Former Seahawks player Shaun Alexander urges students to meet God’s standard Liberty News

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(Photo by Chase Gyles)

Former NFL running back and MVP Shaun Alexander delivered an inspirational message to the Liberty University student body Friday morning, pleading with them to live their identity in Christ, the standard to which they are called and the direction in which they should go , “to tap”. as God’s chosen.

Alexander was a first round draft pick and played eight seasons in the NFL (2000-08), the majority with the Seattle Seahawks. His visit to Liberty was the latest in a long list of current and former professional athletes who have spoken at the Convocation in recent years, including Tim Tebow, Michael Vick, Brett Favre, Ray Rice, Joe Theismann, Stephen Curry and Simone Biles, among others .

Convocation remains the largest weekly gathering of Christian students in the world. The fall schedule officially began on August 24th with a special worship gathering featuring guest singer-songwriter Micah Tyler. Upcoming guests include the 48th Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence (September 14); Virginia Lt. gov. Winsome Sears, the first woman Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth and the first black woman elected to statewide office (5 Oct); and Christian media personality Priscilla Shirer (Oct. 14). (See the full schedule.)

Alexander began by sharing his remarkable football journey from becoming the best high school footballer in the country to a record-breaking running back for the Alabama Crimson Tide and Seahawks. He then spoke openly about his troubled family history and encouraged the students that God can use everyone, regardless of their family history.

“If you go (back) two generations on my mother’s side, you have adultery, (and) you go (back) two generations on my father’s side, and you have murder,” he said.

He said that as children of God we were chosen by the Creator of the world and, referring to John 15:16, we are chosen to bring forth fruit that honors Christ.

“I look around the room and I see a lot of people who have been chosen,” he said. “God did it. He set the stage. He’s sovereign and he knows exactly what’s going to happen and he sent you all into that room right away.”

Alexander did not grow up wanting to read the Scriptures, but as a 10-year-old boy in church on Easter Sunday, he saw grown men being torn apart by the gospel message, and something changed in him.

“The power of God was so strong in that room that Sunday,” he said, recalling leaning towards his mother to ask what had happened.

“She said, ‘Some people go through things, some people come out of things, and some people prepare for what’s going on right now — and they realized that the answer is Jesus.'”

On that day, Alexander told the Lord that he would obediently follow his calling in his life, and since then he has seen the hand of the Lord over his life in powerful ways, especially through a vigorous life of prayer.

(Photo by Matt Reynolds)

Alexander said his spiritual journey was strengthened when he was a freshman in Alabama and challenged by a football team member to start reading the scriptures. It was Psalm 37:4, “Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” that amazed him. He was determined to live that verse and enjoy God’s promises.

Alexander, now a father of 12, shared how he’s learned over the years that a father always gives his children an identity, always sets standards, and always provides direction.

“God speaks to his children,” he said. “He’s using the Holy Spirit and he’s using other people to always whisper, ‘Here are my laws, let’s do it.'”

He spoke of the importance of Christians holding one another accountable in the pursuit of holiness.

“Are we pushing each other to really love people, to get to know them, and to be like, ‘Hey, I love you enough to not let that dirt on your face?'”

Alexander referred to Hebrews 10 and said that while it is a difficult passage to hear, it is a stern warning to those who “willfully continue to sin” once they have encountered the gospel.

“Where do we actually want to go?” he asked. “How do we want this story to end?”

“A father gives you the identity you have; They are terribly and beautifully made,” Alexander concluded. “Our God sets that standard for who you are and how to live it. Our God will point you in the right direction. Let’s encourage one another to do God’s good works.”

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