“Just Do It Christians”
March 31, 2019
By Ed Young
Good morning! You guys doing well? So am I. So am I. I know you’ve seen the commercials before. How many were alive in the 80’s? If you were alive in the 80’s, yeah. I was, too. In the 80’s there was a little company that came up with this slogan called “Just Do It.” And the campaign basically said you can buy our gear, but just do it. And the commercials were so motivational to me, it made me want to go work out, play basketball, or tennis, or whatever. Just do it. Just do it. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I think Nike’s sales went from something like in the 800 millions to over 9 billion and they credited the Just Do It campaign for that. One line, very simple. Let’s say it together. Just do it. At all of our campuses, just do it. Do we have any lawyers in the house? If you’re a lawyer, lift your hand. Lift your hand. Don’t be shy. I was out in Frisco and one lawyer did like this. No, if you’re a lawyer lift your hand. OK, we’ve got them. Yes, sir. God bless you, others, hands are going up. All right, we got some lawyers.
Now, lawyers, I know you sometimes sue people or institutions. The brother of Jesus, his name was James. He wrote the book of James and you’ll see that on your message map. Make sure you have your message map out so we’re ready to put the ball through the net. James, and lawyers stay with me now, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote this book to the 12 tribes that were dispersed in the area. James’ slogan, his advertising campaign, if you will, was just do it. Just do it. Just do it. Because the Bible says in James 1:25, “Whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it, not forgetting what they’ve heard but (say it with me) doing it, they shall be blessed in what they do.” Look at James 1:23-24, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” James 1:22, look at the first word. What is it? Just do it. “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says.” Just do it. Lawyers, I think you’ve got a lawsuit here! James coined this phrase thousands of years before Nike. You might be going, has the statute run out? I don’t know. You can sue Nike, maybe for billions. Just do it. Just do it. Just hit the court. Just put the ball through the net. Just do it. Just do it.
I feel like when it comes to the Christian life that I’m educated well beyond my level of obedience. I think when it comes to basketball I would say the same. I know a lot more about basketball than I actually applied. Just do it. What if we just applied what we know about God? Think about it. Just what you know. Yet we have these coffee shop Christians, don’t we? Have you ever seen coffee shop Christians? You go into any coffee shop. They’re huddled up with their Bible, which we’ve got to read the word, and they’re talking, maybe discussing theology. But I’m afraid so many of them just do that and they don’t really do it. They don’t really exercise their faith. The only exercise they get is their frequent trips to the bathroom because the caffeine runs through them. Just do it! That’s what James says. Just do it. Are you doing the stuff? Are you doing the stuff in your relationships? Are you doing the stuff financially? Are you doing it? Man, just do it, don’t just hear stuff and listen. Apply it.
Several years ago, when our kids were younger, I coached some basketball. I had a fun time doing that. I coached at a school in the area. Some parents came up to me. They said, “Ed, you won’t believe this. Coaching one of the teams is a former NBA player, and he’s about your age.” And the parents were like, wow! An NBA player is coaching my kid! NBA, NBA, NBA, NBA. Well, having played basketball a lot at Florida State, another chapter of my life was in Houston. I was on staff there at dad’s church. We had these incredible gymnasiums. And because of some of my friends who I knew at Florida State, who became NBA players, I put together, with some friends of mine, an NBA summer league. So, we would have about 20-25 NBA players playing in our church. And many times, I would be like the only guy in the game who was not an NBA all-pro. How crazy is that? So, I knew a lot of the players. So, I thought, I’m gonna talk to this coach and we’ll have some common ground and whatever. So, this coach, coaching these kids. I walked up to him and I go,
“Hey!” And I’m thinking to myself, this guy just doesn’t look the part. And then I thought, well, he’s saying it. He’s telling everybody he was an NBA player for the Charlotte Hornets. So, I started asking him, I said, “Now, when were you with the Charlotte Hornets?” And he told me. “Do you know so-and-so, and so-and-so?”
“Oh, yeah, I know of them.”
“Huh. That’s great. So, you played in the NBA?”
“Yes, sir, I did.” Looked me right in the eye. So, he was with his team practicing and I just saw him pick the ball up and shoot a shot. And I could tell by the way he shot there ain’t no way this guy played in the NBA. I was talking to a pathological, in-your-face liar. Went home, Googled him. The only thing I found was an arrest record. He had burglarized five homes, didn’t even play college basketball and obviously hadn’t even smelled the NBA. So, we had to call him out. You’re all talk, man! Talking smack, you’re not doing jack. That’s what James is doing. That’s what he’s after in his letter. He’s talking to Christians. He’s like, “Man, you’re talking smack! Not doing jack. Just do it,” he says. Just do it. The first thing I want you to notice is, when it comes to just do it, if you want to be a just do it person, the first thing is you’ve got to catch the pass. Say it with me. Catch the pass.
OK, I’m gonna have big Stan Durham, Stan’s one of our pastors. We all him The Stanimal. He’s about 6’4”. I don’t wanna give your weight out, but he has a cool mohawk, 3% body fat. Now, follow along with me because I’m gonna hit on this word, receive, as The Stanimal stands there. I’m gonna pass him the ball. Watch this very carefully when I pass the ball. OK? When I pass the ball, this is the proper form, this is a chest pass. So, when I do this, notice my thumbs are like udders on a cow. That’s the proper … I’m just telling you how I was taught. If you have a problem with it, go to another church.
So, you pass, and you flick your wrist, keep your elbows in, and it’s like udders. So, keep standing. “My dear brothers and sisters,” James says. Now picture James as a coach. You just saw my coach, Coach Shel Williams. “Take note of this, everyone…” James is talking to everybody. All the Christians back in the day, had he’s talking to you and me right now. “Everybody should be quick…” one of the major aspects of basketball and the Christian life is quickness. Quickness. Quick to do what? What? “…quick to listen.” That’s why I have you writing this stuff down. Because thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through someone’s lips through your fingertips. Write it down. When you score in basketball there’s an official scorekeeper. They write it down. So, say, right it down.” OK, “be quick to listen, slow to speak…” Slow to speak. Man, that’s convicting. “… slow to become angry, because human anger (not godly anger, I said human anger) does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Oh, golly, Stan! Trying to take me out? Obviously, Stan has some motor skill issues. You, it kinda hurt a little bit. I’m not gonna get into that. Haaaah! Ewf. Lisa, do you still want to have kids? I think that might be over. Here’s Stan. Wow. Stan, that was one of the worst passes. I’m gonna have somebody, sit down. You’re not good enough. I’ve gotta have somebody who can halfway have coordination. Can anybody throw me a pass without hitting me in an area I will not talk about? This guy can. OK, stand up. Yeah, OK. That will go viral. I’ve only had one thing go viral, well, several things, but one thing is when my Doberman had diarrhea in my brand-new car. It has millions of views. It’s horrible. It has millions of views, it’s horrible. If you type in doodoo demon. OK, don’t…. Stan, see Stan works for us. Do you think I should fire him because of that? I’m kidding. OK, so throw it. OK, so, when you throw a pass. Here’s what I learned, watch me very carefully. Throw a pass. I step to meet the ball. Watch me. Throw it. I step to meet the ball. If you can, when you’re playing basketball, you step… I can’t believe that happened. Oh man, I’m gonna take abuse for that. You step to meet the ball. I’m going to read to you again. God is throwing you and me a pass every day, every day. The word, this basket-Bible is coming toward you and coming toward me, every day. There’s a word for you, a word for me. Every day the coach of all coaches is going, “All right, I’m gonna throw you the ball, my man! Here’s the rock!” That’s a nickname for a ball, a rock, in basketball. The rock, of course we know the Rock is Jesus. Every day throw it to me, the pass is coming. So, I gotta take a step to meet it. I don’t just stand there, it could get intercepted. Just standing there? That’s it? No, basketball fundamentals. You take a step. Are you taking a step to receive the word every day? Are you? Keep standing. Stan is on the bench now. You’re playing.
So, what kind of step are you taking toward the word? We make it easy for you. We have an app. Do you have? If you don’t have the app, lift your hand. Download the app right now. I know everybody doesn’t have the app. Take the app, download it. Go to the app store, type in Fellowship Church, and you’ve got it every day. I wake up early most mornings. Every day, the ball is coming to you in a digital fashion. It’s coming too you. Are you gonna take a step of faith? Because God has something to say to you through his word. He wants the word to be implanted in our lives. A person becomes a Christian when the word of God marries the Spirit of God, you have a child of God. Have you been saved? I didn’t say do you believe in Jesus. The Bible says the devil and the demons believe in him, to such a degree they tremble, and that’s more than a lot of the Christians I know do when they think about that. Have you been saved? You’ve got to receive Jesus in your life. There’s a moment you make that decision. You’ll meet God one day. Are you saved? Well, I’m not ready. You’ve made a decision; no. You say you’re not ready? No. Now is the time, the Bible says, for your salvation. The word implanted in your life.
God has been using different passes to get to you. There are different passes. Like, for example, you’re great. The bounce passes. Excellent. It’s bouncing and it hits its target. God is using his word, and many times it bounces off of events, off of people, off of situations, off of things that might be as dead as this floor. It bounces to you and me. Do you receive the pass?
There’s another pass. I already demonstrated it. The chest pass. Here, remember? Udders, right? Chest, elbows tight, boom. You pop it. There you go. All right. Sometimes God gives us things straight to our heart. And you’re here and you’re like, man, has Ed been following me around? That’s not me. That’s the Holy Spirit of God. But if you turn your back on the word, think about it. All these passes are coming your way. We can’t see them, but they are, and you’re missing the pass of God! I think about how many times I’ve missed the pass of God. Been so busy, so preoccupied, I missed it. You can see what happens if you’re not paying attention to the pass. I’ll never have kids again.
So, another one is the over-the-head pass. And one of the things that freaked me out, when I went from high school to major college, I couldn’t believe how hard the balls are thrown. You would not believe it. And then playing with those NBA guys, I’m talking so hard it’ll break your fingers. That hard. One of the ways that we move the ball around, and you can move the ball quicker with a pass than a dribble, boom. Over your head, boom. Some of the passes good gives you and me, over-the-head pass.
Keep standing. This guy’s great. This guy’s great, man. I tell you what I’m gonna do. We’re having the world record dunker, the world’s best dunker. He’s gonna dunk after this message, Jordan Kilgannon, I’ll have him autograph a basketball for you and give it to you, OK? This guy, all right. His vertical jump is higher than LeBron’s, it’s higher than Zion’s, it’s higher than Vince Carter (you’re too young to remember him), it’s higher than David Thompson (I’m trying to relate to the old guys, now), it’s higher than Dr. J. Fifty inch vertical. This guy’s insane, and you’ve got an autographed basketball. Jordan Kilgannon. You’re welcome. Just remain there. Remain there.
So, we’ve got to catch the pass is what I’m telling you. Catch the pass. I was thinking, too, you remember when Jesus talked about… just go ahead and sit down. I’ll call you in a second. Just sit down. You remember when Jesus was talking about the different ways that people receive the word in the gospel of Matthew? Jesus looked at a sower, he goes, “Look at that sower. He’s sowing seed.” Well, this is the seed. Sometimes when Jesus sows seed, when he passes us the ball, it’s like this. A shot like that is called, in basketball, throwing up a brick. Say it with me. Throwing up a brick. Because it’s so uncoordinated, it’s so unrelated to what a shot should be, you’re simply slamming it against the rim. It’s a brick! Brick! That’s what people will say. Baseball term. Brick! Basketball terminology. Another one is an airball. You ever shot an airball? Anybody? You’re an airball guy? I shot an airball playing the University of Minnesota. I’ll show you next week before 18,000 people. I’ll never forget. I was right here, and I dribbled down, and we had beaten them my freshman year. So, I come down and I’m like this. I pick my dribble up. Fake, fake, fake, I’m like, we’re behind. I’m taking the shot. I took the shot. Here’s what the shot looks like. I’m gonna go. Like this. The only time I’ve ever had a standing ovation with 18,000 people was when I shot that airball. I’ll show it to you next week. I can tell you can’t wait. You better be here. We’re gonna watch for you. Sometimes God shoots an airball! Are you believing it? We’re not ready. I mean, obviously God’s the perfect shooter, but it’s like, airball. Other times there’s so much crowding that the ball can’t even get to us and we can’t even see what’s going on. Hands are in our face. Again, I gotta ask you, what are you doing with the pass? The pass is coming. What are you doing? Don’t tell me that you’re not gonna receive the pass from God? This pristine, purpose-drive pass? You’re gonna go, no, no, no. Forget it. I’ll just do it my way. That’s the first thing. Receive the ball. Catch the pass.
#2 – let’s move quickly now. Move the ball. So, you catch it, and then you move it. Stand up, my man. Tell me your name. Hudson, that’s a cool name, man! Hudson. Where do you go to school? In Prosper? Awesome! Have you been to our Frisco campus yet? Great. We’re coming out there, we’re opening it looks like in October. Thirty million dollars it cost, which we don’t have yet, but we committed to do it. So, if you have, like, anyway. All right.
So, when I catch the ball what do I do? Do I stand there? Too many times God has thrown me the ball, Hudson, and I’m just hahaha! I got it! I’m a coffee shop Christian! Where’s the bathroom? OK, when I catch it, I take a step and then, let’s say this is the basket, I pivot and get in a triple-threat position. A triple-threat position, Hudson. I can shoot it, I can pass it, or I can dribble it.
Now, can you imagine if I didn’t do that? Can you imagine if I didn’t, while playing basketball, meet the ball? Can you imagine if I didn’t pivot? Can you imagine if I didn’t get in a triple-threat position? I’d be in trouble. Coach James is saying, “Hudson! Ed! John! Lisa! Barbara! Dimitris! Meet the ball! Pivot! Get in a triple-threat position, because God has a great game plan! A great purpose in your position. What are you doing standing there? What are you doing just discussing it? Get out there and play.
When we were in the Sweet 16, when Coach Williams, my freshman year, I’ll never forget it. He gathered the team together right before we played the University of Kentucky. And here’s all he said, “Guys, go out there and have a good time.” And I thought, huh. That’s interesting. You can sit down now, Hudson. Go out there and have a good time? That’s it? But the older I’ve gotten I realize, what was he doing? Play! I’ve coached you up, I recruited you, I signed you, I taught you. We have one of the best teams in the country… play! Now, the Bible says that we’re to get rid of filthiness and get rid of sin. It says that. And one of the ways we move the ball is to rid ourselves of the stuff that easily entangles us. You want to wear your basketball uniform. So, when you receive the ball, triple-threat position, then you want to push the ball up the court. What does it mean to push the ball? That means to go somewhere. That means to score. I’m pushing the ball. You push the ball faster with a pass than a dribble. But we’ve got to receive it, then we push it.
Where are you? Where are you concentrating your offensive energy? Where? I mean, great. You’re stacking up more stuff. Great! You want to start that company. Great! You’re going to school. Where are you concentrating your offensive energy? Where, where, where, where? James is saying, you know the deal. Just go out there and have a good time. Just do it. Say it with me. Just do it.
I was at Allaso Ranch a couple of days ago for our women’s retreat. I didn’t participate but I was up there. We have a lot of ladies, a lot of volunteers. And I was watching them scurry around. I mean, we’re talking non-paid staff. I thought to myself, these ladies are just do it ladies. They’re catching the ball and they’re pushing the ball up court. Lisa went up to speak to our campus in Norman, Oklahoma. Brand-new. Over 103 ladies at this brand-new campus. I thought to myself, all these volunteers just do it. It takes us 883 volunteers just to make the weekend happen at Florida State. I’m sorry… you know what? It threw me off because my nose is running. You know, I was feeling great. I got hammered by the allergies again. I think because I spent all day at Allaso. Excuse me. <blowing sound effects> Let’s see if I can make this in the goal. How much? I bet I can. Oh, wait a minute. And that’s not the only one I’ve shot. Oh, come on. Yeah! Snot happens, doesn’t it?
You’ve got to push the ball down court. You’ve got to take the ball and go with it. And I’m just gonna ask you, what have you done looking back over this week to push the ball down court? What have you done on your kingdom court to push the ball down the court? What have you done? Have you been praying for people who don’t know the Lord? Have you invited someone to Fellowship Church? Have you decided to take the moral high ground when everyone else is talking smack? Have you forgiven that persons, even though you might have to think about that, to pray for forgiveness every minute? Have you been spending time in the word? But not just the time, are you putting shoe leather, or shoe rubber, beneath it as you go? Have you?
The Bible is our authority. I’m under the authority of the Bible. God, you tell me how high to jump, I’m gonna jump that high. God, you’ve got a position, you’ve got a team, you’ve got a coach. I’m just ready to do what you want me to do in this trial, in this situation, in this temptation. I’m under your authority. God always works, and we’ll talk about this next time, with authority.
Let me give you a poor example of authority: LeBron James. Awful, awful. Here, LeBron James is (and LeBron does a lot of good things), here LeBron James is, playing for the Lakers, and he leaves his coach behind and tells the team bus to go. He has got authority issues. And whenever someone talks about themselves in the third person, they got authority issues. What kind of world do we have? The players run the show now? Really? You’ve got to be kidding me. Pathetic example, young people. Authority issues. You want to soar in your life? Get under the authority that God has placed in your life. Yeah, but… Oh, yeah. Here’s what LeBron is saying: I don’t respect Luke Walton. I don’t give a flying flip, LeBron. You respect the position. If you wait to have to respect someone to get under their authority, it will never happen for you. Let me say it again. it will never happen for you. And there are more authority issues in our world today than ever before. And no one wants to talk about it. But you know what? I’ll talk about it because in the Bible there’s no shame in my game. And I’ll call LeBron out to his face. I love LeBron. I think LeBron is great in a lot of ways but in this situation, he is dead wrong. Do the opposite of what he has done. Opposite.
So, catch the pass. Move the ball. What are you doing? What are you doing this week to move the ball, my friend? What have you done to put it through the net? What have you done this week to slam-dunk the ball?
Finally, watch the film. Man, I spent a lot of time watching film. I hate to see myself on film. I mean, I know I’m kind of goober-ish, but when I watch myself play, I’m like, oh my gosh. Watch the film. Anyone who listens to the word and does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in the mirror. I’m glad you looked in a mirror because you look great today. And after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. This is a mirror. You want to see who you are? Why do you think, why do you think the average person comes to church about once every six weeks? It’s the mirror! It’s not the extracurricular activities, it’s not the weather. They do not like God getting up in their grill. But do you realize, when you read the book of James, the blessed life only happens when we’re obedient. And too many people are a part of the Bless Me club. Oh, God just wants to bless me. He just wants to bless me. He just wants to bless, bless, bless, bless, bless, bless. Yes, he does. You’ve got to do what he says, then you have the blessings. We don’t live playing in the Sweet 16, or the Final Four, or the National Championship every day as a Christian. Most of us have to grind it out. Are you receiving the ball? Are you pushing the ball up court? I mean, are you involved here? I mean, are you really pushing the ball? Are you watching film? Because we should watch the film of our opponent. I mean, as I said, Satan’s not that creative. He’s gonna do the same thing over and over and over and over.
For example, when I played high school basketball at Spring Valley, I still remember the offense we ran. In high school. And Lisa knows it probably better than I do because she saw all of my games. I’d bring the ball down the court, throw it to the forward. The other guard would use him as a screen if he was open before he passed the ball to him. Then he would go to the corner. If there was no one open inside he would come back to me. And then, my favorite part, I’d go one-on-one playing pick and roll with the big man. And I would come here, the shoot was open, take it, dunk it. No, I’m kidding. Pass it. Whatever. I still remember that. We ran that offense for 20 years. Same offense. The devil runs the same offense and same defense as you and me. He wants to take us out. Same one. Men are tempted like men are tempted, women are tempted like women are tempted. We’ve got to call him out and say it. So, we have to spend a lot of time looking at our self. Because self-deception is the worst deception possible and I’m afraid a lot of us, a lot of us are deceived.
So, catch the pass. Move the ball. And watch the film. Three keys, three keys to living the Christian life. Three keys for just do it. Three keys. And when you do that, your life will be a slam-dunk.