NORMAN — Former NFL player Ken Zachary with Radical Turn Ministries delivered a sermon at Robinson Street Baptist Church in Norman Sunday night.
Zachary told several stories about growing up as a Christian, going off to college at Oklahoma State University, playing football in the NFL and the injury that sent him home and led him back to God.
The message of his sermon was “Do you know God?” and “Does God know you?”. An example he gave of this was that lots of people know Lebron James, but if Lebron James held a party, would Lebron invite you? Does Lebron know you?
He encouraged the church to think about whether or not God really knows them.
Whenever he was injured in the NFL, he said he remembered how focused he was during that game. Zachary said the line was blocking well and all he could think about was a 75-yard touchdown. Someone got in his way and he was thinking, “I’m gonna run smooth over this guy,” he said.
Then, there was a collision and Zachary ended up paralyzed from the neck down.
“They said I’d never walk again,” Zachary said. “As time went by, I thought I’d be like this for the rest of my life.”
It was at that moment that he remembered the words his mother had told him. First, that God would never leave him or forsake him, and second, always pray and thank God for his talent. So Zachary said he began to pray. It was at 27 years old that he truly asked God into his heart, he said.
“I was a good person. I did some good things,” Zachary said. “But, God didn’t know me.”
Then he began doing something the doctors said he’d never be able to do again. He was standing by his bed. He ended up walking out of the hospital.
“He not only healed me, but he restored my life,” Zachary said.
After returning home from his injury, Zachary’s father had a massive stroke. If Zachary had still been playing in the NFL, he said he wouldn’t have been there.
“God allowed me to get hurt to come home,” he said.
Zachary also talked about fear and addiction. Fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real,” he said. God doesn’t give us fear, he gives us power, he said, adding that he had been afraid of failure until he learned that he wasn’t a failure because he has God in his life.
As he held two phone books in front of everyone at the church with the words “Fear” and “Addiction” written on them in a permanent marker, he told everyone to throw their fear and addiction into the books and because they were going to tear them up tonight.
“We’re gonna start all over tonight,” he said.
Zachary ripped both phone books in half.
Then he talked about religion, as he showed everyone at the church a pan that had the word “Religion” etched into its center.
“I’ve gone to a lot of churches all over this world and I’ve seen a lot of religion,” Zachary said. “Religion – man’s best attempt to reach God.”
He told those sitting in the pews he was going to attempt to roll the frying pan up like a burrito, hoping to show them that he is not going to give up because Jesus did not give up on him.
Zachary rolled the frying pan up like a burrito.
As he began to close the sermon, he talked about a message he used to preach, one about the highway going to heaven and the access road that runs along it. Zachary said he didn’t know it, but he had been on the access road until he bowed the knee of his heart and began his personal relationship with God.
He encouraged those who attended the sermon that night to ask themselves if they know Jesus and if Jesus knows them. He asked them to ask themselves whether they were just on the access road or the highway to heaven.
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