“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” — Romans 6:8
Jesus invites us to live above the applause. He calls us to live above our performance. He desires for us to know our value above our career. Greater than the instructions of a coach, more important than the advice of our agents or our mentors, is the voice of our Master, who longs for us to listen to His instruction and submit to His direction moment by moment.
As we die to affirmation from the crowd, and cast off the need for affirmation from even ourselves, we remove “me” from the middle and live for the One who belongs at the center.
The first destination in following Jesus, though, is to a cross where we die (to ourselves), just as He died. The beauty of that invitation, however, is that the journey doesn’t end at the cross, just as with Christ. It results in new life, new passion, new opportunities and new purpose. Romans 6:8 and 11 confirms this idea: “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. … In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
You’re no longer just a student-athlete, professional athlete or whatever your job position is. You’re now a resurrected child of God who gets to use your gifts and all that comes with them to bring hope to those in desperate need of Jesus. You have a small window in time to be used by the Miracle Maker for powerful things. With that perspective, goals and trophies suddenly grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Live for Christ, die with Christ, live with Christ.
— Steve Hawthorne, New York Red Bulls chaplain
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