Membership: Where You Belong (2 of 4) by Roger Thomas

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Membership: Where You Belong (2 of 4)
Ships of Faith
Roger Thomas
Ephesians 4:11-16
September 15, 2002


Introduction: You may not believe this now but I grew up playing competitive athletics. From grade school on, if they played it on a field or in the gym in my small town, I was a part of it. In high school, I played varsity football, basketball, baseball and track. I earned fifteen varsity letters in high school and five in college (three in basketball and two in track). As a teenager, I even ran on an Illinois state record setting Jr. Olympics 4x100 relay.

My kids like to imagine that all of this was way back when Dr. Naismith first put up the peach baskets for basketball and we played football without helmets. Close but not quite! I say all of this neither to lament the fading glories of youth nor regale you with amazing stories of former athletic prowess. I assure you the stories are not necessarily neither amazing nor the prowess that athletic. I tell you this simply to explain why I tend to think in athletic or sports terms. I am convinced that playing team sports left a lasting impression on me.

In fact I think there are some things that a young man or woman can learn from competing with a team that can be learned in few other places in life. Lessons like the importance of cooperation, submitting your desires for that of the good of the team, faithfully playing a position that is one piece of a bigger whole while learning to rely on the other players to do their parts. And maybe most of all learning not to quit when the going gets hard and sticking together even after you lose. Of course, being a life-long Cub fan has helped with that last one as well.

If you understand the lessons of team sports, you understand the theme I want to develop today in our month-long series that I am calling The Ships of Faith. This month I am addressing four different terms that can teach us much about what the Lord intends for the Christian ...


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