Monday, May 27, 2002

Speaking at National Football League pre-game chapels has always been an honor. You should see me in a roomful of those pro football giants - when I stand next to one of them, it looks like "Bring Your Son to Work" day. But over the years, we've gotten to know some of those players - so it's been very special to take their gift of tickets and go watch them play. Having been with them on the morning of game day, it's clear that this is much more than a game to them - you can tell by their seriousness and their intensity. Which is in total contrast to the fans I then get to sit next to at the game. They're cooking out, drinking, then they go in the stadium and cheering - or jeering - the home team.

This one very obnoxious guy kept jumping up and criticizing almost every play our team ran. He was such an expert - and so annoyingly loud about it. Now, I know a little of what's going on for those players - this is their livelihood, their profession, their future, their body that's on the line. For Mr. Fan, hey, this is just a party with no pain. I can't tell you how badly I just wanted to stand up and shout, "Hey, buddy! Why don't you get out of the stands and get in the game!"

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Get in the Game!"

I can't help but wonder if Jesus isn't trying to say that to some of us. Maybe to you. "Get out of the stands and get in the game!" The "game" is His work on this planet - in your church, your community, in some ministry, in trying to help some people you know be in heaven with you.

The problem is that most of us like to be just fans when it comes to really getting seriously involved in the life-changing work of Jesus Christ. We like to go to the games, eat the refreshments, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow believers, cheer for Jesus, and sometimes criticize those who are on the field trying to win the game. Oh, we like being spiritual consumers - taking in all the blessings and good feelings and the fellowship of being Christians. We aren't inclined to be spiritual producers - taking on some serious "make it happen" responsibility in the work of God.

We're just like some folks God challenged in our word for today from the Word of God. God's ancient people are approaching their Promised Land. Their taking of that land is going to involve an "all hands on deck" assault on the cities and the armies of Canaan - whom God has promised to put in their hands. But the "Gadites" and the "Reubenites" have another idea. They

don't want to cross the Jordan and join this battle - they ask Moses if they can just settle down with their families on this side of the Jordan River. Moses' answer is classic: "Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, 'Shall your countrymen go to war while you sit here?'" (Numbers 32:6)

That may be what your Lord is asking you today. With battles going on for people's lives, with way too few of His people entering the battle - "Shall you sit here while a war for lives is going on?" He's got a job for you to do. And putting checks in the offering plate so others can serve just isn't going to cut it with Jesus. He's calling you to leave your comfortable seat in the stands; to leave the convenience and the safety of limited involvement. You can't delegate spiritual responsibility to the "pro"s that the church has hired, and Jesus is summoning you to join Him in the spiritual rescue mission for which He died.

You've been in the stands long enough, and it's getting very late in the game. There's ground to gain; there's a battle to win. Get in the game!



Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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