Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Bringing Jesus Back Into The Game - Matt Forte

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” —John 17:16

I have always been a firm believer in this Scriptural truth—we are supposed to be in the world but not of it. In our culture today, many people are trying to take Jesus out of the picture, not only in sports, but also in music, schools, television, and other media outlets.

It’s absolutely critical that we keep Him in.

Jesus is the ultimate reason I do what I do. He’s blessed me with the talent to play in the NFL, a family of my own, a scholarship to get the education and athletic training I did, and so much more. He created me. How I live my life is my gift back to God who gave me the gift of life!

With the NFL getting more and more popular every year, this is one of the greatest platforms I could be given to share my faith. I’d be doing my Creator, myself, and others a disservice if I didn’t bring Jesus into everything I do. That’s why I use social media.

Every photo that I post on Instagram or Twitter has a Bible verse with it because that’s one more way I can put Jesus’ name out there. Instagram is too often all about ourselves—how we look, what we’re doing, and who we’re with. This is such a shame! We’re taking something that can be used for good and perverting it into something selfish. Jesus is the one we should be focusing on. If everyone is getting all their information from social media, you better believe that’s where I will post the truth of God’s message. If I can introduce the name of Jesus to young kids simply because they are a fan of football, I will.

Whenever you take a stand for your faith, you will experience pushback. This is especially the case on social media. People think since they are untouchable—they can say anything they want. Yes, everyone’s free to have an opinion, but not to cyber bully. There have been many times when I’ve posted a verse on social media to which others will reply, “Stick to football man,” or, “I can’t believe you believe this fake story.” But these comments never discourage me. In fact, Jesus promised we would experience adversity as believers:

“Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also.” —John 15:20

Christian rapper, Bizzle, has a song out called “No Hate.” In that song he says, “You can hate me but you ain’t gettin’ no hate back.” And in one verse he writes, “Your love measures by the hate you can love through.” It’s easy to love someone who is lovable, but when you’re able to love someone who is hateful, envious, or jealous, that’s when you know you have Christ’s love in you. That’s what He did for us.

Jesus is my everything. Recently in our Bible study we were talking about how we all need God to be our Shepherd. A lot of times we try to be our own shepherd, but we just can’t. Our problems are too big for us. We have to have faith in the God who spoke the world into existence and breathed life into us. If He’s that big, He’s bigger than any problem we may face. We just have to trust and believe in Him.

This is the Jesus that I want others to know. He’s worth talking about; He’s worth living for.

This Jesus is my everything.

—Matt Forte, New York Jets

Matt Forte is a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

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