I am reminded from the Scriptures what Jesus said about such a public profession of faith in Him, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33, NKJV).
"Coach Dungy's life displays his steadfast belief in God and his submission to God's Word. His story is a guide for basic living and a confession of his belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
Excerpt from the book Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker.
Notice the Lombardi tropy is not at the center of this group circle of prayer. The trophy is not their idol, nor are they worshipping it or the game they play, but they are honoring God and giving thanks to him in everything they have done (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Whether it was intentional or not, this photo demonstrates the priority of Christ in Tony Dungy's life, as well as for those on the team who are Christians too. Jesus Christ is the center of Tony Dungy's life. Not football or the Vince Lombardi trophy, but Jesus Christ and Him alone.
None of us play a professional sport where our performance is on display in front of thousands of people each week, but our lives are on display before others and more importantly before God, where our lives are naked and open before Him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13).
Campus Crusade for Christ uses a Gospel tract titled The Four Spiritual Laws, which is where these two circles come from. These circles above are displayed and a person is asked, where is God in your life right now? Is He seated in His rightful place in your life or is He on the outside of your life and you sit on the throne?
Look back at the picture again of the team in prayer. Forget that Tony Dungy is the head coach of a professional football team. Look at him as a person and ask yourself, is Christ at the center of my life like his? Should it be? Should HE be?
I felt at one time there were things I had so desired to have in my life materially and even financially that I believed would bring more satisfaction and happiness to my life. But now my sentiments echo the apostle Paul, "Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;" (Philippians 3:7-9).
Many people acknowledge that God is outside of their lives and realize that He should be in the center of it, as we humble ourselves to Him by submitting to His will and His Word.
So where is God in your own personal life? If He is on the outside and no change is ever made to repent of your sins while becoming born-again, then Heaven will not be the place for you. Every sinner who remains unforgiven, unrepentant will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
"For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
Photo courtesy of my grandmother via an email. Thanks Grandma!
Retrieved on September 24, 2007 from http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/story?id=3366802 .
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker