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Coach Gess Gameday Devotion - Game 3 at Commerce HS

Jonathan Gess

LION NATION!

Tonight we head over to play Commerce High School.  They have a very tough team and want to run the ball right at us.  Our boys have prepared and worked hard...we are excited to go play!

UNDIVIDED DEDICATION

“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” -Psalm 86:11

As we began this week we were preparing to take on Commerce UNDIVIDED DEDICATION came to my mind. Commerce runs a version of the triple option like GT used to do.  They do it differently but they do run some option and they try to run it right down your throat and make you beg them to stop.  As I sat there on Sunday preparing to play them, I realized our boys are going to have to be undivided in their focus and dedication towards preparation.  Each player would have a job and they must do that job to the best of their ability. 

It wasn’t if would they would do their job tonight, but would they be willing to do their job every single day in practice? Would the scout team players be dedicated to do their job of running the other teams offense and defense all week? Would the starters be dedicated to doing their job with excellence all week long? The dedication in the weight room, on the field, and in the film room all week long would be what puts us in position to win. Would everyone be willing? Would everyone be UNDIVIDED in their DEDICATION to doing their job? Winning begins way before you ever hit that field on Friday night. 

To win requires each coach and each player, every member of the organization, to be UNDIVIDED in their DEDICATION to do their job every single day at practice.  Then, by game time, the preparation has been so good all the boys have to do is go out and execute.  

It sounds so easy right? Would you just do your job with excellence? This is what I need you to do. Would you do it well? But there are competing variables that cause us to be distracted. Maybe our selfishness causes us not to like the job we have been given so our attitude is bad. Maybe we go to practice and it is really hot so we don’t want to practice.  Maybe we go to practice and we are tired because we have been up all night. UNDIVIDED DEDICATION requires mental fortitude and focus. It requires selflessness at times. Even though we can mentally understand the importance of being undivided in our dedication, we have the inability to be undivided because our flesh and our minds are divided.

Our walk with Christ is no different. As Christians God calls us to put off the old self and to live as new persons in Christ. This requires UNDIVIDED DEDICATION in saying no to sin and living with a passion to obey the Lord and live wholly for Jesus Christ.  And that sounds so easy when I write it out like that. But there are competing forces and those forces live inside of me. I am selfish. I don’t want to do what is right. I don’t want to obey sometimes. I don’t want to “do my job.” OR, maybe I’m tired and worn out. Maybe things aren’t going my way so I don’t want to trust in God.  There are major competing forces in my UNDIVIDED DEDICATION to the Lord.

What then? Should I quit and give in? When I fail and things aren’t going my way should I reject God and move on? Never! We should never quit and never give in when we fail. My heart's posture is one of UNDIVIDED DEDICATION to the Lord. Just like in practice or any given day I may fail to be wholly UNDIVIDED in my DEDICATION to WIN, I may also sin and fail in my UNDIVIDED DEDICATION to live for Christ. When I’m struggling with my faith or in my obedience should I quit? NEVER...may the Lord in his goodness never allow me to quit!

UNDIVIDED is a posture of our heart. As a player or coach, I am going to mess up. I am going to have bad days even though I don’t want to have bad days. The question we must ask is, “Do I desire to be my best and give my all.” There are many kids that have no desire to come to practice and give their all.  They have no desire to be their best. They just exist with 0 passion towards excellence.  The posture of their heart is wrong. As a coach I cannot help this person. If there is nothing driving them inside of them, then we as coaches have no flame to fan. 

In the same way we must analyze our hearts before the Lord. Is the posture of our heart UNDIVIDED? Life will happen and we will get caught up going 1000 miles per hour and find that we have failed, but is our desire to do right? Is our desire to serve the Lord? The Lord looks and analyzes the heart. As a coach, I can pour into and help the player whose heart’s desire is to become their best. We are no different before God. The Lord can help and will help those whose hearts are right before him. A right heart before God is an undivided heart. Though we may fail, our heart's desire is to not fail.

There was only One whose heart was truly UNDIVIDED and that is Jesus Christ.  He came to earth to model for us what a pure and focused UNDIVIDED heart looks like. He was UNDIVIDED in his DEDICATION as He came into this world and died on the cross for our sins that we may be saved.  He died for our divided hearts. In fact, before the Holy Spirit transforms our hearts we have hearts that have no desire for Christ or his ways. Jesus Christ came and  lived the perfect life you and I cannot live. In doing this, He was county worthy as being the perfect unblemished sacrifice for our sins. He willingly died so that you and I may live. His focus was UNDIVIDED. 

This is why we WORSHIP him. His dedication was perfect. His life was sinless. His death on the cross for our sins was perfect. By his death, you and I can be healed from our sin and our wicked hearts. By the power of his Holy Spirit working in us and can be empowered to live with a heart bent towards UNDIVIDED DEDICATION. By the work of Christ, we can actually have a heart that has a desire to live for Christ. We will surely fail but our heart’s posture will always be one of undivided dedication by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us. And when we do fail, we will repent and continue the race towards undivided dedication.

I challenge you today: Put your hope and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is the way towards a heart transformed to UNDIVIDED DEDICATION!

God is good. He is UNDIVIDED in his DEDICATION towards those who love him and are called according to his purpose.  

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful.” 2 Timothy 2:13

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