Faith, Family And Football Challenge

Devotional

The Faith, Family and Football Challenge

by Jess Stainbrook

Welcome!  If you’re reading this I’m hoping you joined us from taking our Faith, Family and Football Challenge from our event at Super Bowl 51 and you heard people like Tony Dungy and James Brown talk about why their faith was important in their lives.  Maybe someone told you about this reading plan or you found it through the Youversion Bible App.  Whatever way you’ve chosen to participate in this, you probably have lots of questions and want to know more.

You’re not alone.  Many of us are on this journey and I can tell you from experience, it’s crazy.  Crazy in that it can change your life if you let it.  Somebody once said “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it.”  It’s all about our attitude, so I encourage you to look at the beginning of this journey with excitement!

Three things you should know straight up:

  1. God made you and knows you.  (PSA.139)
  2. God loves you.  (ROM.8.37-39)  
  3. God thinks you are very special.  (MAT.10.29-31)

Sounds quaint, but it’s not.  Walking with God is real and I hope to help you discover some things over the next seven days so you have a better understanding of this thing called “Faith.”

SOME HELPFUL TOOLS

THE BIG BOOK

So there’s a best-selling book out there.  Maybe you’ve heard of it.  It’s called the Bible.  I like to think of the title as an acronym, i/e,

B = Basic

I = Instructions

B = Before

L = Leaving

E = Earth

The Bible is a book with lots of stories.  They’re old stories, some of them 2,000, 4,000, even 6,000 years old.  But it’s filled with words of wisdom, stories that can help you in the midst of life today.  It can truly impact your life… forever.  

FRIENDS (Christianese translation = Community!)

Somebody invited you to the Faith, Family and Football event.  So know that somebody else is thinking about you and wants to walk this journey with you.  It’s okay to let them know that you’re thinking about this stuff.  You can also tell them to back off if you want.  Sometimes we need to start walking a path on our own to allow for our own discovery process - and that’s okay. But we also need friends and that’s why we gather together to seek direction together.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Hey, you already did!  You made a commitment to seek and follow God.  Next step: Pick a time and location that will be quiet for you to spend five to ten minutes (or more if you want) each day, whether in the early morning, lunchtime, or in the evening.  Bring a notebook with you.  As a busy person, I find that a million things will come into my head when I sit down to do this type of meditation time, so writing down your “to-do” list means your brain can let go of them and get back to them later so you can focus on this time alone with God.  

THE COMMITMENT

Over the next seven days, do these four things in your daily time:

  1. ASK God to show Himself to you.  Invite God to make Himself known so that there is no question that the things you will experience are not just some coincidence.  And be ready, because I believe God will show up - for YOU!
  2. READ the short passages from the Bible that are part of this seven-day adventure. Reflect on them and how they might apply to you. (I recommend picking a translation of the Bible that is easy to read and understand like NIV or The Message. YouVersion has lots of choices!)
  3. WRITE things down - journal - during these seven days so you have a record of what you experience.  This will help you remember what happens as a launching pad for whatever else happens in life from here forward.  You’ll find these “notes” very valuable as the journey continues. If you’re using an old-fashioned hard copy Bible, highlight things that stand out to you and take notes in the margin. You can do the same in the Bible App.
  4. MEDITATE on the things that come to mind, on the stories from the Bible that you read. And talk to God like he is a friend sitting right next to you in the room.  We call this prayer, and there’s no magic way to do it.  It really just feels like a conversation with someone you can trust with everything. Tell Him what bugs you, what you’re happy about, who you’re concerned about, how you’d like help.  You might get immediate answers; you might not.  But you’ll be surprised how it affects who you are, how you think, and what you believe as things progress.

There will be a bonus video clip link for each day, and you are welcome to watch that too.

Today’s assignment is easy.  Find your quiet place. Then start with the following:

ASK God to show up.

READ JHN.16.13

WRITE down some thoughts about your expectations for the seven days. Be honest.

MEDITATE about your expectations - Talk to God - maybe what you think you’d like to see happen over the next seven days.  Be willing to listen to that still and small voice in your head. It may be leading you to some incredible conversations and discoveries over the next few days!

VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/128731649 Rodney Harrison, Super Bowl winning player and NBS Sports Analyst.  

Good job getting started! See you tomorrow!