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Coach Gess Gameday Devotion - Game 1 vs. Chestatee HS

Coach Gess Gameday Devotion - Game 1 vs. Chestatee HS
Jonathan Gess

Tonight we head over to play Chestatee. We have had two great scrimmages in the pre-season and now it is time to play for real. Of course it is the exact same as what we have been doing, it’s just now it officially counts for our record. The boys and coaches have been working real hard. We are ready! We are excited to play!


“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” – Proverbs 21:31

I love this verse because it speaks to the sovereignty of God and our total dependence upon him, but also speaks to the responsibility of man. It is our responsibility to work as hard as we can but then we must rest in the sovereign will of God. It is my duty to work and prepare, but the final result rests in the hands of God. He is God and he has power over all things.

Our salvation in and through the blood of Jesus Christ is no different. We are fully saved by Christ’s work on the cross. But we are “to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)  This is to not say Christ’s work is not sufficient for salvation but we must be careful we do not lose faith and hope in Christ. Our salvation is fully of God. God has allowed some ownership in the working out (staying steadfast) our salvation. 

In football, winning is not guaranteed. Tonight I have zero control over a whole lot of things. But what I do have control over is the process of preparation. To win at football you need great execution. You need to not fumble, you need to not give up big plays for touchdowns, you need to not commit stupid penalties. You need to line up right on defense and make sure you know what they are trying to do. You need to react quickly and violently. Offensively you need to not beat yourself by silly mistakes such as jumping offsides or one of the players missing assignment. You need precise and fast execution.

All of those things I just mentioned, we can exercise control over those things through our diligent preparation during the week. We have a process during the week to prepare that includes lifting weights, film study, and then on the field practice.  We must OWN that process and make sure it is a great process and then hold everyone accountable to the process. It is our responsibility to take ownership of what we have control over and make it the best we can.  

In life, we have many responsibilities. We must take ownership of these responsibilities by developing a great process (routine) which will produce maximum performance. We must take ownership of this process which means executing it.

Here is our four step plan for executing our process.  I call it “The Discipline of a Champion.” 

  1. Have a simple plan of execution in which you believe.

  2. Commit to your plan with consistency.

  3. Execute your plan with intensity.

  4. Persevere unto the end.

I think the root of us taking ownership in life is owning our attitudes. Our attitude is something I think is a struggle for everyone.  I like to say this: “My attitude determines my effectiveness.” Life happens right. Someone is going to do something to which you take offense. Someone is going to pull out in front of you. You are going to encounter conflict everyday. There will be drama with people everyday. Negative people will unload on you their negativity. People will complain to you or you will be the complainer. Guess what????? You have power over your attitude. When someone offends you, don’t get offended. When there is conflict work to resolve it or if it is dumb conflict, ignore it.  Don’t let the negative person and complainer make you a negative person and a complainer.  Find the positive...find the good.  

In controlling our attitudes the key ingredient is THANKFULNESS: “And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15) To be thankful is something that will transform our lives. I must take ownership of being thankful. We all struggle with negative attitudes.  We all struggle with thinking our lives are the worst in the world. You know why? Because we are letting life dictate our attitudes. We must take ownership. Our lives cannot rule us...we must rule our lives.  Our attitudes cannot rule over us...we must rule over our attitudes.  Being thankful is the injection that gets us OWNERSHIP. 

Today..take ownership and be thankful.  See all the things in your life as a  blessing rather than hardships. Your job is a blessing. Your car is a blessing. The food in your refrigerator is a blessing. Our children are a blessing. Our very lives are a blessing and meant to glorify God. This school is a blessing. Playing this game tonight is a blessing. All the hard work we put in this week was a blessing. AND ABOVE ALL..Jesus Christ coming to die on this earth for our sins so that we may have a personal relationship with him and eternal life is a great call to BE THANKFUL. 

TODAY and EVERYDAY – You have power over you. You have power over your attitude. You have power over your attitude! Choose THANKFULNESS!  TAKE OWNERSHIP! If you don’t, no one else will! 

We are fired up and ready to play tonight!!!!

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” – Proverbs 21:31

Wholly for Christ! 

- Coach Gess