- TX visit with sports
- Wanted to see Dallas Cowboy stadium so I could take pic in front wearing my Skins hat & jersey.
- Rodeo sport at Ft. Worth Stock Yards
- Went by Ranger stadium / HS football stadiums are huge / San Antonio Spurs Arena, etc.
- Houston Astros: cool stadium, dome roof w/ AC, train & fireworks for each HR, and they win (sad O’s)
- Sports are part of the fabric and force of society. They impact socially (city depressed when its team loses), culturally (language, symbols, education), educationally (city schools are promoted by athletics), and of course economically (city declines when team is off-season or moves… Cle will lose $ based on LBJ move). Billions upon billions of dollars hang on sports culture.
Sports can be idolatry. The stadium is the temple that took great sacrifice and money to be made. The players are the gods of whom the fans become worshipers to image and reflect the gods’ persona with wearing their jerseys and praise with voice, time, and money.
Sports remind us we have a longing to prosper and be part of a winning team.
Whether academics or athletes, band members or fans, we all need a game plan for life. Today’s message will show how the gospel of Jesus Christ and the word of God is the perfect plan to help us be part of the right team and lead us to victory.
EXAMINE 2Peter 1:1-11 #GameOnSP
VBS Verse: 2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness”
- Fisherman: Peter followed Jesus.
God uses ordinary people.
- Foolish: Peter was impulsive in words and actions.
God has purpose and grace for even the mistake-prone.
- Peter was bold for Jesus (walked on water, spokesperson for disciples, preacher).
God wants to channel your passions for good and glory of His kingdom.
Reading this key verse and context from Peter will give us perspective for leading generations as our church kicks off VBS week. 3 Keys to get your “game on”
Know your coach. (2Peter 1:1)
Peter opens the letter identifying himself as a servant and apostle of Jesus. In the opening letter, Peter names Jesus four names:
1) Christ: Title for Messiah, Anointed One. Peter believes Jesus is the promised/prophesied One (Matthew 16).
2) God: The divine nature of Jesus as the Son of God is evident from Peter’s experiences and testimony. Peter saw Jesus walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead, miracles, rise from the dead, and forgive sins. Later, Peter will mention the divine Transfiguration of Jesus (2Peter 1:16; Matthew 17:1-9).
3) Savior: Peter knew firsthand how much mercy and grace came through Jesus; forgiving sin and not dismissing his discipleship for repeated mistakes, and extending love and blessing even though undeserved.
4) Lord: Jesus was Peter’s Coach, Commander, Leader, and Lord. He followed Jesus’s game plan for life.
Coaches… parents pick teams for the coach and often pay $$$ /
me: Flynn, Gray, ministry (Myers, Jennings, Millwood)
- Value of Coaches
- Know the big picture – most important day is not first but the last, of which you know not when.
- Give the game plan to accomplish the vision and meet the needs.
- Understands how to strategize challenging circumstances and troubleshoot problems.
- Instructs you in necessary skills to survive and thrive in your role.
- Connects you with others and unifies the team.
- Jesus is not just coach but God and Lord.
- He’s not giving just advice and ideas but commands.
- Obedience is not optional.
- Jesus is Lord of every area and issue of your life.
- 2Peter 1:3 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence”
- Through knowledge… we obtain it by
- 1) Reading the word “by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2Peter 1:4)
- 2) Experiences to grow. In the grace of Jesus, there are not failures but lessons learned to grow. This also means we must act more in faith and beyond our comforts.
3) Relationships to sharpen each other (Proverbs 27:17). God places people to sharpen your life and we choose whom chisels and whom chops. Good friends wield the chisel with precision and care. Negative people wield the hammer rash and recklessly.
- Through knowledge… we obtain it by
- VBS aim is to introduce children to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Know your role (2Peter 1:5)
In light of the divine power and promises of Christ available to Christians and the church, we are to participate with God. Our Christian faith is not meant to be passive but participatory. God works in us with His Spirit to develop our convictions, character, and capacity. In other words, we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Php 2:12).
Peter affirms God has given us all things but spiritual growth is not automatic and needs applied.
Peter commands to “make every effort to supplement your faith” [spoudazo – diligent, earnest, strenuous effort] to integrate these qualities into daily life through sacrifice [supplement / epichoregesate: bear the expense for training and supporting a chorus for Greek tragedy plays; [where we get English choreography].
- Doing nothing is actually drifting away from the shore… Swim Strong.
The 7 qualities: virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness/patience, godliness, brotherly affection, love.
It is these qualities that make faith unique to Christianity because they are integrated into daily living. It shows the Christian faith as trustworthy and tangible in a world that segments their religion from everyday life. Such lists were commonly communicated to give a target to live by (cf. Rom 5:3-5; Gal 5:22-23; Php 4:8; 1Tim 6:11). Further, these qualities are not necessarily sequential but more simultaneous and organic; grow in all these!
- Virtue: Implies moral excellence. Our chief aim and purpose. Also, previously listed as which God calls us toward (2Pet 1:3). Virtue is most often not self-identified but recognized as a reputation from others.
à Do your neighbors and co-workers know you’re a Christian? Would they be surprised to hear of your Christian faith, or would they hear of it and conclude hypocrisy?
- Knowledge: Implies personal, first-hand, understanding; knowledge applied.
à Are you taking advantage of opportunities to advance in knowledge?
à Is your Sunday faith applied M-F in deeds and decision-making?
- self-control: Implies discipline and self-mastery. Remember this is impulsive Peter speaking!
à Do you have self-control over your eyes? What images/movies are prevalent across your screens?
Psalm 119:37 “Turn my eyes from worthless things”
Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with my eyes to not look lustfully at a woman.”
“It is the tendency of things that are gazed at to get through the eyes into the mind and heart.”à Do you have self-control over your tongue?
– at the pool – on politics – in church hallways — when attacked unfairly
James 3:2 “The tongue is placed among the parts of our bodies – it pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire”
à Do you have self-control over your eating? finances?
Proverbs 25:28 “one without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”
- steadfastness: Implies patience and perseverance, enduring.
à Where are you fed up and tempted to give up?
- godliness: Implies devout worship; fear and reverence
à What do you fear most? Fear reveals what you are faithful to – money, material possessions (I can’t live without certain clothes/shoes/house/car), sometimes good things – spouse, kids, etc… but even good can become an idol against God.
- brotherly affection [philadelpsian]: Implies friendship love, kindness and generous to others.
à What resources has God blessed you with that you could share with others? Could be material, or could be emotional support through time… or spiritually through prayer and encouragement.
à How many people at church pew are at your dining table?
Challenge 1: Invite 1 church family from diff generation to your home for dinner or dessert.
Challenge 2: Invite 1 church guest family to fellowship outside or inside your home.
- love (agape): Implies unique and unconditional love.
à Jesus shows us agape on the cross… loving enemies. You may or not have an enemy, but one difficult to love. What action will you do this week to show agape love and gospel forgiveness?
- Know your role and get in the game!
- VBS aim is to involve the church in evangelistic mission. Everyone can have a role from preparation, to hands-on participation serving in moving or even immobile roles & up front or behind scenes, not to mention prayer.
Know the score (2Peter 1:9-10).
Peter exhorts believers to cultivate these characteristics to confirm (βέβαιος implied a legal guarantee) their heavenly calling of faith in Christ. Living out your faith builds the assurance and confidence that faith is present in the believer’s life. Peter communicates both a caution and a comfort.
These qualities aid in escaping us from corruption in the world (1:4). They protect against being ineffective [argos: idle of work or sloth; cf James 2:20] or unfruitful [akarpos: barren or sterile; cf. Mat 13:22] (1:8); and they avoid you being nearsighted & blind (1:9; cf Rev 3:17) and forgetful of what Jesus has done in mercy and grace.
In all, Peter is saying there is a score and account we will give before Jesus. Did our faith result in works (James 2:20)? Is our faith plausible or pretended? The confirmation of our election is our sanctification in these characteristics (cf. Rom 8:29).
For Christians, the score and account of our life will be on the righteousness of Jesus… yet, we can add eternal joy to the scoreboard when we honor Jesus.
And “if you practice these qualities you will never fall… there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom” (1:10-11).
You will never fall. Your sins are covered by the grace of Jesus (Ps 32:1).
You will be richly provided entrance into heaven. Be forward and future thinking (Php 3:13-14; Col 3:1-2).
- “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for this present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set foot on the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”; aim at earth and you will get neither.”
- VBS aim is to grow godly generations.
- We need a generation of Christians who savor the grace of Jesus and see the glory of heaven in God’s kingdom and make every effort to be there and bring others with them.
These 7 virtues are like a golden staircase that we cannot climb, but that Jesus walks down to take our hand to believe and belong to Him.
What is a successful life & VBS?
- Belonging to Jesus
- Bringing others to Jesus.
 Richard Bauckam, Word Biblical Commentary, 2Peter 1:10.
 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 118