Of course, we all know we're running a race....Hebrews 12:1 reminds us of that---Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. The object of football is to make as many touchdowns as your team can...Get the most points on the scoreboard. Play to WIN, not just FINISH. Everyone finishes...but only one team WINS.
"Fourth and Ten"---well, I'm no football scholar, but I do know a little bit---and "fourth and ten" basically means that the offensive team (the one with the ball) is on their fourth (and final) try to get the football down the field TEN yards. Ten yards. They've not managed to make a "first down" (move forward ten yards) in three tries. They've faced opposition right smack-dab-in the face! And without a doubt the defensive linemen are no small potatoes! They're HUGE! And THEIR goal is to drive the offensive team BACKWARDS. . or better yet, SACK THE QUARTERBACK! Get to the one who's responsible for DRIVING the team down the field in the first place! Well, well...where do we fit in this analogy? Good question and only YOU can answer that. Are you the quarterback in your Christian life? Are you the leader in your family? Are you driving your team down the field, in the RIGHT direction? Are you keeping their morale UP, even if they're not currently 'winning' ? ? Or---are you dropping the ball? Is the opposition GETTING TO YOU and knocking you down, behind the line of scrimmage (that's FURTHER behind the starting line for all of us 'non-football-thinkers'). My son played the center position---he snapped the ball to the quarterback---which means he better not drop the ball! He better make that connection! And make it FAST! Then DRIVE HARD, blocking the opposition!
In football---every team member counts. Each position is important. What position do you play in your Christian? As Christians we're supposed to be on the OFFENSIVE line...Taking the gospel DOWN THE FIELD! Pushing AGAINST the opposition, our Great Adversary. Making a Touchdown for the Lord!
However, when I say "No Good!" what comes to mind? Oh boy! What a blow! To hear the ref call the play...."NO GOOD!" My son and I were talking tonight about salvation. . .and having the assurance of our salvation. Of course I think of Romans 3:10 "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, no, not one...'" The Bible also says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..." (Isaiah 64:6) No matter how much our efforts to live a life "pleasing to God" may seem GOOD, they will always end up "NO GOOD!" Our "good works" will simply be NO GOOD. What does that essentially mean? It means THEY WILL NOT COUNT!
I want my life to COUNT for God. And that's what I want for my family too. The only way to make it count is to be on the right team...the winning team. We have all been born "on the wrong team." The Losing Team..the Sinning Team. But happy news! We've been drafted! To the Winning Team. The Almighty God is the Captain of the Winning Team. And He has made a way for us to be on the Winning Team. Through His Son Jesus. He paid the ultimate price for our sins...The payment we owed: Death. The Holy Spirit reminds me of a quarterback----He drives the team, calls the plays...and the enemy is really only after THAT ONE PERSON! If you're a Christian, and you're getting run over by opposition--take heart. The enemy is not after you, he's trying to defeat the Power within you. Happy news! He can not win. The Battle has been won...the victory is ours. Keep listening to the Driving Power within you until we finally reach the "endzone."
Not sure what team you're on? But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name John 1:12. Repent, Believe, Receive, Trust Him, and Thank Him.
Do you want to make your life count? Are you on the road to hearing "NO GOOD" at the end of the "game of life?" I hope not. You can know what the end results will be---just look to God's Word.
Endurance to the end... striving not to finish, but to WIN!