007-basketbal-court-Prairie-Lakes-Community-Center-criminal-USAFear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25 NIV

Wanting to make more of an impact with my middle school bus riders, I decided to coach a YMCA team for the boys on my bus. I joined them one day for some outdoor hoop in one of the housing sections on the west side of town. My 50’s and lack of continual exercise caught up with me pretty quickly. I had the ball, saw an opportunity to fake one way and then dart to the other. My mind made the move, the ball made the move, my feet were slower to make the move. I hit the concrete rather hard. The guys were truly kind in telling me I didn’t have to continue to play anymore. BUT NOW, I had a good size scrape on my arm. I left my skin on that basketball court, literally.  I continued to play on. Our relationship together went a little deeper. I had “skin in the game”.

Fear of man has so many tentacles that it finds a way to remain hidden. It is a major factor in limiting a Christian’s efforts to know God and make Him known. We are afraid of what people may think, afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, afraid of not having enough spiritual knowledge, and so many more. Fear paralyzes us into remaining secure in living out our faith in silence. Jesus declared that one of the evidences of a spirit-filled believer will be a boldness that will make us into a witness of Him.

Where do you see yourself taking a risk to share Jesus? Where are you willing to possibly be hurt, be misunderstood, or be rejected because you wanted to communicate to others that God is real and that He loves them? You don’t have to wait on a title, a promotion, or the money to be somebody special. Just be willing to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead to share Jesus’ love with those in your sphere of influence. Ask for God to fill you up with boldness so that you overcome the fear that is keeping you silent.

You can trust the Holy Spirit, even when the conversation doesn’t turn out the way that you expected. People will never be able to hear, unless we speak out. Follow the Spirit as He leads one way and then to another. Your heart will follow, your mind will engage, and every now and then your feet will make the right move. All along, you’ll be gaining some “skin in the game.”

At the end of the season we hosted the team for a meal at our home. A good friend of ours, Johnny Jones, joined us for the cookout. Several of the guys raised hands in commitment to the gospel presentation that Johnny shared. We serve a loving savior, Jesus, who has the ultimate “skin in the game” that transforms lives.

Blessings, Love y’all