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A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language: Lesson 26f

Topic: Responsibilities VI: Teamwork And Team Spirit

Series: NFL Football, Mighty Morphin’Power Rangers

Episodes: Thanksgiving Game (NFL 2001), Gung Ho! (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers)

Lesson PDF link: 26f.pdf

Fun Fact: The phrase "Gung Ho" means "working together" in Chinese


This lesson session is about working together both in the human race and in our Christian lives. This lesson shows how working together gets more accomplished than not. This lesson shows what working in tandem does in contrast to working in disunity. We use a couple of clips from the Thanksgiving Day NFL game of 2001 (Green Bay vs. Detroit). I also use the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Episode "Gung Ho!". We talk about treating our Christian lives like we are always training for and in a great Spiritual contest. We talk about how to win God's trophy--a crown of life.

Scriptures Used Include: Proverbs 12: 25; Proverbs 16: 24; Ephesians 4: 29; Mark 8: 31—9: 1; Romans 1: 8-17; Proverbs 17: 3; Proverbs 25: 4; Mark 6: 7-13

Welcome to today’s session. Today we are talking about teamwork and team spirit as it pertains to witnessing with our lives as Christians. When you think of the words ‘teamwork’ or ‘team spirit’, what do they mean to you; are they actually important in physical athletics?

The first thing we will do is to show a couple of clips of a different kind this time. I will show a real life example of team spirit. Can you tell me if it is a good or bad example?

NFL clip #1: Thanksgiving Day game 2001:

NFL: Thanksgiving Day game 2001: Direct link for video/webmUsing IE? Video not working? Download Windows HTML 5(WebM) video support: WebMProject.org

NFL clip #2: Thanksgiving Day game 2001:

NFL: Thanksgiving Day game 2001: Direct link for video/webm

Well, is the above example good or bad teamwork and team spirit; are the fans working with their team?

The Bible doesn’t think so either.

The Bible states in Proverbs 12: 25; 16: 24, and Ephesians 4: 29

Pr 12:25 An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

Pr 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Eph 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

As we can see the fans in this football game are not helping Detroit one bit. Why do you think that the fans are embarrassed to be Detroit Lions fans? Is this an example of a true fan? We have to understand that the Detroit Lions and their fans are anxious because they probably will go 0-10. The fans just don’t have the right idea about supporting their team through this difficult season. This makes the Lions’ situation much worse. The fans’ signs and ‘sad sacks’ are very much the same as unwholesome talk to their home team. They are not building their team up; they are tearing their team down. In other words, all three of these verses are not being given respect by Detroit’s fan base.

Have you been ever at all discouraging to someone when you were supposed to have the exact opposite (encouragement) as a Christian in your heart and coming out of your mouth? A Christian’s life of following Jesus Christ shouldn’t follow the Detroit Lions fans’ formula here.

The Bible States In Mark 8: 31-9: 1:

Mk 8:31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.

Mk 8:32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

Mk 8:33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Mk 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Mk 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.

Mk 8:36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

Mk 8:37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mk 8:38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels."

Mk 9:1 And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."

Here, we are emphasizing verses 33-38 in this passage. Peter is not cooperating with Jesus's plans and not helping in this passage. Peter here is an example of bad team spirit because he doesn't see that Jesus really needs cooperation of the cause of salvation. If Jesus is not crucified according to plan, there wouldn't be the law of grace and faith that today is the calling card for Christians. The full and complete plan of salvation wouldn't come to its completion and I believe humanity would be lost in a sea of sin and Divine condemnation.

In comparison, we see that Paul (writing in the book of Romans) is not ashamed and fulfils Jesus’s criteria well.

The Bible States In Romans 1: 8-17:

Ro 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

Ro 1:9 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you

Ro 1:10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you

Ro 1:11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—

Ro 1:12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

Ro 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

Ro 1:14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.

Ro 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.

Ro 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Ro 1:17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

In this passage, Paul is writing his Christian friends in Rome. Paul gives a most wonderful example of a faith statement about being a strong bold witness for Jesus Christ.

So, how do we become really good witnesses for our Lord and Savior? The answer that we are going to cover in this lesson is working together. In other words, we need to have Christian cooperation to make the Gospel shine the most effectively. I am going to show the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers episode "Gung Ho!". According to the episode here, which is playfully ironic, ‘Gung Ho’ is Chinese for working together.

Clip #1: "Gung Ho!" (Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers):

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers "Gung Ho!" Direct link for video/webm

Through this point, the characters Tommy and Jason are having a lot of trouble working together. Why do you think this is so?

At least for right now, they seem to want to be involved in one-upping one another. Why is this kind of competition (when they are supposed to be training) a bad idea? As usual with the character of Rita, I am using her as the Satan character of the lesson. As the Devil usually is, she is inspired by events here. She sees Tommy and Jason not cooperating and she tries to make use of this fact. Making this army of Super-Putties seems to me like a pretty good villain plot actually. Think of Zordon as the God character here. Zordon sends Tommy and Jason to fetch weapons to get rid of the attacking Super-Putty Patrollers. If Zordon is the God character we can see that the map’s symbol is discernment and Tommy and Jason heed this discernment. However, they have not learned to work together yet. Not only is this an essential assignment, but also it turns out to be a needed test of their friendship and cooperation. Has God given you a test of this type; how did you come out of this test if you have been put under one of these?

The Bible States In Proverbs 17: 3 and 25: 4

Pr 17:3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.

Pr 25:4 Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith

Zordon is trying to test Tommy and Jason in order to purify their hearts so they can do better against Rita by working together. This seems to be no easy task. However, with God this is easy and as we find out together, it’s the same with Zordon. The only way things don’t work out for God’s plans to give His best (to God’s dismay) is when we his children don’t heed and can’t take God’s furnace and crucible.

Everyone needs to understand that Jesus wants us to work together. Jesus exercised teamwork in His earthly ministry.

The Bible States In Mark 6: 7-13

Mk 6:7 Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.

Mk 6:8 These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.

Mk 6:9 Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.

Mk 6:10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.

Mk 6:11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them."

Mk 6:12 They went out and preached that people should repent.

Mk 6:13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

What are the results of working together or Gung Ho?

Clip #2: "Gung Ho!" (Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers):

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers "Gung Ho!" Direct link for video/webm

There is strength in working together in tandem together as Jason and Tommy or the disciples in Jesus’s physical day. We see that culminated in the last clip of our Power Rangers episode "Gung Ho!". We have a need to work together as humans, but when one talks about working with other brothers in Christ like I am doing, we are saying that better things happen when we work together in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior to win the lost and to minister to everyone. When we work together to do both we will certainly be able to say what the Bible states below.

The Bible States In I Corinthians 9: 24-27:

1Co 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

1Co 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1Co 9:26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.

1Co 9:27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Does everyone remember the Detroit Lions’ team and their fans?

Optional Clip #3 of NFL Thanksgiving Day game 2001: (If one doesn't wish to watch the conclusion of the game, then trust me on the commentary below after the clip link)

NFL Thanksgiving Day game 2001 conclusion Direct link for video/webm

Detroit lost that game 27-29. They made a rally really late in the game by scoring a touchdown, a two-point conversion, getting possession of the ensuing on-side kick and scoring another touchdown. They failed to get the other conversion. Only when the team rallied did the very few fans that were left start to cheer. Do you think that if the fans were better fans that Detroit would have done better? In our Christian lives we should be able to work together in tandem just as Tommy and Jason learned this and were refined. They won their physical prize, as we will in our Christian lives if we do the same. The Devil, symbolized by Rita gets really frustrated at true Christians. Doing what this lesson is about in our lives gives him the headache that Rita got, except not one bit of medication will ever cure it. We will get God’s trophy out of doing what this lesson is about, a crown of life. Please everyone Gung Ho!