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Lessons From History--"Deeds"

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Ephesians 2:10


At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, college football was a dangerous sport. When twenty-three players died on the field throughout the Fall of 1905, President Teddy Roosevelt threatened to ban the game. Calling together the presidents of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Georgetown, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Roosevelt encouraged their schools to look elsewhere for entertainment, despite the fact that his own son was a player for Harvard. "Our nation cannot stand to see twenty-three of its finest young men killed over a sporting activity…This is not the way to train our nation's best young men for the nation's affairs. We cannot stand by and let our nation's citadels of learning become theaters of brutality." Although the game survived, it continued to receive heavy criticism. And though it did have an audience, it did not enjoy the nation-wide attention it receives today.

Until the day when Red Grange took the field.

It was October 18, 1924--Illinois vs. Michigan. Michigan had been unbeaten in the last 20 games. Grange's team, Illinois, was sure to lose. However, Grange took the opening kickoff and ran a 95 yard touchdown. Five minutes later, he scored on a 67 yard run. Mere minutes later, he made two more touchdown runs: 56 and 44 yards. Illinois now had a 27-0 lead--and it was only twelve minutes into the game. And although at this point he took a much-deserved rest, Grange returned in the second half of the game to lead his team to a 39-14 victory.

No one had seen such a thing before. Red Grange became a hero, catching the attention and imagination of Americans nationwide. His athletic inspiration is why Football is the game it is today.

Great deeds inspire people. Great deeds can even change the course of history. As we saw in our last article, great deeds performed in the early Church had a profound impact on the way people viewed Christianity. Jesus said that we are "the light of the world." In Matthew 5:16, He says, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." 1 Timothy 5:25 says, "In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden."

What inspiring deeds have you performed lately? What have you done to make people stop and take notice? And how will those deeds point others towards the Glory and Majesty of Jesus Christ?


In Christ,


--Pastor Dan 


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June 10, 2004