You’ve heard or seen it a thousands times. Usually in nine hundred and ninety seven of those thousand, it somehow relates to winning the tee ball MVP or Pop Warner championship trophy. Brace yourself.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Football players put the reference (Phil 4:13) on their eye black or arm bands. Players quote it in the locker room after the game. Fans paint it on poster board for ESPN cameras to see.
Can I be honest about something here? There are two things God cannot do: he cannot sin and he cannot make James Pruch a professional athlete. It cannot be done. It would not be good for TV ratings, nor would it be beneficial to my self-esteem. No matter how hard I try and no matter how much I trust God for “strength,” I will never dunk over Lebron or go deep on Cliff Lee or outrun Brian Urlacher. Never. Ever.
During one sermon, Matt Chandler told his congregation why he chose to teach through Philippians for a short series he was asked to record on DVD. He said, “One reason I chose Philippians was simply to preach that 4:13 has nothing to do with sports.”
Amen, Matt. Amen.
(If you want to find out what Philippians 4:13 is all about, I’ll save you my commentary and let you read it for yourself, in full context, here. It will only take you about 3 minutes. And if you come away thinking Jesus is gonna help your kid be all-whatever next year, read it again.)