Friday, January 13, 2012

Tim Tebow Represents Well What It Means to Be a Follower of Jesus Christ

There was a day I didn't like Tim Tebow as a football player. He represented the enemy. He quarterbacked the University of Florida and his team played my beloved Oklahoma Sooners in the BCS National Championship Game. Rachelle and I were in Miami for the January 8, 2009 game, and we arrived at the stadium a couple of hours early. We stood right behind a small barricade outside of the stadium, just in front of the Florida locker room. We seemed to be the only Oklahoma fans in a sea of Florida fans. When the buses pulled up we happened to be the two people closest to the door of the second bus--the one from which Tim Tebow disembarked.  He stepped off the bus, not two feet in front of us, and everybody began  screaming his name. He glanced at us, saw our Oklahoma garb, and with a little smile on his face, let out a primordial roar that sent the Florida fans into a frenzy. I turned to Rachelle and said, "Uh oh. Oklahoma's in trouble. Tebow's fired up." Sure enough, Florida won on the back (or should I say 'legs') of Tim Tebow. I didn't like Tebow as a football player in 2009.

I have come to love Tim Tebow as a person in 2012. After three years of learning more about Tim Tebow there is a great deal that I've discovered that causes me to admire this young man who is the age of my oldest son. He's bold about his faith in Jesus Christ. He's humble about his accomplishments. He has a solid perspective on what's really important in life.  You can't read this article on Tim Tebow,  posted yesterday by award-winning sports writer Rick Reilly, and not be moved by Tebow's Christianity. Tebow's favorite verse is John 3:16. In the extraordinary win against Pittsburgh last Sunday Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards. His average yards per completion was 31.6 yards. The Neilson T.V. rating in the fourth quarter was 31.6. Twitter buzzed about the first names of the four referees who called the game--Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It seems somebody else is interested in Tim Tebow's testimony as well. Witches are now lining up to cast their spells against him.

In an age and day when a few religious evangelical professionals are causing Christians some justified shame, Tim Tebow has given us something for which we can be proud--a consistent witness for Christ through both his words and his life. Well done Tim Tebow. Whether you win or lose against the Patriots today, God has  already made you a winner in the game of life.  


Anonymous said...

Yeah as family told me..since I'm not a huge sports person, that some people were razin on him saying "God really doesnt care about football."
But by this article, I guess God cared more about football then the "haters" thought.

Guess God decided to use the game as a teaching moment.


Johnny D. said...

Wade, when I was in the apex of my rebellion against Jesus, Tebow was at his zenith here in Gator country.

I'm a Tide fan, and Tebow and the Gators had to play the Tide. At that time, in my rebellion, I disliked Tebow and wanted nothing more than for him to fail. I literally cursed at him during games and wanted to see him fail more than any other person in football. And what's really strange is that I am one of those that usually keeps football in perspective. I'm not a face-painter or a "rah-rah" type. I can always say to a fan of another team that the Tide plays, either, "You guys were better than the Tide today - congratulations" or, "Even though you lost, that's a good team and they will be back." But with Tebow and the Gators, things would get out of perspective and I'd want any team playing them to sack Tebow and put him out of the game.

After Jesus slapped me upside the head and I gained some perspective, the change in my attitude towards Tim is nothing short of amazing. My wife and I now regularly pray for him.

As you probably know, Tim grew up here where I live on Jacksonville's Westside. Years ago in my first run at Christianity, the Tebows came to the church we attended at that time, and Tim's father talked about his organization. I don't remember if Tim was there that day. If so, he was still a young man probably in high school. It's pretty easy to see where Tim gets his values from his father Bob and the rest of his family.

I have a feeling that God doesn't really care about football. The players - of course our Lord cares about them and loves them. Can he use Tim to reach a cynical, lost world that cares only about making more money and driving big cars and owning the biggest house on the block? Yeah, I think He can. I think He is. I don't know that for sure, but I'm hopeful, and we are going to pray for Tim today. Not to win - but that he'd be safe and that win or lose - he'd have strength to carry on and keep representing Jesus Christ.

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...


Thanks for this encouraging post!

My dad, who turned 80 on Thursday, was sharing these miraculous statistics with me during a visit to celebrate his important milestone. He LOVES what Tebow represents. I hadn't heard the names of the referees until your post. Truly incredible!

I'm glad there are some Christian men out there who are keeping their focus on Christ, not a three letter word that I won't even bother to mention.

Pege' said...

Wade,I personally do not know the young man.I have heard of his good works. That impresses me. His "TEBOWING" (as it is called...hi prayers) in front of the public bother me. There are many believers in the National football league who have lived bold faith filled lives in front of the other players and fans. In basket ball, hockey,base ball. You know a few of them. When we pray we are to do it in private as to not receive rewards from "humans". I think the demonstrative actions of this man brings ridicule and sarcasm to Christianity that is not necessary. Do you get up in the pulpit and "Tebow" before a message? Do I "Tebow" before entering a shopping center to buy groceries? How about a police officer before he approaches a car? No... we enter the place of our minds and hearts and come into the presence of the Lord there. I think it is an unnecessary exhibition on Tebows part and do not like it.

JD Rector said...

In response to Pege above, oh come now! I am proud graduate of Auburn University BUT, I think Tim Tebow is a marvelous young man that I want the youth in my church to admire. Pege, you seem to be following that politically correct version of the left wing in this country that tells evangelical Christians, "Shhhhhh!, Be Quite!"
Tim, is indeed as Wade has stated, an athlete who represents well what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ said...


I understand what you are saying. There are a couple of ways to look at the public display of prayer--the one you have eloquently stated (and I see your point), and the one JD stated (and I see his point). I think it is probably a matter of personal opinion. The one thing that can be said is Tebow is consistent in his public displays. I like consistency! :)

JD Rector said...

Blessings to you brother for being far more gracious than I was with my words! Thanks for the positive comments on Tim Tebow! Here's one praying that God richly blesses you all as you gather to worship Him tomorrow!

Sooz said...

I love this post. I hope you don't mind that I linked your blog to mine so people could come read it. =)

Pege' said...

J.D....WOW if you knew would never say I am QUIET. I am no where near the left or politically this is amazing. Emulate Christ not Tim Tebow. Even Jesus went in private to pray to he father. It is an unnecessary ostentatious performance. Let his life speak for his Lord not his posturing before a game.

Doug B said...

I normally agree with Page. However . . . thats usually because the average sports player seems insincere (to me).I don't think God does care who wins a football game. But he does care who presents him faithfully. Tim seems to do that faithfully. Last week he sai "I thank God for the platform He's given me." I think that's the difference for me. We never know another's heart heart but Tim seems genuine and that why I've been rooting for him

All I know is that I've gotten to have a couple of conversations about my faith that I wouldn't have if it wasn't for the the press and the coverage of Tim.

He's a breath of fresh air among pro athletes.

John Wylie said...

Jesus actually did not condemn public prayer. We have several examples of public prayer in the scriptures. What He was condemning was public prayer that was done for the purpose of receiving the praise of people. While I can't judge Tebow's heart, he already has fame and fortune, his public prayer is just a part of who he is.

Anonymous said...

Pege, in your post you remind me of the wife of David who critized him for celebrating God as they were moving the ark. All she saw was his public display in front of others, not that he was celebrating God nearly every six steps. They did lose one man along the way cause he reached out to save the ark as it was falling.

I dont know if I was a believing officer I would probably be praying right before dealing with any driver. Many routine stops turn out so much more than just "routine". Some officers have been shot and killed by drivers, some have been strangled, beaten, some have been nearly hit by other cars who have lost control by hitting ice, some have been srabbed, many routine stops have turned into high speed chases. Sometimes thoses chases lead to deaths of other officers, deaths of other innocent drivers, deaths of the speeders, desths of pedestrians, deaths of kids in that car. So I would not fault an officer who decides to "Tebow" right before he speaks with a driver on what is supposed to be a "routine" traffic stop.

Nor can I fault Tim Tebow for doing such either. So many athletes get injured during games in one way or another. I remember my mom (who a very avid sports watcher) tell me about a hockey player who almost died right on the ice because a hockey puck hit him wrong. I remember years ago when I was a sophomore at a Enid high(my high school) when a Jenks football player(our arch rival- think OU/Texas) was hit wrong in a play by another player. He was down for 15 minutes. There was a standing ovation from both sides of the stadium when they helped this boy up and he walked off the field. There have been some football players where in tackles their body goes one way and their legs go the other way in super nasty looking breaks(that sometimes ESPN would show over and over). And some players have had career ending injuries in a single game.

Nor would I fault a racer if he "Tebowed" either. Yes, I consider racing a sport. Driving a speeding car around a track or down a straight-a-way at over 150-200mph, you never know if its going to be your last race and if you'll walk away from a crash if you get in a crash. I mean no one thought Dale Earnhardt Sr. was not going to walk away from his crash in 2001. I mean he had been in hundreds of crashes before over the years, yet just this one crash, he hit the the wall wrong and as I hear, he died on impact and had no neck restraint(which he refused to wear cause he was scared he would not be able to get out during a fire). Many of those long car drivers that drive down those straight-a-ways, have lost their lives to crashes.

So no, I cant fault Tim Tebow for "Tebowing" during games. If he is as avid a sports watcher as my mom is, he probably has seen a ton of injuries and freak accidents that happen to a lot of other players (many who are veterans). The way I have been told,Tebow is a first year player in the pros. Course I could be wrong since I'm not an avid sports watcher.

Course as one Christian speaker said, "some people can find fault with anything."


Anonymous said...

You could even say praying before a meal in public is like a mild form if "Tebowing". The people still do it anyway, even though they know other people will be watching and commenting, whispering. And yet many people dont find that as offensive as what Tim Tebow is doing even though its almost the same thing.

Course a singer I follow on a blog said that if she ever goes to one of these bronco games, she may just have to hire a choir to go with her so they could sing praises to God every time Tim "Tebowed". (-;


Pege' said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pege' said...

So because I disagree I am a left wing, politically correct observer and a mute believer who is critical of celebrating joyous occasions.
All because I disagree.
Makes me want to join your point of view.... and please post the addresses of your churches I'll be sure not to attend there. God forbid I disagreed about something really important I might be burned at the stake.

Anonymous said...

I am not calling you a wingest or an extremest just said your post reminded me of Davids wife.

But I still think this singer has a point:

" I’m watching the news and this poor dude from the Denver Broncos is being torn apart for praying on the field. Put aside the “sermon on the Mount” argument for a moment. I really don’t see how praying on the field is such a bad thing. We get to watch half naked girls jump around and flaunt their goods during the game, only to be showcased during half time. That’s happened forever and I don’t hear the news guys complaining about that. So, why give this Tebow guy such a hard time.

If you look at the last year, the folks whose rights are protected so they can march on Wall St and every other street expressing their points of view, the people who are protected from being searched at the airport just because they look a certain way - this is a free country. If the man wants to pray, let him pray.

What does it say when someone puts a sex tape on the internet, gets a TV show, makes millions for having zero talent - that’s OK. But someone who prays in public is ridiculed and torn to pieces??? does that make sense ? I’m just saying."
-by a country singer


Pege' said...

"T" he is free to point is he is being praised and lifted up as "SUPER CHRISTIAN" because he does. So many believers are raving about Tim Tebow and his boldness...his testimony...such and example for kids...when millions all over the world do great things for the Lord in private but have no PR team to get it in the news. I would have been dancing beside David just as buck naked as he was before the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Pege has got it right as far as I am concerned. I think to make a show out of prayer is wrong and I think it might just be a little self righteous to do so.

Anonymous said...

never said he was a super Christian either. but I do find it interesting that after he left the college relm of football, it is now illegal to write stuff on the little black streaks under the eyes. He was popular then and it was okay, now that he is gone, its illegal and you might get fined or penalized for doing such.

But as far as "showing" goes, give it time. The way our country is going, it will eventually get to a point where doing that or crossing yourself as lots of Catholic baseball people do will get you fined and penalized.

And I still say, and feel free to disagree, that God chose that night and that game for whatever reason, to be a teaching moment about his Salvation. To me that many 3:16 random references, wasn't so random, especially if it was said that after Tebows major pass at the end,the references promped millions of people to google search what John 3:16 says.

And I dont know, if I had kids, I would rather them look to Tebow as a role model than to kobe Bryant or Rothlesburger(sp) who have both been accused of rape.

I wish I could say for certain that I would have been a beliver back then if I had lived back then. But I dont belive in reincarnation. Im not saying you do either. Ive just heard some ppl say that sometimes what you are interested in and are facinated with is hinting at the life you once lived. I am facinated with the Bible and with the lives of the ancient Pharaohs. one might say I might have been a Pharaohs daughter back then. So as much as I wish and want to say I would have been dancin with David, I am thankful God placed me in this time frame, here and now, so there is and there would be no questions on me being his.


Anonymous said...


greg.w.h said...

I thoroughly enjoy watching Tebow play. And I'm thoroughly queasy every time I see him kneel down in the end zone because his purpose in doing that might be to give glory to God, but it calls attention to himself.

It reminds me of the prayers of the publican and the Pharisee, to be honest, and Jesus's enjoinder that we go into a closet to pray and shut the door and not let anyone see us doing it.

That said: the rest of his life story is remarkable. And it reminds me that none of us is qualified because of what we have done to receive Jesus's sacrifice on our behalf. And none of us is qualified for the ministry that he calls us to except through the dynamite power of the Holy Spirit.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

I agree with Greg. Tebow is a young and amazing guy, but he has to learn like anyone of us.I don't have a problem when a player gets injured on the field and a whole bunch of guys want to pray for him at that critical moment, but is it being humbled knowing that the whole world and media is watching you alone bowing down giving glory to God? Can you give Glory to God without kneeing down while nobody is recognizing it?

I believe the Tebow mania is a good tool for all the Christians to wake up and witness to many lost souls, just like when the Passion of the Christ was out, many bashed the movie, but it was a tool for the Christians from what I believe, whether it was right or wrong, we are all learning something from God.

Pege' said...

Jeff and i went on a date tonite to a wonderful local steak house in the black forest area and we "TEBOWED" for the saying of grace. WOW IT WAS A GREAT MEAL and it cost as much as my favorite bible verse. It must have been a holy cow. Jeff even made a pass. ;)
Before I went to a meeting for work I again "TEBOWED" right in the parking lot and I made a sale and got an order for more product in under five minutes with no over time. WOW...I must retract all of my previous posts. To think I used to pray in private and all I had to do was do it out in the open for all to see so I really could be blessed. Your arguments have reformed my thinking. LOOK OUT WALMART... I AM GOING SHOPPING TOMORROW!!!.

Unknown said...

What a great blog! I live in Denver and it is awesome to have Tim Tebow as the Bronco's Quarterback. Just today (weeks after the Super Bowl) Tebow is still making the news. There was a story about his charity work and how he made the day of a 9-year-old girl by asking her to join him on her "first date" to an award show. She suffers from genetic disorder and he wanted to bless her life. The guy is just such an example of God's love. On a side note, last week I got to meet Demaryius Thomas, the Bronco's wide receiver who caught that winning 80-yard pass in OT during the playoffs. I got my picture taken with him and he too was a stand-up young man. I am very proud of both players and what they accomplished that day against the Steelers. Go God and Go Broncos! :)