I want to state right at the start that I am not much of a sports fan. But I know enough to understand what is going on in the sports world. Right now during baseball season, I know that the all-star game is coming up. The all-stars are the best of the best from each league that play each other, apparently for bragging rights. Other sports have similar all-star or all-pro games. I suppose the point is to build a team of the best players for each position and watch them function as a highly skilled unit to play the best possible game and accomplish the goal – to win!
When we think about a “God’s All-Star Team”, folks may start thinking about some of the most influential, spiritual or significant people in the course of biblical or church history. Some folks may start with more contemporary individuals like Billy Graham or Mother Theresa. Others may go further back in history to the likes of John Wesley, Martin Luther or John Calvin. If you’re really into history, you name Pope Gregory, Augustine, Justin Martyr or Polycarp among the all-stars. Of course, you couldn’t have an all-star team without the Apostles. Finally, the great biblical figures list in Hebrews chapter 11 form the who’s who of spiritual giants.
But, I think there is a significant problem with this type of list and this type of thinking. When we think of God’s All-Star Team we naturally and instinctively exclude ourselves and other “common” folks. After all, we are not anything special, we think to ourselves. Especially when we compare ourselves to the “greats.” We could never measure up. What we do doesn’t really matter. However, let me redefine what I think God’s all-star team is, because until we get that right we won’t have a truly accurate view of ourselves.
Ready? Here it is. God’s All-Start Team is… THE CHURCH! Yes it is. Think about it, the Church is composed of the people God has selected to function in their own specialized position (gifting and calling) to form a highly skilled unit (His Body) to accomplish His goal – Salvation. This is so clear from the following Scriptures:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good… All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills (1 Corinthians 12:4-7,11)
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. (1 Corinthians 12:12,13,18)
So let’s review. He created us with a specific assignment, that we may proclaim His excellencies with the gifts He has provided to each on of us and in His chosen arrangement within His Body. It doesn’t get better than that!
So why is this important? Because we need to see ourselves as having been deliberately selected by God to be on His team. We are not an accident and we did not just stumble into the Kingdom. He wanted (and wants) us. He has a role, an assignment for us and has given us the gifting and tools to accomplish it. I would think this would be terribly encouraging to us. Not that I want us to go around proud full and with a big ego, but people, please, we need to stop minimizing our contribution to God’s Kingdom work. What you do is important. The friends, neighbors or family you pray for and talk to and serve may not know any other godly influence other than you. Each of those people God has assigned to you is important to Him and He has given you the great privilege of attending to them. I would not want to be on any other All-Star Team.