THOUGHTS FROM THE NBA FINALS

The Golden State Warriors, with a game to spare, won its first NBA title in 40 years a couple of days ago. On the team was Andre Iguodala who has a Nigerian father and Stephen Curry, another young black American who is married with a daughter. Both were instrumental in giving the GS Warriors the title. I remember watching Andre in defence against the famous LeBron James of Cleveland Cavaliers. This earned him the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the finals. I also watched with delight as Steph (the MVP award winner for the season) kept making 3-pointer shots like it was just a stroll in the park. I took particular interest in these two guys because of their outspoken faith. Steph was quoted as saying “Each game is an opportunity to be on a great stage and be a witness for Christ. When I step on the floor, people should know who I represent, who I believe in.” Andre also once said, “When people see us on the court, we want them to see God’s work. We want to be a good representation of what we believe in …When you go out there, you’re not just representing your country or the NBA, you’re representing your beliefs. You want to play hard for someone who died for you”.

I remember another young man who had a band on his head that read ‘100% Jesus’ when his team won the 2014-15 UEFA champions league finals. Neymar didn’t have to do that. He might not be the most pious Christian on earth but he was acknowledging the Giver of life and making a bold statement as a witness for the Saviour of the world.

I am thrilled by the fact that these gentlemen never shied away from standing up for their faith in Jesus. These men have excelled in their careers and their spaces of influence. I am happy they have a relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth too.

It is good to know that they have made the right decision in that regard.

It is good to know that God still has His witnesses all around the world and that there is no need to feel alone like Elijah did when he thought he was the only prophet of God left in Israel (I Kings 19:10-18).

It is good to know we can serve Christ and excel in whatever field we are.

It is good to know that we can share our faith while we work hard or smart at our jobs or businesses.

It is good to know that we don’t need bigger platforms than what we already have, to be effective witnesses.

It is good to know that in the midst of fear, intimidation and terrorism we can spread the Good News.

We are living in an age where so many voices assault our senses of reasoning and the stand of faith we have chosen. We are surrounded with the mess of same-sex marriage issues, transgender ‘catastrophes’, brutal murders of Christians around the world, legislations in various countries that are anti-Christian, etc. We labour to keep a sane head above the waters of all sorts of ideologies, philosophies and opinions. So it is pleasing to see people who are exposed to the challenges of fame and wealth staying focused and speaking of their faith.

Every one of us has that great commission to be a witness for Jesus. You might not be the one who carries a megaphone on the street calling the attention of people to Jesus but you must be the one whose conduct and speech represent the attitude of the kingdom you belong to. We must be willing to stand for the faith that fills our hearts.

I know God wants us to excel in the works of our hands. He wants us to stand out in business, work, sports, arts, media, education, science and technology, politics or whatever field He has equipped us to thrive in. This brings glory to His name. This is how He fulfils His purpose. This is how His light overcomes the darkness of the world. Let’s stand up and take the challenge to be shining lights and living witnesses of His grace.

Still in His grip.

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