Monday, July 23, 2012

Team Jersey

Even a person who is not a sports fan can probably identify different jerseys. A baseball player’s jersey buttons up, and he wears either a hat or a helmet, and carries either a glove or a bat. A football player also wears a helmet, but his has a facemask, and he also has big shoulder pads. A basketball player’s jersey has no sleeves or buttons, and he might wear a headband.

Others have unique equipment too. Volleyball players have kneepads, hockey players have a stick, and soccer players wear bright colors and high socks.

These attributes are easily identifiable, and no person would ever look at a hockey player with all his equipment and say, “He must be going to the gym to play basketball.” His uniform places him on the ice.

In a similar way Jesus said there should be unique equipment for His followers, something that sets them apart. In John 13:35 Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”

There it is: when people see the love that Christians show they should immediately place us is the church. This love that we show does not originate from within us, but from God. I John 4:8 and 16 say, “God is love.” Ours is a God of love, and He invites His followers to be the same way. And this love isn’t limited to just our families or the ones that love us, but we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Most basketball coaches wear a jacket and tie, but their players don’t; most football coaches wear a collared shirt or a windbreaker, but their players don’t. Baseball coaches (or managers) are different; they have a jersey with a number, and a hat or a batting helmet that matches the team.

Or maybe the team matches the coach.

It’s as if the coach says, “Here I am, this is how I look, and if you want to be on my team you have to look like me.” Jesus is the same way. He says, “I am love, and if you want to be on my team, you have to look the same way.”

Make sure you suit up with God’s love today and stay in the game.  

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