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This isn't just sticktime

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This isn't just sticktime

 Written by Dan Huntington

Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.

1 Corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

     Sticktime, open hockey, pond hockey, stick and puck... Doesn't really matter what you call it. We've all played it and many of us still do. It is fun. It serves many purposes. It is a taste of the real game and it comes without some of the downsides of the real game: There isn't any pressure. No one is going to yell if you don't work hard, so you can coast if you feel like coasting. If you accidentally trip someone, there are no refs to put you in the box. If your linemates don't backcheck and you get scored on, you don't worry about it, you just pull the puck out of the net and start your own rush back down the ice. There really isn't anything at stake, it is all just for fun.

     The problem starts, however, when you get to the real game and some of your teammates are playing like it is still a sticktime. In the real game, there is something at stake. You do need to work hard. You do need to backcheck. You do need to win your battles. You do need to stay out of the box.

     How many of us are living out our walk with Christ as if it is just a sticktime, where nothing is at stake, we coast much of the time, and we aren’t winning our battles? The enemy loves that about us because it makes us ineffective ambassadors for God. Thankfully, as believers, God has put us in the real game and calls us to play it for all we are worth. Better yet, he has given us Jesus, the perfect player after whom to model ourselves. He definitely did not coast:
Matt. 4:2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
Luke 22:44 And being in agony, Jesus prayed more earnestly. Then his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

     For those of us who are followers of Christ, we must continually repent for living our lives much of the time as if it were a sticktime and ask God, by the power of the Holy Spirit to help us walk with Him in a manner worthy of the real game.
Hebrews 12:1b - and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Colossians 3:23 - Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord...

     If you have not yet given your life to Christ, God is calling you to step into the real game. When you accept Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior, you are immediately standing at center ice waiting for the ref to drop the puck. For the first time, your jersey and socks match your teammates’. For the first time, you get to play with Jesus Christ as your center. This is the real game.
John 1:12 – But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God.
Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

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