This is rivalry weekend for me. Yesterday and today, we play Wimberly, and tomorrow Texas State plays UTSA in the I-35 Showdown.
What’s funny about the TXST vs UTSA game is that everyone but the teams and coaches are calling it a rivalry. The coaches are pretty much saying “What rivalry? We have only played twice!”
However, as you know, rivalry comes because of history, and sometimes that history goes beyond one sport. Texas State has had a rivalry with UTSA for a good amount of time in other sports like basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball, and basketball.
So I told you last week, what I hope to do is take things that happen in everyday life and show how they reflect back to us God and His purposes. So what does rivalry have to do with the kingdom of God.
Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters, by members of Chloe’s people, that there is rivalry among you. What I am saying is this: One of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. I did, in fact, baptize the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t recall if I baptized anyone else. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ will not be emptied of its effect.
In this text, Paul is highlighting an issue in one of the churches that he helps and keeps up with. He heard that they are not united and they are bickering amongst each other saying that one belongs to the teaching of Apollos another to Paul another to Peter and others to Christ.
Paul’s response is basically, this is stupid! We all belong to Christ! Why are we doing this!?! I didn’t die for you, Jesus did!
You see, what happened is that the church in Corinth got off track and allowed their rivalry and differences get them away from their main focus.
Related to football, I love how Coach Withers at TXST talks about
Related to football, I love how Coach Withers at TXST talks about this rivalry game. He says that this is our next game, so we treat it like it is the most important one. We will fight and strive to be the very best football team we can be, and then we will try and be even better than that next week. Withers’ goal with his football team is not to be defined by the rivalry or opponent, but to be defined by how they meet their goals.
So for you guys, I want to encourage you to do the same. Let the rivalry get you fired up, but don’t let it make you lose focus. Keep your eyes on the prize of playing the very best football game you guys can play and winning that football game. Stay focused on the goals that matter on that field.
In school, don’t allow garbage that happens to keep you from doing what you need to do to get your grades and learn what you need to learn. Don’t let people bother or take your own success away from you.
At home, don’t allow your frustration with your mom, dad, grandparent, or whoever you live with to keep you from respecting them. Rivalry happens at home, and sometimes it tears homes apart.
Spiritually, don’t let anyone or anything keep you from the goal of Christ. He is the prize. Not morality. Not religious success. Not making others happy. A relationship with Him is the very best thing ANYONE could ever have. Don’t miss that because you’ve got something in your life being a RIVAL to HIM.