I started a discipleship group this year with some guys from the south side of Chicago. I know the men are learning, but honestly, I think I’m learning more as I teach them.
Learning to lead others outside the world of football has taken a lot of intentionality for me. It’s one thing to be that guy in the locker room, but I’m no longer in the locker room. I have to be more bold in my actions and words for others to see and take notice. When I was playing in the NFL, my teammates knew when I went to chapel or Bible study, but now, I need to display my faith in a different way so others see. You never know if your next interaction is the first or last one someone else might have with Jesus. I never want someone to be turned away from the message of Christ because of the way His people live their lives.
Right now I’m helping them discover what it looks like to have an affinity for God’s Word. I would guess that the majority of us don’t come out of the womb with the natural desire to read the Bible, or maybe I’m just speaking for myself. God’s Word is a tool we have to put effort into studying, and as we do, we grow to love it and thirst for more of it. There’s a difference between reading the Bible and really diving into it, comparing different versions, looking at parallel verses, and researching commentaries on certain subjects. We can read the stories in God’s Word and take them at their surface level interpretation, or we can go deeper and really discover who God is and how we can apply His truths to our lives.
It’s easy to say we want to read God’s Word and reflect His character, but it’s another thing to live that out in our day-to-day lives. Speaking truth is important, but living out God’s truth is more important. Talk can be cheap if our actions aren’t there to back it up.
As we grow spiritually, we are able to move on from taking in spiritual milk to soft foods and then solids. We soon are saturating ourselves with God’s Word, craving the more rich and in-depth sustenance He offers. Recently I heard a pastor say, “God can’t just be something in your life, He has to be everything in your life.” He has to be the most important thing, so much so that everything else pales in comparison.
Two things will last forever: the Word of God and the soul of man. How you spend your life and the steps you take to follow Christ will determine where you spend eternity. Where will you be? What are you doing today to prepare for that day?
Dive into God’s Word and experience the richest, most satisfying spiritual food you could imagine. Soon, you will be thirsting for more.
— Matt Forte, former NFL running back
Matt Forte is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions. Check out Matt’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/matt-forte/
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