Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback who has ever played in the US National Football League. His twenty-two year career is over. And his reasons speak volumes.

Let me share today’s verse, and then use Tom’s retirement announcement to make some points.


Brady said, “I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed.”

Being a follower of Jesus is also supposed to be an ‘all in’ proposition. Giving Him your life is a commitment, one that is intended to bear fruit. As I’ve said before, a love that is alive and well on the inside will show up visibly and powerfully on the outside. I think that too many people have bought the line that they can just “say a prayer” to become a Christian. Is it true that salvation is by grace through faith? Of course. Does the bible say that if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved? Why, yes it does. But if you can say a prayer to heaven for forgiveness and then continue to live like hell is your master, either your confession or your belief was sorely lacking. And, most likely, so is your “salvation.”

Jesus made it clear that lip service wasn’t the criteria for salvation. He said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” The gift of salvation and forgiveness is free, being a disciple will cost you everything.

When a bride and groom stand at the altar to exchange vows of commitment “until death do us part,” no one has forced them to be there. But, among other things, their vows commit them to forsake all others. The love they profess must be demonstrated by their actions from that point forward. A living love shows.

In marriage, football and discipleship — if a 100% commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed.

That’s why our commitment must be I SEEK YOU WITH ALL MY HEART. And our prayer be DO NOT LET ME STRAY FROM YOUR COMMANDS.

Tom Brady also noted, “There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.” His field was marked in 10-yard increments, his success measured in touchdowns. For the Christian, our success is not measured in yards on a field and touchdowns scored. It is measured in lives changed. We’re not moving a ball down a field, we’re moving lives on a spectrum measured only by their proximity to Jesus Christ. And when they hit their “end zone” the character of their love and devotion will be known.

During his 22 year career Tom Brady attempted 11,317 passes. He’s thrown more passes than any other quarterback in professional football, and man, he threw some doozies. Some were long, dramatic, all-or-nothing last-minute game changers. They’re the most memorable. But his average pass was only about seven yards. They were the staple of his success. Pass after pass, game after game, season after season Brady got on the field and gave 100% thousands and thousands of times.

Christianity has been compared to a football game. You’ve got 50,000 fans in the stands, desperately in need of exercise; and 22 men on the field, desperately in need of rest. Christianity is meant to be “played” by every participant, we who serve Christ are supposed to be actively involved in advancing the Kingdom. Spectator is not a spiritual gift. You won’t find someone committed to SEEKING HIM WITH ALL THEIR HEART sitting on the sidelines with a hot dog and a beer.

The game of life is played on the field, not in the bleachers. God has called you and equipped you to make a difference in someone’s life with His love. You can be the tool that God chooses to use, but you’ve got to get in the game.

When you’re looking at your life in the rear-view mirror, will you be satisfied with your stats?


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