Luke 19:10 - For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
John 2:19 - Jesus answered them; Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.
Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Luke 5:16 – But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
We are all familiar with the mantra that today’s hockey player is bigger, faster and stronger than yesteryear’s. Certainly there is truth to this present day assertion for hockey and all professional sports. With advancements in training, nutrition, lighter and more technologically advanced equipment as well as an abundance of specialized training and coaching almost year round, it is no surprise that today’s hockey player is athletically superior to previous generations. However, there is a common thread that binds together the highest level professional athletes from generation to generation. Some call it mental toughness. Others call it a will to win. Regardless, the commonality is a determined focus on the ultimate goal and the mental and physical will to pay the price daily to accomplish that purposeful goal.
In an interview, Wayne Gretzky stated the following: “The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it.” Although not one of the The Great One’s most familiar quotes, it speaks volumes to identify what he deemed most important. ..his determined work ethic. Enter any professional level practice facility today and you will be greeted with slogans such as “There is no traffic on the extra mile” and “Play like you are in first, Train like you are in second” relating to work ethic, attitude and dedication to the team cause. These phrases are intended to motivate already high level players to lift the weights, shoot the pucks, handle the pucks and do the conditioning and preparation necessary to accomplish the goal. Although these are somewhat commonplace today, the determined will and focus to execute them is not so commonplace and that is what separates those that attain greatness on the ice with those who don’t.
Jesus was born in fulfillment of prophecy for one purpose and mission. He shared this purpose several times with his disciples, but spoke it succinctly one day in a conversation with Zacchaeus the tax collector when he said, “For the son of man has come to seek and save the lost”. His culture might not have offered the opportunity to partake in as many high level athletic endeavors that ours does today, but there can be no denying that He demonstrated the ultimate focus in accomplishing His mission to pay the price for our sin once and for all. At a young age, Jesus began his preparation to do the work from which he never deviated. He would spend time in the temple with the teachers of the law (Luke 2:46) that would ultimately open the door for him to confront the opponent (Pharisees) with confidence on many occasions. He fasted (Matt 4:1), overcame temptation, endured suffering and affliction (Isaiah 53:5-7) and prayed (Luke 5:16), most often in private for regeneration and growth. In essence, although Jesus’ preparation did not involve pushups, pull-ups and skating drills like today’s high level hockey player, He never dogged it in pursuit of His purpose and mission. He paid the ultimate price with an unsurpassed determination and focus.
Questions for Thought:
1. How determined are you to do the daily work to grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus?
2. What is your primary focus?
3. Have you even thought of what you can do to prepare for your purpose and mission?
Romans 5:17, Matthew 4:1-11, Isaiah 53
Posted on Tue, February 3, 2015
by Rick Randazzo