My name is Daniel Whyte III, and welcome to the God Receives Glory Even From Football podcast. This podcast is based off of my new book of the same name. I wrote the book because I believe out of all the national sports God has received more glory and praise from American football over the past one hundred years than all of the other sports combined.
The Bible reads in 1 Corinthians 10:31. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all for the glory of God.”
Joe Namath said, “Football is an honest game. It’s true to life. It’s a game about sharing. Football is a team game. So is life.”
When I was a little boy and I became a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and football back in the late 60’s and 70’s, that’s when I started praying and praising God, even though I was not a Christian or religious. In fact, I hated church as a boy because they did not respect the Dallas Cowboys enough to let church out at 12:00 noon so that I could see my prayers answered regarding my Cowboys whipping the Redskins. To this day, I believe that my prayers were responsible for the Clint Longley Thanksgiving miracle and the Roger Staubach Drew Pearson Minnesota Ice miracle. Yes, it was my prayers. We won. And I gave God praise!
A New Football Season in Life is Analogous to a Revival of Hope
True die-hard football lovers experience and get excited about a new football season. The reason for this is because in their hearts and minds no matter how their team did last year, they really hope that this is the year for their team to win a championship.
The Opening Kickoff in Life is Analogous to a New Day in Life
The Bible reads in Lamentations 3:22-23 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not, They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
There is nothing in sports like the football opening kickoff. The phrase “kickoff” has traveled throughout nearly everything we do in life. According to Merriam Webster the “kick off” means a kick that puts the ball into play in a football game; (2) the start of something or the commencement of something. We now say we kicked off the political campaign with a concert. Or, we kicked off the church revival meeting with a day of fasting and prayer. Or, we kicked off the business meeting with finger foods and drinks and small talk. The new television series kicks off on September 15th.
Tackle in Life is Analogous to Engagement with the Enemy
Vince Lombardi said “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
The Bible reads in Proverbs 24:16 “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
To win in this thing called Life, everybody needs a good, solid hit every now and then. There is nothing like a good, solid hit in life to get the cobwebs out and to remind you that you have an enemy.
Contrary to What People Say, Football is Not a Violent Game
Now, I touched on this before, but I wanted to touch on it again to help my testosterone-challenged friends understand what football is all about. If you are approaching American football with eyes of violence, or if you are going to the football games because you get off on the “bone -cracking” hits and you are filled with glee when you see blood on a jersey, or someone limping to the sideline, then there is something wrong with you. You are bringing your aggression, your anger, and your violence to the game with you. You need to check yourself.
Three quick things:
Football is not a violent game; however, it is a contact sport and you can get hurt.
Football is not a violent game, but there are some men who are violent. Just like in the game of life, life is not violent, but there are some people who are violent who make it bad for the rest of us.
Tom Landry! When you think about football and violence you need to think about Tom Landry the church-suit-wearing, saxon-royal-fur-felt-fedora-hat-wearing, on-the-sideline coach of the Dallas Cowboys in the sixties and the seventies. The thing that turned me on to football was not the hard hits but the fact that football was a thinking man’s game. Football is like a giant chess game and the board is the gridiron. Look at the Cowboys of the late sixties and seventies—the innovation and finesse under Landry. It was a thing of beauty. Yes, the Cowboys had to hit and be hit, block and be blocked, but the game was all about thinking, strategizing, planning, finessing, and praying.
Now the only way you can give God the glory through football is to be saved by believing in Jesus. Here is how:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
I hope that this podcast will remind you to give glory to God throughout this year’s football season.