We'll do it for Mick

"I want to do it for Mick. He's meant so much to me for my career and I am sure a lot of players are in the same boat. But I also want to do it for Chris Tarrant, I want to do it for Andy Krakouer and I also want to do it for Leon Davis who missed out last year" says Nick Maxwell, captain of Collingwood football team. Brownlow medallist Dane Swan, deeply grateful for the faith Mick Malthouse has in him, says its time to repay that debt on Saturday.

One sports writer claims that victory in the Grand Final will be achieved through 90% perspiration and only 10% inspiration! Really? Sport psychologists strongly disagree. Collingwood's win last Friday night is evidence that the mental aspect of any game has a huge bearing on the outcome. Finals are about 'swarming, suffocating, dizzying pressure', nerves, playing as if your life depends on it, refusal to die.

The appeal to each Christian is to 'excel in pleasing God more and more' First Thessalonians 4:1. But where will the motivation come from to do exactly that? What will inspire us to please God? How can we live as though our lives depend on pleasing God?

The importance of pleasing God is underscored again and again in the Bible. Paul claims: "So we make it our goal to please him . . . " 2 Corinthians 5:9. This is Paul's goal in life. He does not want to let God down. He does not want to fail God. "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists" Hebrews 11:6. Faith is a key element if we are to succeed in pleasing God. Jesus is acutely conscious that God is with him. He is not in this alone. Jesus says: “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him” John 8:29.

Success in an Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final is not just about knowing the game plan, but more importantly, having the understanding and knowing how to execute that plan. “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God" Colossians 1:9-10.

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good [skill, resource] for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” Hebrews 13:20-21.

Dr Keith Graham

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