Scripture tells Christians they will be a “peculiar people” — a special generation chosen by God and set apart in a foreign land.
For Orlando Magic star Jonathan Isaac, that promise of peculiarity rings increasingly true. The longer he has walked in his faith, the less he’s sought after the worldly desires he so desperately clung to in years passed.
“The funny thing to me about accepting Jesus is that, before I made the decision, I was so occupied with all the things that I’d be losing,” he wrote in a recent tweet.
The funny thing to me about accepting Jesus is that before I made the decision I was so occupied with all the things that I’d be losing. Sex, clubs with my boys, manhood etc! Now all I see is all I’ve gained. And all of it so easily outweighs what I thought I needed to be a man..
— Jonathan Isaac (@jisaac_01) September 28, 2018
Isaac, 20, grew up in Christian culture, going through the motions of faith just like any other young believer. But in a recent sermon, he delivered at J.U.M.P. Ministries Global Church in Orlando, Florida, he explained how his faith needed to mature.
“Why was the professed savior of my life not leading my life? Why didn’t my faith in Jesus dictate my actions?” he said. “As I asked these questions, I started to contrast where I was, in a place where I was in the driver’s seat, and where I am now, where the person of Jesus and the Holy Spirit dictate more of my life than they ever have.”
Watch his full sermon:
The young athlete, among other things, said he needed to remember what his faith granted him, pointing the congregation to John 3:16, which reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
But faith in Jesus Christ offers much more than just eternal life, the NBA player explained in early September.
Isaac said the Christian faith gives believers the grace they don’t deserve but so desperately need. He said the depravity of humankind “is so obvious,” even in his own life. Later, Isaac reminded the congregants their faith grants them “a direct relationship with God,” whom “we can approach with freedom.”
“Once you understand something’s value,” he said, “you understand how tightly it needs to be held onto.”
Now, Isaac’s faith is more than just something he claims to believe; he’s an active participant in leading others to Jesus and celebrating their salvation.
I saw today that Jesus is alive and the spirit he spoke about does inhabit his people. Nothing spooky just most of Stetson’s Men’s basketball accepting Jesus after attending @jumpministries all from their coach’s daughter (who I met at FSU) seeking Jesus and a church home ?
— Jonathan Isaac (@jisaac_01) September 23, 2018
Last Sunday, Isaac said he saw “that Jesus is alive and the Spirit he spoke about does inhabit his people,” revealing that “most of” the players on Stetson University’s men’s basketball team became Christians.