SCRIPTURES & COMMENTARY
The following messages have been provided by Willis Overton
Willis Overton is at IUPUI Athletics
Willis Overton is at IUPUI Athletics.
September 19, 2023 · Indianapolis, IN ·
Nate Kaiser is one of our student leaders at IUPUI FCA and is leading the men’s cross country team to an incredible start to their season! Read his perspective on being a college athlete and how he is fueled by his identity in Christ
Indianapolis Colts Faith and Football Day!
Join us on October 8th for a day of inspiration and excitement at the Indianapolis Colts Faith and Football Day! 🙏🔵 Secure your tickets through the link below and be part of the action – watch the Colts take on the Titans, hear from a players, coach, and cheerleader, and take photos on the field at the 50-yard line. Let’s celebrate together with #FCA #HeGetsUs #Colts #FaithAndFootball #AthletesinAction #ForTheShoe
First FCA Huddle of the year at Cascade MS
First FCA Huddle of the year at Cascade MS and they had to find a new classroom because they DOUBLED in size since the end of last year – 52 in attendance this morning!! This Huddle only launched in January and they are already doubling their numbers and the amount of meetings they will have this semester ✖️2️⃣
Samantha Burns is doing a phenomenal job leading the charge, making disciples here – pray for her and our other Huddles as we seek to lead coaches and athletes across Hendricks County into growing relationships with Christ and His Church 🙏
FB post September 8, 2023
Dr. MLK on love:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that hate can I drive out hate; only love can do that. Love is he most durable power in the world. This creative force so beautifully exemplified and the life of our Christ is the most potent instrument available in mankind’s quest for peace and security.”
Christ became less so that we might become greater – this is the power of love!
FB Post January 17, 2023
Reason to Rejoice
This week, our FCA team lost a beloved teammate Glen Korobov. Glen was a legend in coaches ministry and he will be missed by many. We are rejoicing, however, because we know that Glen is now truly home!
During times of loss, Psalm 16:10-11 gives us a reason to rejoice – “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”
We have a secure hope of everlasting life with Jesus which allows us to live without fear of death!
Ephesians 1:3 – “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.”
The Bible itself is a blessing; it is the inspired Word of God. The truth and light in His Word allow us to know God and grow close to Him. FCA’s goal for 2022 is for every coach and every athlete to read His Word every day. Will you join us?
To help achieve this goal, we have developed the brand-new FCA Challenge App. The app includes 3 different reading challenges created for specific audiences – coaches, college athletes, and athletes. Each one begins THIS SUNDAY, January 2. Download the app and select your challenge by going to “settings” and turning on its notifications!
This is also a perfect opportunity to invite others to read the Word alongside you – your staff, huddle, team, etc. Let me know how you plan to use the Challenge App and if you have any questions!
Psalm 3:3 – “…You are my glory, the one who holds my head high.”
Just before the new year, Steph Curry broke the NBA all-time record for 3 pointers made. Curry’s career exudes greatness and it is now undeniable that he is the “greatest shooter God ever created”.
As you watch him play, you can see that Steph does the same thing after every 3 pointer he makes – he taps his chest and points a finger to the ceiling, often looking up as well. Steph gives credit to His Creator and glorifies the Lord through his greatness on the court.
My prayer for 2022 is that we would seek to be great in whatever we do and then point to our Creator. He is our glory!
The Good News
Mark 1:14-15 – “…Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come – the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Many of us get the story of the Bible wrong. We reduce our faith to a concoction of half-truths and worldly summaries and we miss the true, compelling story of Jesus!
Here in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus brings the good news to Galilee – but do we know what this good news actually is?
During your Fall Break this week, I challenge you to watch this video where Timothy Mackie clearly breaks down this good news and shares a complete view of what the Bible – the Word of God – is all about. It is close to 30 minutes long but I cannot think of a more important use of your time!
Put the Fire Out
“Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down” – Proverbs 26:20
James calls our tongues “a fire…a world of wickedness corrupting your entire body” (James 3:6). Do we hear this warning?
Conflict is born easily because of our tongues – hurtful words fly from our mouths, gossip travels rampant on our teams, and we constantly want to share opinions on things that we know nothing about. Do we think before we speak? Do we listen before we talk?
Remember fires need fuel. One of our FCA teammates in Illinois, Roger Lipe, said recently, “Please resist the temptation to add fuel to the ignorance, (gossip), and outrage fire”. Reflect: are you a fire-starter or a fire-stopper? Let us stop fueling the fires of conflict and, instead, surrender our tongues to Christ.
Lamentations 3:22 – “Great is His faithfulness; His mercies are new each morning”
Great defeats. They plague us, stick with us; haunt our dreams. A lot of the time we feel that we will never recover, that we are doomed by this defeat. Whether they are athletic, personal, or spiritual, we have all experienced crushing defeat. Here is the hope: GOD NEVER HAS. When we have proven to be unfaithful, God continues His faithfulness!
In his song “Sunday Morning”, hip-hop artist Lecrae says “I thought I was finished, Jesus told me start again…’Cause every time I wake up, I get a chance to wake up”.
No matter what defeat we suffer, His mercy is ready and able to cover us the next morning. With each new day, our Lord provides the incredible gift of starting over. Will you let yourself be defined by defeat? Or will you wake up and start again? Let’s be thankful for that opportunity.
Romans 8:18 – “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”.
Isn’t victory sweeter when you have struggled and suffered loss in the past? I love championship runs that include overcoming adversity or defeating a rival team. The Red Sox World Series championship in 2004 when they broke the curse and beat the rival Yankees; the Dallas Mavericks fighting as the underdogs and overcoming embarrassing playoff defeats in previous seasons to win the 2011 NBA Finals – these are sweet victories.
There is suffering in this life but we too are promised a sweet victory! Hip-hop artist KB recently shared on his social media while speaking about his wife going through natural childbirth, “the pain is useful in fully appreciating the life that you’re now holding in your hands”. Pain is temporary but it is useful in God’s Hands! KB goes on to argue that “the redemption of an imperfect world is more glorious than a perfect world that does not need redemption”.
Our world is imperfect and full of pain. We have the glorious hope, however, that the resurrection of Jesus Christ will give us far more than sin has ever taken – a sweet victory!
Action or Production?
Genesis 1:28 – “Be fruitful and multiply”
Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, said that he wrote two sentences in the front of his Bible: “Emotion is no substitute for action. Action is no substitute for production.” Is your faith based on emotion or spiritual acts? Or do you have your eyes set on production?
In one of his sermons, Trotman says that as humans we were born to reproduce. Similarly, as Christians we were reborn in Christ in order to multiply; to see others brought into God’s family through new faith in Christ!
Are you a spiritual parent? Are you adding to God’s family through multiplication? Christ Himself gave us this mission and my challenge for you is to pursue it this year! Through your association with FCA or outside of it, how will you strive to reproduce?
Romans 11:11 – “Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all!”
I remember the 2006 AFC Championship game like it was yesterday. The Colts could nothing right in the first half – they couldn’t find the end zone, they turned the ball over, and let the Patriots once again take a commanding lead in a playoff game.
Even as a 10 year old kid, I could sense the feeling of hopelessness in my house after Patriots corner Asante Samuel returned an interception for a touchdown. We debated turning the TV off – they were down too many points to come back and win.
Many of us often feel this way in our spiritual lives – that we have “fallen beyond recovery”. This specific passage in Romans is written about the nation of Israel – that even after their repeated blunders, there was hope for their recovery which God had proven time and time again!
The same is true for us. Because of God’s GREAT mercy and love for you, we will never “fall beyond recovery”. While Paul does warn against continuing in unbelief, we always have the chance to win a comeback victory like the 2006 Colts did! A victory won through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Light of the World
“You are the light of the world…let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16
Jesus is our Light of the World, but He calls us to be lights as well when we are implanted with His Spirit. Dr. King calls this having a “gospel glow” – because of the gospel transforming our lives, we should have a bright glow about us that stands out to the rest of the world!
King says the early church did this extremely well. While they were quantitatively small, he calls them qualitatively giants. They did not conform to the ways of their world, instead they were transformed by the Way of Jesus. They had Jesus-like quality.
Does your life have a gospel glow? Or is it a blurry haze that looks like everyone else? Are the sweet fruits of the Spirit displayed in your life or the rotten fruit of the world? Only in the gospel of Jesus can we be transformed and stand out glowingly to the rest of the world.
An Every Day Gospel
“…I have come that they may have life and life to the fullest” – John 10:10
It has been said to preach the gospel to yourself EVERY DAY because we need to hear it EVERY DAY.
KB, one of my favorite hip-hop artists, presents a fresh, unique version of the same gospel message that gives us life and truth. It is a 7 minute video but I highly recommend you taking the time to listen at some point today! It will be bring you the gospel refreshment that we need DAILY.
The gospel is “…the story of hope for people like us who are spiritual deserts…True good news for the thirsty is that water has come and you can live. The gospel is water – Living Water.” Listen to the full message through the link below!
Deliverance Amidst Many Foes
“I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side” – Psalm 3:6
David is fleeing for his life here because his own son Absalom betrayed him and usurped the throne of Israel – I cannot think of a more desperate situation! David feels completely surrounded by his many enemies and is probably tempted with hopelessness and despair.
On the contrary, David uses this Psalm to renew his faith in the Lord –
He identifies the Lord as his ultimate protector, “a shield around me”. (v. 3)
He trusts that the Lord will sustain him – that he can sleep and wake again without fear. (v. 5)
He confidently calls upon the Lord’s righteous deliverance from evil. (v. 7)
In times of great hurt or injustice, let us call on the Lord for His mighty protection and saving deliverance! God opposes all evil in this world and remains near to the brokenhearted as we wait for His Son to return in glory.
A Personal Sacrifice
2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For God made him who had no sin to be sin for us…”
C.S. Lewis’ classic The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe centers on the sin of one young boy – Edmund. After attempting to betray his brother and sisters and join the evil White Witch, Edmund was rescued and brought to safety with the great lion Aslan.
An incredible scene takes place when the Witch publicly confronts Aslan and accuses Edmund of being a traitor. She accurately claims that, by law, his life is her property. After a private discussion with the Witch, Aslan appears before the crowd and states “she has renounced the claim on your brother’s blood”.
Aslan had offered his life to the Witch in order to save Edmund’s. That is what was done for YOU on a cross 2000 years ago. Yes, Jesus died for the sins of all but I believe at the same time He personally rescued YOU – He made a one-for-one exchange. Praise the Perfect Lamb that was slain this Holy Week – your rightful death sentence has been renounced!
A Triumphant Entry
“Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey” – Matthew 21:5
Did you know that donkeys are animals of great spiritual significance? Almost all donkeys have a cross on their back – a stripe running from head to tail and then a perpendicular stripe that goes across its shoulders.
So not only did Jesus exit Jerusalem carrying a cross, He also entered the Holy City on a cross. Our Lord’s mission was all about that cross. His life here on earth was 100% identified by His death – death by a cross.
The One True Messiah did experience a triumphant entry to Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. He was praised and worshipped by many. But we know now that Jesus was literally riding to His death. From the donkey to Calvary, Jesus was presented to us as the One True Sacrifice that entire week.
Let us worship the humility, love, and ultimate sacrifice of our Lord as we approach Palm Sunday!
Matthew 5:15 – “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others”.
New York Times bestselling author John Maxwell says that “leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less”. I believe Jesus calls us to this same influence – we are to be a shining light to everyone around us!
Maxwell also speaks of the Elevator Principle: when someone “gets in the elevator with you”, do you automatically take them up? Or do you press the button down? How do your words, actions, and attitude typically affect other people? A leader is one who lifts up; he/she does not bring others down. What is your elevator like?
We have a tremendous calling – to shine our God-given light to those around us. So, who are you influencing? And how are you influencing them?
Forget Past Wins
Judges 16:20 – “Samson awoke from his sleep and thought, ‘I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the LORD had left him.”
It’s really hard to go back-to-back. It’s difficult to keep a winning streak alive. More opponents have the scouting report on you; they know your strengths and weaknesses. To stay winning, we cannot stay comfortable in our previous strength!
Samson had gotten comfortable and, unfortunately, in that comfort he forgot the TRUE source of his power! Samson’s power was coming from the Lord and it was tied to his obedience – “do not cut your hair”.
Sin creeps up in the midst of comfort. If you think you are too righteous to fall, that likely means your fall is right around the corner. Let us never pridefully sit in the righteous living of our past, but always press on towards new heights and depths in Christ! He is our RESCUER and He is where our TRUE source of power lies!
John 8:10 – “Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”’
Satan is the great deceiver; he is also the great accuser. Just like the Pharisees in this passage, the devil lies in wait in order to catch us in our sinful acts and bring us out for the entire world to witness our shame. And he is an expert at it.
Jesus is hurt the most by our sin, but He does not stand in a place of accusation. His question to the woman rings in my ears, “Where are your accusers?”
They are nowhere to be found. They have been sent away; removed by the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. And the same has been done for you! Paul writes that “there is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Jesus sent our accuser away for good when he died on the cross. Do not live in condemnation and accusation; live in the freedom that He bought for you and strive towards the Spirit!
An Attitude of Thanks
Philippians 4:11-12 – “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”
Thankfulness is a mindset, an attitude. We can train ourselves to be thankful by instilling it into our prayer life, daily journaling, or by just refusing to complain throughout our day. However he chose to do it, Paul trained himself to be thankful in every situation – to be content no matter the circumstances.
While there is some human discipline that we can achieve, it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that we can truly have this secret of contentment. Let us abide in the Spirit so that His fruits, including thankfulness, will be greater revealed through us whatever the situation or season of our life.
Christ over Culture
Galatians 1:10 – “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?…If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ”.
What motivates your faith? Is it truly the Lamb of God, the Savior of the world? Or is it the cultural Christianity of this era?
Paul challenges the Jewish Christians to lay aside their culture of religion so that CHRIST and His Gospel would be first and foremost in their lives. I wonder if we too in the American church need to hear the same thing today. Jon Keith speaks about this in his song “Raw” when he says –
Who’s really in the Body
A lot of folks only in the building
Y’all want to kick it in the lobby
But your boy is trying to bust through the ceiling
- Are you content to just be a spectator in church? Or are willing to sell out everything in order to get close to the person of Jesus?
- Are you comfortable with residing in the culture of religion? Or do you want your entire life to be identified by Christ?
Let us constantly reflect on the answers to these questions and consider WHO our lives truly reflect.