Hundreds of athletes recently gathered in Tokyo, Japan for the 2020 Olympics. These athletes are some of the most renowned athletes in the world. They’re simply people, sure, but they have something extra that sets them apart in their sports. What is it?
They have dedicated their whole lives to training for one thing: the Olympics.
Before being chosen for the Olympic team, they knew the cost of what it would take to be an Olympic athlete, what they would have to give up and how their lives would change forever.
Their deep desire drove their deep dedication.
Like the Olympic trials, Jesus once stood ready to choose His team.
The Disciples’ Dedication
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
He had 12 spots open for His team. He had many people to choose from, but His final decision was a collection of fishermen, tax collectors, zealots, brothers, friends and even a thief. While all different, they shared one common theme: dedication.
The four fishermen were dedicated to the sea. If they did not catch fish, they did not have money for their families. The tax collector, Matthew, was dedicated to his tax booth, not missing a day. We see dedication in Peter to his family and friends. With each disciple, we see a deep dedication for what they were doing on their own path before they met Jesus.
Dedication to sports and our team is important, but ultimately, we need our deepest desire to be Christ.
Jesus saw that His future disciples understood what it took to be dedicated. He knew their personal dedication would turn into a Kingdom dedication to God when He called them.
Jesus turned their worldly desires into Kingdom desires.
Their deep desire for Jesus drove their deep dedication to follow Him.
“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!’ And they left their nets at once and followed him.” (Mark 1:17-18)
Dedication has not changed; it is still just as important today for us.
Being a dedicated athlete is both visible and measurable.
We chose our sport, so we must be dedicated to it. Are we going all out in practice? Putting the extra work in the weight room? Taking correction and applying it? Respecting our coach?
“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
Being a dedicated teammate is intentional.
When choosing our sport, God placed us on a team. Are we encouraging our teammates and managers? Are we doing our part? Helping a teammate in need? Holding each other accountable? Practicing self-control?
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)
Dedicated Christ Follower
Dedication to sports and our team is important, but ultimately, we need our deepest desire to be Christ. This is exactly what the disciples realized; this is the reason they dropped everything and ran to Christ.
Dedicated Christians live out their faith, producing good fruit. Are others seeing our fruit? Are we telling others about the hope found in Jesus and why we are dedicated to Him?
“Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” (Matthew 7:20)
Jesus gave His all for us; how can we not in turn give our all for Him? As children of God, we’re on Christ’s team. He chose us, and we have responded by spending our days dedicated to loving and serving Him and those around us. If our first dedication is to Christ, it will pour over into our athletic and spiritual life. The more we dedicate to His Kingdom living, the more God’s light shines through us for people to take notice.
This quarter, we’re exploring what it means to Pursue Team. This month, our focus is on how to Draft the Team. Join us as we journey through this exploration and prepare to Commit to the Team next month.
One way to actively Pursue Team is through joining an FCA Huddle. The Huddle is one of FCA’s greatest teams. It is an important resource to help coaches and athletes grow in the essentials of their faith and become fully devoted followers of Christ. As a coach or athlete connects to an FCA Huddle, they will surround themselves with teammates who point to Jesus. Bring a friend and find a Huddle near you!
Want to learn more about pursuing team and surrounding yourself with the right spiritual teammates? Head to FCA in Action and read our August Pursue articles:
Anchor Article: Do the Work: Draft the Team
*If you read this article and aren’t in relationship with Christ yet but would like to know more, we invite you to go through FCA’s The FOUR that explains how an everlasting and fulfilling life with God is possible.
About the Author:
Arbor Diggs is an Area Representative for Knoxville FCA in Tennessee. She works with high school female student athletes and coaches in her area. She mentors, disciples, leads Huddles and manages the social media and all graphic designs for her area. From age 3-21 she trained in ballet, eventually leading her to become a soloist ballet dancer for her company. Her husband Adam is also on staff with FCA. Coffee and warm weather makes her happy, as does telling stories about God and His people to the world.
Connect with her at email@example.com and get involved with her ministry and support Greater Knoxville FCA HERE.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash