Gospel Light Minute – Jonathan Isaac (#261)
He is an American professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Florida State Seminoles before being selected by Orlando in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft with the sixth overall pick.
Although he was a top pick in the 2017 NBA draft, he played only 27 games his rookie season while averaging 5.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game before suffering injury. Last season, his second year in the NBA, he played 75 games and increased his averages to 9.6 points and 5.5 rebounds while helping lead the Magic to the NBA playoffs.
Already considered to be the star and cornerstone of the Orlando Magic team, he is expected to play a big role this year, his third season.
According to a recent feature from Christianheadlines.com, the 22-year-old power forward didn’t enjoy missing most of his rookie season two years ago with an ankle injury, but in hindsight – he says – it was for the best. He worked out during that time, putting on much-needed muscle on his 6-foot-10 frame to improve his defense. He became a better all-around player.
But he also grew spiritually.
“I take that injury as God sitting me down, and getting my attention to set me up for the life and the career that He has for me,” he said in an interview with the Sports Spectrum Podcast in October.
Off the court, he is known as one of the league’s most outspoken Christians. He talked about his faith to the crowd during the Magic’s Faith and Family Night. And he preached at J.U.M.P. Ministries Global Church in Orlando, FL.
In his first message preached there in 2018, he opened up to those in attendance about how he grew up a cultural Christian but did not have an actual relationship with God until now. He also shared about why 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 preached. “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.”
He highlighted the popular verse, John 3:16 and likened it to his transformation. The Bible scripture says, “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.”
He frequently writes about his faith on Twitter and Instagram, too.
“You have people say, ‘You shouldn’t post that or you shouldn’t say that,’” he told Sports Spectrum, referencing his faith-based social media posts. “… People say you don’t want to, you know, push your faith on people…. [But] I can only be me. I can only live with my experiences and what I know for myself.”
“Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior,” he declared. “So, me being my authentic self – that’s who I am. And that’s the way I speak.”
He wants his social media fans to know how Christ has changed his life.
“The Bible helps me live. It helps me be a better man,” he said. “… And I see that as a direct effect that Jesus Christ had on my life, and if I’m going to speak about myself, I’m gonna have to speak about [faith].”
His faith, he said, has grown “leaps and bounds” the past two years as he’s sought to grow “into the man of God that I know that God wants me to be.”
He also has found a home church in Orlando, although at 6-foot-10, he’s not inconspicuous when he attends. At first, church members were shocked to see an NBA player sitting with them in church.
“[But] the more I got to know the people [and] the more they got to know me – it just turned into me just being another person,” he said. “I need Jesus just as much as they do and you come to that realization really, really quick.”
His name is Jonathan Judah Isaac.
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 Jonathan Isaac trusts Jesus Christ as his Saviour, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “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.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 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 Society.com 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!