Putting on the Uniform—Life Application for February 5, 2017

January 29, 2017 No Comments »
Putting on the Uniform—Life Application for February 5, 2017

By David Faust

There’s beautiful simplicity in the apostle Paul’s assertion, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26, 27).

There’s nothing for us to brag about here except the work of God. Our identity comes from Christ. We are God’s children. These blessings come by grace through faith, not by human achievement. When we are baptized into Christ, he becomes our clothing. We put on his uniform. Wherever we go, we wear his game jersey—his team colors.

Remembering Your Roots

Anthony Munoz is known for wearing the uniform of the University of Southern California Trojans in college and the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL. The first time I met Anthony, I shook his hand and thought, Man, this guy is huge!

It’s not surprising that his strength, agility, and work ethic equipped Anthony for a successful career as a left tackle in the NFL. Football observers commonly classify him as one of the best offensive lineman who ever played the game. What many do find surprising, however, are his relaxed, friendly smile and his seeming lack of egotism. For someone who has played in two Super Bowls and has received widespread recognition for his accomplishments on the field, humility might be elusive, but it seems to flow naturally from this gentle giant.

When Anthony was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, his son Michael (who was 17 at the time) introduced him by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to a great football player, a great friend, a great father, and a great husband. He is a man who stands tall among men because he is a man who walks with God.”

When I asked how he keeps his head, Anthony told me, “I never forget where I came from—where I was before Christ and what Christ took me through in my upbringing. I feel a tremendous appreciation for people who poured into my life. I never take for granted the people who coached and mentored me. The folks at Parks & Recreation gave me a ball glove or I never could have played baseball. The game of football could easily have been taken away from me because of injury, so I don’t take that for granted either.”

He asked, “Ever hear the phrase, ‘a self-made man’? How can you be self-made when all these people made you who you are?”

Working with Your Teammates

Another part of Anthony’s story has to do with the way he learned to play alongside people from different backgrounds.

“My teammates came from Texas, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, and other places,” he recalled. “I played next to a guy for eight years who was a hog farmer in Iowa, and another guy from East Philly. Whatever our cultural or socioeconomic background, we could work together for the same goal.”

The same is true in the church, for the apostle Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). For Christians, our main identifying characteristic is not our race, social standing, gender, or anything else. We find our identity in Christ. He is our uniform.

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2013, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

As you apply today’s Scripture study to everyday life, read Engage Your Faith by David Faust and the correlating Evaluation Questions.

Daily Readings

Jan. 23

M.

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!

Jan. 24

T.

Job 38:1-7

Heavenly Beings Shout for Joy

Jan. 25

W.

Proverbs 8:22-31

Wisdom Present at Creation

Jan. 26

T.

Luke 2:8-14

Angels Praise God

Jan. 27

F.

Deuteronomy 24:17-22

Humans Continue God’s Caring Ways

Jan. 28

S.

Psalm 145:13b-21

God’s Gracious Ways

Jan. 29

S.

Psalm 148

Let All Creation Praise the Lord!

 

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