video | 02.04.15
Behind every great player is a great coach.
Cristiano Ronaldo describes Sir Alex Ferguson as his “father in football”.
Andy Murray found Ivan Lendl was the final piece in the jigsaw of him winning a Grand Slam.
Players can have the talent, the physical ability and the commitment, but the coach is so often the one who draws all the strands together with crucial words of wisdom and insight. As in sport so it is in life. It matters who we have in our lives. We need people in our lives who make us feel alive, who bring energy and encouragement. Perhaps most importantly, it matters who we listen to, who we go to for direction and guidance.
Jesus Christ said,
“I have come to give you life and life to the full” (John 10:10).
In the original language there are two words for ‘life’. One means the basic ingredients of life - the things we need just to carry on surviving. But the word Jesus uses in this phrase means ‘quality of life’. It’s like that moment when everything is going really well, when the team just clicks and a sweeping move ends in a goal, or when you’re having a great holiday with good friends and in that moment you kick back and think to yourself, ‘this is the life!’ That is the sense in which Jesus is using the word. He says he has come to bring that type of ‘life’ about!
This might be a surprise to you. You might think it strange that Jesus came to bring a life of contentment, joy, satisfaction and purpose. The perception of Christianity is usually the opposite to this: ‘Jesus came to tell us to be good, to try harder and earn our way to heaven’ or ‘Christianity is boring, it drains the fun out of life, it doesn’t bring life!’ But nothing could be further from the truth. Following Jesus brings life and life to the full. But why is that, what is so good about life with Jesus? One of our great problems is that the things we often look to for ‘life’ are so uncertain.
People can be fickle and let us down, jobs can be lost in an economic downturn, sporting ability soon fades with age. Given the uncertainty of these things it would be foolish to try to find life in them - but we do. Jesus says life is about a relationship with him, knowing him and walking with him. Unlike others he will never let us down, he has proved his love for us definitively by laying down his life for us on the cross. Unlike other things, a relationship with him lasts because his resurrection means that he will walk with us through eternity.
A good coach can bring a moment of insight that becomes a game changer, something that totally alters a player’s outlook - that crucial insight. The realisation that Jesus has come to bring life and life to the full has transformed millions of lives throughout history. What do you make of it? Could it be a game changer for you?
If you would like to begin to follow Jesus you need to admit your failure to acknowledge him as God, Saviour and King and believe that Jesus Christ came and died to take the punishment you deserve. To do this you could say the prayer written below to God:
Heavenly Father. I acknowledge that there is nothing I can do to get eternal life.
I have put other things as King of my life and I deserve your rejection. I am sorry.
I believe that Jesus died in my place and has taken the judgement that I deserve so that I too can have eternal life. I accept your gift. Thank you
If you do decide to pray this prayer then you'll want to get started following Jesus.
Jesus never intended for us to follow him alone. Christians meet regularly together for encouragement from God’s word and this is called church. It’s important to connect with other Christians for mutual encouragement as you follow Jesus.
If you have a Christian friend, give them a call, and tell them that you have started following Jesus and ask to go to church with them. If there is no one who can help you with this, contact the Christians in Sport office and we’d be happy to help.
Christians in Sport is a UK based charity that aims to reach the world of sport for Christ. We mainly work with sportspeople in competitive and elite sport.
Registered Charity England and Wales 1086570.
Registered Charity Scotland SCO45299.
Company number: 4146081
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