The Question God Asked Steve Smith: “When Are You Going to Start Playing for Me?”


He is a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers. He played college football at the University of Utah. He was chosen by the Panthers as a third round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He was selected to the Pro-Bowl five times and to the All-Pro three times. He is known as one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL. In 2005, he led the league in receiving yards, catches, and touchdowns. This same year, he was the NFL Alumni Wide Receiver of the Year, AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and the PFWA NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Having spent his whole career with the Panthers, he is the team’s all-time leader in total touchdowns, receptions, and receiving yards. He currently leads all active NFL players in all-purpose yardage.

He says of his faith, “I accepted Christ in a boiler room in Tampa Bay in 2003. I accepted Christ, but I didn’t understand the responsibility, or understand the full lifelong commitment, the true covenant between a believer, myself and—with Christ. And so I was kind of lukewarm, I was straddling the fence. I kind of looked for (it) when I needed it, but when I didn’t need it, just kind of shoved it to the side.”

With talent, pride, and a chip on his shoulder, he often got into arguments with other players and teammates. During the 2010 season, he decided to change that. After taking a long look in the mirror, he said, “I really just did not recognize the man, the young man, in the mirror. I didn’t recognize him, I didn’t see it, I didn’t like what I saw; vain, egotistical, and self centered. The world revolved around me. And, it was only important thing at that time was me. And that’s not how real life works. That’s not what it’s about. That’s not what a husband ought to think, ought to be, that’s not what a father ought to be.”

He says that’s when he was faced with a question from God. He said, “God just really broke me and asked me that question that I think everyone has in different ways. Which was, ‘You’ve played this game long enough for yourself; when are you going to start playing for Me?’ That was a question that hit home.” It was then that he decided to rededicate his life to the Lord.

He said, “You can have your bank account at Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, every big business, but on that weekend, they aren’t open. At midnight when you’re broken, that bank account isn’t going to help you. God has been in my life whether I’ve known it or not, and been looking out for me the days that He knows, He’s known. And He’s been there in the muck and the mire. For me, He’s redemptive; He’s that Father that even when your dad is striking out, He’ll hold you.”

His name is Steve Smith.

This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Steve Smith gave his life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:

First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.

The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.

Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.

Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.

And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer:

Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!