Life Lesson Learned from the Super Bowl

 

zsunls878yk-sandro-schuh

If it weren’t for the commercials, I would have turned the Super Bowl off after the third quarter. Honestly, I enjoy watching the commercials more than the game, so I kept the TV on even though it seemed the Falcons were destined to win. Who would have thought that the Patriots could make such a powerful comeback from a 19-point deficit?

 

This year’s Super Bowl provides an important life lesson for all of us – don’t lose hope even when it seems as though the game is over. Hope is a powerful word. It drives us forward and turns us away from despair and defeat. It reminds us that no matter how bleak a situation, there are always possibilities.

 

What is it in your life that seems like a defeat? Maybe you are discouraged, tired or feel afraid that the game is over. Press forward, my friend. Look for the possibilities and do what you can do with the time and gifts God has given you. Your victory may not look like a Super Bowl win, but your perseverance can push you in a new and positive direction.

 

One of my favorite NFL coaches, Tom Landry, put it this way, “A champion is simply someone who did not give up when he wanted to.”  You never know what is around the corner. Ask for God’s wisdom to navigate the challenges. More important, ask for His strength to persevere with hope when the game seems over.

 

The apostle Paul could have called it quits many times, as he was jailed, beaten and persecuted for preaching the gospel. Yet, he continued to discover hope as He turned His focus toward God’s purpose for His life. He wrote, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

 

When our goal is centered on God’s plan and purpose for our lives, we can always press forward despite the challenges. Let us continue to look at what is ahead and not behind us. Let us look up and not down, and remember we are never alone. He will guide us and give us He strength.

No Replays with God

It was great to be with you last week dear friends.   We had a wonderful lesson from Philippians 2 about living with humility and serving and honoring others.  A great lesson as we approach the holidays.  I look forward to seeing you in December. 

Here’s a devotional that may help you make it through the football games this week!  Read it and see what I mean!Football season is in full swing (or should I say in full punt) and there is excitement in the air as the week of Thanksgiving is upon us.  There is certainly no shortage of games to watch this week.  I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to be able to watch the instant replay of the action, because I somehow seem to miss a lot of details while the play is happening.  Replays are not only helpful for the audience, but sometimes even the officials need to check the replay to make their determination. 

I’m glad there are replays when it comes to football, but I am also glad that God is not in the replay business when it comes to believers and sin.  The Bible tells us in Psalm 103:

 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
       slow to anger, abounding in love.

 9 He will not always accuse,
       nor will he harbor his anger forever;

 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
       or repay us according to our iniquities.

 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
       so great is his love for those who fear him;

 12 as far as the east is from the west,
       so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

I’m thankful that God’s mercies are new every morning and that he is not holding onto what we did in the past.  Now we may experience very real consequences to our sin, but as believers in Christ God has removed our sin from us. In I Peter 1:22 we read, “You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. “  Since we have been cleansed from our sin through faith in Christ, we must not replay our sin constantly in our minds – God doesn’t do it and neither should we.  But let’s take it a step further, we also must be careful not to keep replaying other people’s sin against us.  We must forgive, as we have been forgiven.  We need to stop replaying in our minds how someone hurt us. 

Just as our sin is done, gone, and removed from us through the blood of Christ, we must demonstrate this same type of forgiveness toward others.    So this Thanksgiving as you are watching the replays in a football game or reruns of an old movie, remind yourself that God does not replay your sin and neither should you.  Don’t replay the sin of others either.   Give thanks this week for God’s mercy toward you as a follower of Christ, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!