Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Locker Room Speech

Have you ever seen a locker room speech or played ball and the coach came in to get the team fired up before the game. There are some great speeches from some great coaches. Speeches that could make an underdog team feel like champions. Some coaches can say things that stir emotions and excite players like no one else. Coaches like Knute Rockne of Notre Dame or Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were some of the best.

A few months ago I watched the movie We are Marshall. In the movie Matthew McConaughey is brought in as the new coach after the plane crash to rebuild the team. There is a scene where he gathers the team together in a grave yard and gives a very emotional and motivating speech. He is challenging them to step up and play with all they've got. They are out sized, out experienced and out coached but he challenges them and believes in them.

This morning I was reading a passage of scripture and came across a scene where Jesus is about to send his team out onto the field so-to-speak and he gives them a speech before they go. Let me share it with you and see if Christ's speech would motivate you:
Matthew 10:17-33 - 17 “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!

26 “So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
Wow! I'm not sure about you but that does not really fire me up! It sounds like Christ is saying you will be persecuted and most likely get going! I don't think I would be the first one out of the locker room after hearing that. However, Christ is not trying to get his team fired up emotionally. He is not depending on their ability to get the job done. He knows that it is the power of the Holy Spirit that will finish the game. The story of God's redemptive plan has never really been about man, it has always been about God. The fact that God allows us to play a small part in this plan is amazing.

Christ's locker room speech is quite different from what we typically hear on ESPN or FOX Sports but his message is honest, his message requires us to reflect on what it truly means to be a follower of him. Are you ready to play?

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