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It’s Just Practice…

09.02.18 | by Ray Jones

    It’s Just Practice…

    Sixteen years ago this past May, Allen Iverson, a perennial NBA all-star, in an interview regarding his status with the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers, defended his absence from team practices with comments that forever changed the way many sports enthusiast viewed the word “practice.” Iverson used the phrase 22 times in his interview. A portion of the interview went like this…"We sitting in here -- I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talking about practice. I mean, listen: We talking about practice. Not a game. Not a game. Not a game. We talking about practice. Not a game. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it's my last. Not the game. We talking about practice, man." The implication from Iverson was that practice was not a priority related to his performance on the court. And, maybe for a while, he could get by on his skills and past practices. 

    But every coach knows that there is no substitute for practice in the long run. Practice is where skills are reinforced. Practice is where plays are meticulously repeated, analyzed and tweaked so that in the pressure of the game, they executed instinctively. Practice is where chemistry is created between the team and the coach. The fact is people that don’t practice, generally, don’t play or keep playing—no real explanation to that fact is needed.

    While we expect our favorite players or favorite teams to practice in order to be the best they can be, when it comes to our spiritual life, we often neglect to practice the very skills and disciplines that will make us the best we can be for God. Faith is mostly used in scripture as a verb. It denotes action on our part. Paul said, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;” (1 Timothy 4:7).

    I recently watched a sports documentary called “Training Days”. It is a fascinating glimpse into the training regimen of some of the most elite athletes in the country. The discipline and devotion required is incredible, but it pays off on the field of play. I couldn’t help but think as I watched it, what could God do through us if we applied the same kind of devotion to living for our Savior and training ourselves through the faithful practice of discipleship?

    The fact is, we can, and we should! Do you have a spiritual training regimen? What does it look like? Well here is a suggested training routine to help you face the adversary… Daily doses of God’s Word and a scheduled time to pray. Add to it, regular Worship and fellowship, and by all means, practice and obey every Word that God gives you in Scripture. If you’ll make these disciplines your consistent practice, you’ll become a mature disciple and a believer that is equipped to face the battles of life.

    September 9th PM Service… I’ll begin a new Sunday evening series titled, “Spiritual Warfare: Are You Prepared for the Battle?” Join us for this “training” series on how to face and fight the adversary of our souls.

    Pick Up a Stone… as I said last week, if you are new to RBC, stop by our welcome center and ask for a pebble to add to one of the “jars” at our stone wall. I am glad you’re here today, God has something for you and I look forward to sharing a second message on the subject, “God is Bigger than Your Circumstances.” And remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor!

    God First,

    Bro. Ray