When sport teams are recruiting players, they scout for and recruit the best talents available. They have scouts who go around to look for talent to add to their teams. They look for the next big thing. When they discover prospects, they invite them to trials to examine them close up if they are good enough for the team. Sometimes these prospects have to go through many trials in order to be approved to finally join the team on a contract and wear a jersey with their number on it. These usually go on to become the future stars of the club. They join teams to compete for championships. Great sports teams like Manchester United, have many talented individuals who helped the team win championships and these are labelled as legends of their clubs. Some of these legends have their statues erected at the club, or jerseys retired, immortalized by fan base. Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Eric Cantona, etc just to name a few of such persons.
Prospects who are selected and called to join the big teams put in a whole lot of practice. Some start training on their skills very early as soon as they can walk. Stephen Curry, Lionel Messi, Cristiana Ronaldo, Lebron James, Roger Federer, Serena Williams all started early, practicing, training building their skills, strength, stamina to enjoy the success today as stars. These are role models for the next generation. Everyone of them tell you that they had dreams as they were young, had role models they looked up to and trained hard from day one.
Just as in sports, its the same in Christianity. The bible contains a list of glorious stars and legends who achieved glorious feats in their lifetime for us to emulate. These people had extraordinary faith in God and accomplished mighty works in His name. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Esther, Ruth, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, King David, Solomon, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Peter, Paul, Matthew, John the Baptist, John the Apostle, and Jesus Christ. The list is actually endless!! In the dressing room of Heaven these legends have their jerseys hanging with their names on it. Some have their jerseys retired. I believe the No. 1 Jersey has the Name Jesus Christ on it. They were ordinary men found by the Grace and spirit of God, which wielded mighty works through them due to the faith in the Lord.
The bible tells us in the book of Revelation that in the new city of Jerusalem in the new Heaven and the new Earth, the twelve entrance gates of the city have the names of the twelve sons of Israel written on them, and the twelve foundations of the city have the names of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ written on them. This is amazing, this is fantastic, this is supernatural!! You do not want to miss this event and meeting all these great people on that glorious day!
These are the lives we must aim to emulate as Christians, in order to join the Championship team of Jesus Christ who is the Captain of the Team. These men overcame challenges, difficult circumstances, trials, tribulations before finally coming out triumphantly through faith and trust in the Lord. If we are aiming to join the team, then we have to emulate their lifestyle of faith, trust, and Godliness. None of them became great out of nothing. They loved God, studied His word daily, and proved themselves in their daily walks with God. 2 Timothy 2:15 states, “work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” We basically have to work hard to prove to God that we are committed to the Grace of Salvation handed over freely to us through faith in the sacrificial death and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This we can do by studying the bible diligently as if our whole life depends on it (as infact, it does!!), working for God in his vineyard in whatever capacity you can, investing your resources whether income, car, house and precious time to help others in the household of faith in love. Whatever your hands find to do, do it to the glory of God. Praying for others etc. showing the fruits of the spirit Galatians 5:22-23, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control against which there is no law.
When the scouts of God (Angels) select us for life’s trials, we should embrace it as God is looking for potential recruits to join heavens championship team. James 1:1-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”. In the book of Acts Paul after returning to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith saying that “we must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God”. That job loss you have experienced, that broken marital relationship you have endured, that illness that has kept you bedridden for many years, whatever challenge in your life that you going through now is to increase and strengthen your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord!!
Let us work hard in our journey of faith to be selected to go through trials to test our faith in Jesus Christ so that when we pass the trials, we can be selected for the championship team of Heaven and get a home jersey of White Raiment with our name and number on it and stand among the other Greats of the bible on that glorious and blessed day when our Lord and Saviour returns.