Your daily Olympic devotional
A snippet from a new sports devotional, The Spirit of Victory. Available through your favourite bookstore.
Coach’s Voice - Matthew 7:24-27
Being a coach is a tough gig. Your destiny is tied up with your teams’ performances. A coach must be a multi-skilled operative. They are an expert in their chosen sport, on top of all the technical details, an instructor, a tactician, a motivator, a psychologist, a counsellor, a manager of people, a confessor, an authoritarian, a friend, a CEO yet servant to the club and players.
Who would want to be a coach?! If the team succeeds it is all credit to the players. If the team loses it is the fault of the coach.
Perhaps one of the best ways to describe Jesus’ ministry on earth is that of a coach. He had a small team of 12, plus a larger following. He instructed them in the ways of the Kingdom of God and was preparing them to be His messengers to the world.
Two great aspects of Jesus as coach are that He practised 100% of what He taught and handled pressure magnificently. His Sermon on the Mount (recorded in Matthew chapters 5-7) didn’t take long to deliver but His listeners knew that the Speaker lived every word of that sermon every day.
Nobody walked the walk or talked the talk as thoroughly as Jesus. But all coaches want to see their players to be quick to listen and ready to put into practice what has been communicated.
The Sermon on the Mount is like an inspiring vision statement delivered by a coach at the beginning of the season. It outlines the kind of person the coach requires for his team as well as a code of conduct for anyone who wants to be part of the successful team.
At the end of Jesus’ message, the listeners were amazed at His authority. But as you read it you might well say ‘What a great message! What a great teacher!’ and feel the need to applaud. But wait a minute! As you read the sermon you will note that it ends on judgement and that it requires total obedience from the heart.
In life, on our way to eternal life we need more than a coach, even the very best one. We need a Saviour. Someone who can take away our sins and who can give us a righteousness that pleases God and who can provide us with the inner motivation and power to obey the Coach’s words.
Jesus is not only the great Coach in life, but also the magnificent Saviour. He died to take away our sins and His own (100%) righteousness is credited to those who trust Him.
Peter Nelson the Australian Institute of Sport chaplain for 29 years (Ret), 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympics Chaplain. Peter’s story