OPENING ACTIVITY: My Success
Ask your students to tell you their top three accomplishments in life. List them on a board or sheet of newsprint. When everyone’s finished, ask for volunteers to identify one of their successes, and why it’s meaningful to them. Ask, “Who or what do you credit for your success?”
OPENING STORY: [Make copies of the story for your class or read it aloud]
A RECORD-BREAKING QUARTERBACK’S FAITH
On Super Bowl Sunday, it’s appropriate to look at a star quarterback who puts his faith and family ahead of his accomplishments on the playing field.
This past October, Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, broke the NFL all-time passing yardage record previously held by quarterback Peyton Manning.
Upon learning the news, Brees ran to the sideline and embraced his wife. He also took his children into his arms. When asked by the media what he said to them, his answer was direct. He said he told his wife and his children the same words he tells them each and every night before tucking them into bed—they can accomplish anything they want in life provided they are willing to work toward the goal. He pointed out that everything comes at a price, and nothing in the world is offered for free. He added that God equips people to do great works.
Drew and his younger brother grew up in church, going to Sunday school and learning Bible stories. Faith-wise, everything clicked for him on his 17th birthday. “Normally, me and my brother would be elbowing each other during the service,” Drew said, “but that day was different.”
The pastor’s message was an adapted version of the famous military recruiting slogan, where he emphasized that the Lord was looking “for a few good men.”
“It just clicked to me,” said Brees. “For some reason, it clicked. You know what? I want to be one of those ‘few good men.’ I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart that morning.”
For Brees today, Christianity is up front and center, even in his public life. He is quite vocal and unashamed about his faith in Jesus. He has also encouraged other athletes to match actions with their talk. Brees makes it clear that his Christ-centered lifestyle changed his life for the better. Knowing Christ takes priority over everything in his life, including football.
His actions consistently match his faith. He states, “I want to be sure that what I do backs up what I say.” A significant portion of Drew’s endorsement money goes to charity. He has a reputation of being a caring and generous celebrity. New Orleans residents have even given him the “Breesus” nickname. The quarterback is devoted to his family and regards his children as God’s gifts. He said the injury he sustained during the time he played for the San Diego Chargers, the injury that eventually sent him to New Orleans, was the best thing to happen in his life. He sees all these difficult events as a part of God’s plan for him.
Drew stated in one interview, “I live for God, for the faith that I have in Him, and knowing the sacrifices that Jesus Christ made on the cross for me, and just feeling like it’s in God’s hands and all I have to do is just give it my best, commit the rest to Him, and everything else is taken care of. That takes a weight off my shoulders.”
While Drew continues to want to develop as a professional athlete, his faith keeps things in perspective. Some people say that “NFL” stands for “not for long.” Eventually, Drew’s body will not be able to keep up with the demands of professional football, and he will have to hang up his cleats. But because he places his priority in knowing Christ and living the resurrected life, he is wisely investing his energy in to that which can never be lost or taken away from him.
Now ask your students to form small groups to discuss their answers to the following questions.
- What’s the difference between being proud of what you’ve accomplished and being prideful about your successes?
- Why does God allow some people to achieve incredible feats, even though they may brag that they’ve accomplished everything without Him?
- Would you say that you “know” Christ so well that you are living the life He wants you to live? Explain your answer.
Looking for Steps 2 & 3?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide; your Step 4 appears below. To purchase a teacher's guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes
THE RESURRECTION LIFE
There are many celebrities, sports figures, CEOs, and politicians who have impressive resumes. Many of them flaunt their triumphs either for the sake of ego or advancing their own positions in the world. Those who parade their accomplishments in this way rarely, if ever, credit knowing Christ for their success. In their minds, what they have accomplished they accomplished entirely on their own.
It is refreshing to see a stellar athlete not only glorify God in his accomplishments, but also to put them all in the right perspective. Despite his record-breaking career, Drew Brees knows that living the resurrected life by knowing Christ pales in comparison to anything he could ever accomplish on the football field.
Even though most of us are not celebrities or sports stars, we also can find ourselves living an “un-resurrected” life for Christ if we put our own goals and accomplishments ahead of Him. What He wants is for us to surrender to Him—that way we can experience all the excitement, joy, and power of living the Resurrection life.
Have students return to the groups they had in Step 1 to discuss these questions.
- What are several things that would show you are living the Resurrection life?
- What next steps can you take this week to make living the Resurrection life more of a reality for you?
Close the class in prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to give wisdom to everyone present in regard to putting any of their human accomplishments into their proper perspectives. Ask God to guide them as they set their sights on knowing Christ in order to live out the Resurrection life.
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