Speak Up

As Chairman of the National Board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, I met many involved in sports who had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Many had become Christ followers as the result of another sportsman. One was Jim Brawner who shared with me the following.

He played football at the University of Arkansas during their glory days when Frank Broyles was coach. He was not a Christian at the time. He related this story of the day Arkansas defeated the University of Texas 31 – 7. After the game the exuberant team piled on the bus. Excitement reigned. Jim sat down on the front seat next to the window as wild as any on the bus. Coach Broyles got on the bus and sat next to him. Immediately he felt he couldn’t be quite as rowdy as he intended to be. Coach Broyles sat down and said, “We have to give glory to God for that victory. We owe it to Him.”

Jim said, “That wasn’t what I was thinking.” He was thinking what a whale of a game he and his team mates had played. 

Jim said that after he got off the bus he couldn’t think of anything else but what Coach Broyles had said. He didn’t sleep a wink that night for thinking about it. Not being a Christian, he nevertheless got up the next morning and went to church. There he realized Christ was the missing element in his life and that he needed to be saved. Right then and there he gave his life to Christ and experienced transformation, new life.

It all happened because a Christian coach expressed his faith spontaneously.

“…those things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart.” (Matthew 15: 15)

Like a bubble under water constantly seeking to rise to the surface, what Coach Broyles had in his heart bubbled to the surface and he expressed his faith. What he had in his heart spontaneously came out of his mouth. Scripture says, “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

A direct sharing of the gospel evangelically in order to try to lead a person to faith in Jesus is to be encouraged.  However, often the spontaneous expression of one’s faith leads to another person’s initial interest in faithful trust of Him.

Not only does having the Word “hidden in our heart” serve as a shield against evil, but it also leads to  unpremeditated revelation of faith. Such reflexive faith is inspiring. Don’t muffle yourself. Feed your faith that it might be so natural it shows, and is heard.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight….” (Psalms 19: 14) The way to insure the reflexive expression of your faith is to meditate on things pleasing to the Lord. Ruminate on them. A cow has four stomachs enabling food to be chewed on over and over. Thus, it is spoken of as rumination. It is a delightful word meaning to think over and over on God’s word. Soon you digest it and it becomes systematic. That is, it becomes your operational speaking system. It is a way of showing the way. Speak up!