We talked with Major League Rugby player Nate Augspurger about his faith journey, how he’s living in the increase of Christ, and the mentors who have impacted his life. Here’s what he had to say:
What effect does your faith have on your lifestyle?
The truth of the Gospel is everywhere. One of the things that my faith in Christ brings me is the ability to focus on being positive. God’s Word teaches me how to accept whatever things that happen to me, knowing God’s in control. I know He’s putting me in the best position for me to serve and honor Him. My faith in Him instills in me a confidence for life and allows me to get through whatever the day may bring. Before I take the field, I take a moment to surrender whatever is about to happen to God, and He takes away any anxieties or worries I may have. When I know the presence of God, I know true peace.
Describe how your journey with Christ began.
When I was 23 years old, in 2013, I gave my life to Christ at our church in San Diego when the pastor asked if anyone wanted to reestablish their faith in Jesus Christ. I said that prayer that day and three years later, in the very same church, my wife did the same.
I was baptized in a Catholic church when I was born, and took communion in high school. My wife went to church growing up with her family as well. But it wasn’t real to us, not yet. I knew God existed but I wasn’t reading the Bible or fully believing He was who He says He is. I recognized times in my life when He protected me from certain situations and I knew that someone was guiding me. My family and I prayed at dinners and went to church at Christmas and Easter, but until I surrendered my life to Christ, I didn’t know a relationship with Him.
Who have been the best mentors in your life? How did God bring these people into your life?
Both of my parents have been super supportive of me always. They believe in me, and like Christ, I know they’d forgive me for anything I’d ever do. They’ve been with me through failure and success, keeping me humble and focused. I’ve also had some amazing coaches who have been the same way. These are the people I know love me even when I’m at my worst.
What does the Increase of Christ mean to you?
When I think of decreasing, I think of surrender — of being humble. As an athlete, pride is a big thing. When we are able to surrender our pride, it leaves room for Him to increase in us and strengthen our minds and bodies. In turn, we experience growth in His love. Without weakness, there’s no room for God to come in and make you strong. When we decrease, God works His miracles.
What is your favorite verse and why?
“The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.” — Psalm 27:1-3
When I was 16 years old, I really wanted a tattoo, but I didn’t want to just get a stupid one, and I didn’t want my parents to think lowly of me. I wanted one that was meaningful. My high school athlete number was 27, and one day I opened the Bible to Psalm 27 and read it. I shared it with my mom, and then decided to memorize it. I thought, if I was going to get this tattooed on me, I better know it and believe it. I loved it! When I was 19 and away at college, I got this tattooed. I know that the strength I receive is from the Lord.
Nate Augspurger is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions. Check out Nate’s Increase profile: https://theincrease.com/author/nate-augspurger/
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