Friday, January 9, 2009

Warrior for Christ

Have you heard of this guy?

If you have, then you'll know he is a warrior. And not just on the football field. He is not perfect and he is not deity, and he even gets unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the heat of the moment. But he is worth our attention if but only for the Savior he points us to. You might also know then that he (not accidentally) has a bible verse under his eyes during games for all to see. Usually, it is Philippians 4:13. Last night, it was John 3:16 - and it is causing a google search stir. For those who would be offended by such a display, and for those who would be encouraged by it, allow me to give you the context:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

My simple defense and explanation of Tebow, who understands this well I'm sure as the son of missionaries, is that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Putting a bible verse under your eyes for a big game where you know TV cameras will have your face in their zoom lens, is an easy thing to do for someone in his situation. But it is also bold and it is not surprising that some are confused or offended by it. There are also many who tried last night with their football buddies to remember the one verse they thought they actually knew, and maybe placed bets or organized drinking games surrounding who knew what it said. And maybe they even read the whole chapter or book of John this morning.

In any case, it was a positive integration of the Gospel in our culture, and I am encouraged by it. What can we do that is equally easy, bold, and strategic to invade people's lives and conversations with the Gospel, knowing that some may not like it, and that is ok because it is evidence that we are living a godly life in Christ Jesus?

Go Gators.

No comments: