Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Brett Favre, quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, wasn’t able to play for his team this past Monday night due to a shoulder injury. Normally, that would not be very newsworthy because players on every NFL team routinely miss games because they are hurt too badly to compete. Professional football is a notoriously rough sport in which players are injured every weekend. It is difficult for anyone to go through an entire season without missing some playing time. It is just the nature of the sport.

The fact that Brett Favre is missing a game is making the headlines because this is the first time it has happened in 19 seasons. He started a game on September 27, 1992 and, for the next 297 regular season games (321 including playoff games), he has shown up, put on his pads, laced up his cleats and did his job. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports summed it up well: “Favre has played through countless broken bones, torn muscles, concussions, battered ankles, banged-up knees and every other calamity that would fell most mortals. For years on end, the best (or easiest) job in football was Brett Favre’s backup. You collected an NFL check, you got your own uniform and you never got hit while you held the clipboard.” Favre has other well-documented shortcomings, but you can’t doubt his heart and commitment to his team.

I’m thankful for every Christian who shows this same kind of heart and commitment to the body of Christ. You know the kind of disciple I am talking about. The disciple who refuses to run at the first sign of struggle. The disciple who perseveres through times of difficulty. The disciple who hangs in there through thick and thin. The disciple who continues “playing” even when hurt. The disciple who can be depended on by the rest of the team.

Could your church family use this kind of a disciple? Why not begin your own consecutive game streak today? Make the choice now to be there for your spiritual brothers and sisters! Do it for YOUR team!

God loves you!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An Iron-clad Guarantee

“Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!" And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him” (Mark 1:23-26).

This encounter in a synagogue in Capernaum is interesting for its portrayal of the vulnerability of the demonic world in the presence of Jesus. Let’s notice how this servant of the prince of darkness cowered before the Son of God. First, the demon was timid in the presence of Jesus. “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?” He uttered no threats nor issued any challenges. One gets the sense that he was just fearfully awaiting Jesus’ declaration concerning what would happen to him. Second, the demon understood the mission of Jesus. “Have you come to destroy us?” Apparently he knew better than many others that Jesus came to earth to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). All he could do was surrender to the inevitable. Third, the demon clearly recognized and acknowledged the identity of Jesus. “I know who You are – The Holy One of God!” There was no doubt in his mind regarding who Jesus claimed to be. Fourth, the demon had no choice but to obey the command of Jesus. When Jesus said, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”, he resisted but did as he was told. There is no debate as to who was in charge in this situation!

This text should be a comfort to anyone who is concerned about the evil that seems to fill our modern world. The Son of God who cast out a demon in Capernaum is the same Son of God who continues to terrify the forces of darkness today. Good will ultimately triumph over evil. Jesus guarantees it!

God loves you!