Last night, in Canton, Ohio, seven new members will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Those members included 49ers and Cowboys’ CB Deion Sanders, Rams RB Marshall Faulk, Bears LB Richard Dent, Broncos TE Shannon Sharpe, NFL Films creator Ed Sabol, Redskins’ LB Chris Hanburger, and Rams’ LB Les Richter.
Even if you are not live at the ceremony, this is one of the best to watch because this is where as an athlete you always dream of making it to the big time and ultimately joining an elite club such as the Hall of Fame. Even though there is no Hall of Fame Game tonight, there is still plenty of time to honor these great NFL figures.
However, let us not forget who gave them the talents to succeed in the NFL. The Lord gave them a gift and they took full advantage of that gift. We should do the same and honor our Father with the gifts He has given us. Solomon wrote about this exact same issue in one of his proverbs. “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.” (Proverbs 3:9) This is an interesting verse because whenever you see an athlete accept an award, the first person they usually thank is the Lord!
All of the speeches were powerful, but a couple stood me out to me. The first one was Primetime himself, Deion Sanders. The first words he said in his speech were “Thank you, Lord, I thank you. Jesus, I love you. If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t be here today, so, Lord, I thank you.” This is what I am talking about. Before we do anything in life, we have to look to the Lord first and foremost! Without Him, we are nothing on this Earth and whatever we do; we need to do for His glory and His glory alone.
Another speech that had an effect on me was from Marshall Faulk. He looked at the Hall of Fame as a way of getting to be with the football elite, a “heaven”. “I want to thank God, and I want to thank God because this is football heaven. When you retire, you may get a chance to go to football heaven, and this is football heaven.” Faulk does have a point that Hea ven is the place where all believers will go to retire with their Almighty Father. However, if you believe that Jesus Christ is your Savior, you don’t need the great works of a Marshall Faulk in order to get there. Let’s look at one of my favorite verses in Paul’s letter to Ephesus
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
We don’t need Marshall Faulk’s Hall of Fame credentials to get into the Kingdom of God. The only way we can get there is get through the Lord’s grace and our faith in His Son. The Lord gives us this gift and we should take our talents and use them to honor His name. As the Hall of Famers get busts for their commemoration into the Hall, the Lord has mansions being prepared for us in Heaven. “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2)