JC Squad - Stay on Track
Keys for Living a Spiritually Disciplined Life
Published on 04 August 2020
Think of the JC Squad as the followers of Jesus Christ (JC). A great example of this in the Bible, was Jesus’ disciples who fit the category of a JC Squad perfectly. They were a simple group of dedicated followers who lived and learned from Jesus’ actions, every day, and went on to change the world!
Today, as the Church, we are the body of Christ, or in other words, the JC Squad. We find ourselves in a season where we need, more than ever before, to gather the squad together in unity and train our spiritual bodies to run OUR race for God, and finish it strong!
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadow boxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
This is a squad that everyone can be a part of, so here are some training tips for spiritual disciplines that can help us achieve great victories:
Key 1: Listen to Coach Holy Spirit
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 14:26 (NKJV)
Holy Spirit is our coach; He was sent as our helper and teacher. Let’s develop a close relationship with Him so that we can benefit and grow from His teaching, instruction, guidance, warning, comfort and encouragement, through every situation we encounter. Just like in sports, a team needs a coach who can teach and guide them, and help them perform at their best. We have our own ‘life coach’, Holy Spirit, who we have access to, at all times.
Key 2: Commit to Training
“All athletes are disciplined in their training… So I run with purpose in every step”
1 Corinthians 9:25-26 (NLT)
A sportsperson not only needs a great coach, but must also be committed to a disciplined training program. They can have confidence that if they commit to this program, they will become a better athlete and achieve their goals. The vision they have for their lives is usually too big to tackle all at once. It must be broken down into multiple steps— just like a jigsaw puzzle is made up of many individual pieces that when connected together, step by step, form a masterpiece. In the same way, all steps of the vision work together in creating the overall goal.
Now, these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NLT)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
So, how can we train ourselves for the work God has prepared for us to do?
It starts by continuing to read the Word of God, praying, worshipping, starting a Bible devotion, gathering together weekly for church, connecting with an Urban Life Group (small group) and submitting to the training and input of our leaders. These are all practical ways that we can train and equip ourselves, in this season, for what God is calling us to do.
Key 3: Be a Team Player
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.
1 Corinthians 12:14-18 (NLT)
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)
The Church operates as a body and we are called to be a part of the body of Christ. This is how God designed us to function—as a team with unique roles. In the same way, when a sporting team learns from and encourages each other, they begin to operate as an effective team. When a team is connected, players grow and build each other up. They keep each other accountable and encourage each other. This is just like the body of Christ—when we all bring our unique gifts and talents together to work as a team, the body can operate as God designed it to.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)
Team players face inevitable obstacles and injuries. What’s important is how the rest of the team support and carry that player through the recovery process, to get them back in the game. Life can feel like this. As we face challenges, we need people around us that support us, walk with us and help us get back on track as quickly as possible. This is why it is so important to stay connected to the team and not become isolated—especially when you’re injured. The challenges we all face in life include disappointment, failure, shame, insecurity, fear, rejection, comparison, or lack of confidence. A strong team does not judge each other for these troubles, but rather, uplifts one another and encourages each other, through them and out the other side!
Key 4: Stick to God’s Game Plan
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
When a team is under pressure, it is easy to forget what the game plan is. A successful team will remember the plan and stick to it, regardless of what opposition they face. Let’s remember that God's plans for us are always for our good, so let’s trust Him and stick to the plans He has set for our lives.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NLT)
God’s Word is our Gamebook! Let’s take it, read it and apply it to our lives. You can then be a useful part of the game plan of your local church as you faithfully attend church, small groups, prayer meetings and online church, and get involved in all of your church’ unique exploits for God.
Key 5: Have a Faith-winning Attitude
"...So run to win!… I run with purpose in every step.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-26 (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
The Bible instructs us to run every step of our race, with purpose. This can be hard when we unexpectedly encounter fear and anxiety along the way. The choice is ours: let them push us out of the race or choose to push past them to victory knowing that God has already won it for us by sending Jesus to die on the cross. This great sacrifice enabled us to live life to the full (John 10:10), so let’s not settle for anything less! Let God transform your thinking and adopt a faith-filled, winner’s attitude. We may not have control over what confronts us during the race, but we CAN choose what attitude we bring, so let’s come with an attitude of VICTORY.
Key 6: Communicate
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6 (NIV)
Communication is vital to a team. It builds team culture and sets the atmosphere. As we communicate with others on our team, let’s choose words that encourage and build each other up.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
The final key is keeping in regular communication with God. There is no need to worry, but rather pray about all of your needs and God will take care of them. As a team, when we choose to put God first and present our problems to Him, we are entrusting Him to take care of all of our needs and putting Him on the throne (the ultimate place of authority) over all our troubles.
So can I encourage you to apply these keys to your life, TODAY.
We are privileged to be part of the JC Squad, so remember, you’re never alone and there is a team around you that is ready and willing to support and encourage you through whatever season you’re in.
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