This is the 28th installment in my blog series on Christians in the NFL. Today, the focus is on the New York Giants and New England Patriots as they prepare to do battle in Super Bowl 46 in Indianapolis, IN
CBN has released their yearly video of interviews with Christians from both teams that will be playing in the Championship game. It is pretty cool to see these guys using this, the biggest single day sports event in the world each year, to share God’s love and the impact He has made and is making in their lives.
There are a few stories that I want to share from this, but first, check out the video.
Here are some thoughts/stories I want to share from this video.
1- All In – Hakeem Nicks said it in the video. Being all in for Christ and being all in for this game. The game speaks for itself. It is the pinnacle of the sport – the championship game. If you cannot be motivated to put out your best and leave it all on the field for this game, then what is the point of all the other games. But are you all in for Christ? Is he #1 in your life? Is everything you do a reflection of who He is to you? This is a struggle for all who chose to follow Him – but the great thing about God is that He doesn’t leave us alone to figure it out. He continually shows up and proves Himself to be faithful over and over again. As we see this at work all around us. It becomes easier and easier to be all in for Him. Nicks word was a reference to 4-One ministries, who a couple of months ago, sent Gian Paul Gonzalez to share with the Giants. He gave the players a poker chip and challenged them to be “all in” for Christ. When you go “all in” playing poker, that means you are willing to risk it all for the potential payoff. Are we willing to risk everything this world offers for the payoff of knowing and following Christ? I’m all in, too!
2- Legacy of football and faith – Matthew Slater of the Patriots talks about his faith too. He knows that God promises that all things work together for good for people called according to his purposes. This game is fun and good, but ultimately, it is not important to win or lose, it is about living out God’s plan for our life. God’s plan of salvation and eternity with Him is a way bigger reward then a Super Bowl ring will ever be. As you can read in this article from findingtruthinfaith.com, he credits his perspective and the strength of his faith by the model lived out for him by his dad, NFL hall of famer Jackie Slater.
3- Who we are, not what we do – There is an interesting difference between people who know God and people who don’t in the realm of perspective. As Deion Branch mentioned in his interview. Playing in a Super Bowl is one thing, but it is fleeting. Who can remember, without using google, what teams played in the super bowl in 2002, how about 1997, 1993? Can you name the players on the teams? It is easily forgotten over time. The things that matter are how well you performed not as a player, but as a father, as a Christian. Life isn’t about what we do, it is about who we are and how we are walking out who God has made us to be.
4- God’s plan – It is impossible to know all of God’s plan for us. There has been so much talk this season about Tim Tebow and his faith and how Denver’s success was based around Tebow’s relationship with God. There were even some claims that God led the Broncos to victory, and when they lost, it was because Tebow didn’t pray enough. While I guess this makes a little sense from a non-Christian perspective, but the truth is there are strong believers on most teams in the NFL, so what would make God choose one follower over another? The reality is that God’s plan doesn’t center around who will win or lose. God cares more about how our hearts react and how we honor him win or lose.
That being said, it is time for my Super Bowl 46 prediction. I think that the Giants are the better team overall, so as much as I think the Patriots can win any game they play, I believe that they will not win on Sunday night. Giants win by 6. Enjoy the Game!