Off the Bench, Into the Game

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you every played a team sport? If so, did you spend more time playing or more time on the bench. I played basketball and football but was small as a kid growing up and more of a marginal player. Consequently, I spent far more time on the bench than in the game. It’s difficult to be a bench player. You joined the team because you wanted to play the sport, but you don’t play much. You always want to play but see fractional time in the game compared to the starting players and the 2nd string players. And as a bench player, there is literally no glory unless your team happens to win a championship. In that exception, some of the glory will spill down to you.  That being said, it can be hard to stay motivated to keep playing and be excited when you are a bench player. You get little attention, little playing time, and no glory!

In the Kingdom of God as a believer and a child of God, you are as significant as any other believer! The Pastor and his Pastoral Team may look like the quarterback and star players. They may appear to get the most action in the game. They may get the most glory by the congregation, but that isn’t the case at all. First of all, your Pastors and his team aren’t serving the body of Christ for the glory. They are sacrificing their life to serve you! 

The congregation too often doesn’t see themselves as even playing or “being in the game.” They don’t see themselves as part of the team or the bench. The truth is, God’s bench is no bench at all! All God’s team are to walk with core values that ground them and keep them focused. God called everyone of us to His calling and purpose. If you at best feel like a bench player, then you need to know this!

Bench players, do this! Mark 9:35 (NIV) If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”   

Bench players, do this! Matthew 6:1-4 (NIV) says, Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  Never seek recognition or glory! Do what you do unto the Lord!

Bench players, know this! No act of kindness toward someone is too small! Matthew 10:42 (NIV) And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”  When you are kind even to those who are unthankful and unappreciative, because you purpose to show them the love of Jesus,  you are a star player for God!

Bench players, know this! James 5:16 (NIV) “…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” And this! 1 Timothy 2:1 (NIV)I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–” Praying for the body of Christ, for world and local leadership, and for individuals, is an unseen labor of love that blesses God and brings His power and presence!

There are no such thing as Bench Players in the kingdom of God! Those that lead, may get more honor, but those who do what Jesus instructed, get honor and reward from God and that is the honor that counts! Not the honor from man! The world is going to Hell in a handbasket but that is not God’s will and He needs everyone off the bench and in the game! I pray that you will pray and ask God to help you actively rejoin the team today!

Revelation 22:12 (NIV) Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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