you have yet to receive.
  • When this world gets the best of you, “Look-Up” and witness the greatness of our God.
  • Love those that hate you for you have been given the ultimate and eternal Love of your Father in Heaven.

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In Conclusion

Go and watch your game tonight. Root for your favorite team and hope they do well. Be a good sport and keep from criticizing and antagonizing those against you. Cheer for their success as well.

Most importantly, and after this Super Bowl is over and done with, remember what team you play for and the victories you’ve already won.

Remember our team Coach, Jesus, has already defeated the doings of the Devil and, with Him on our side, most certainly, we will do the same in the days to come.

Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)

 Personal thanks to for some of the inspiration found on their site in the writing of the content of this message.