Given November 25, 2013
The plan in a football game is for the team, working together, to move the football down the field to hopefully cross the goal line and score a touchdown. This is accomplished by a variety of running and passing plays which are designed to gain a maximum number of yards. However, most of the time, the plays do not work perfectly because each player does not perfectly execute his assignment. The opposing players have something to do with that because they’re goal is to stop you from gaining any yards and even to cause you to lose ground. Sometimes the team will score a quick touchdown by gaining a lot of yards on one play but usually they consistently move the ball down the field 2-3 yards at a time. It would be nice to score each time you run a play but usually it takes a lot of work, time and effort to achieve your goal. Grind out the yards, suffer an occasional setback, but keep moving forward toward the goal line.
The Christian life is very similar. Our plan is to work together as a church, moving through life toward the goal of entering Heaven. There are a variety of ways to do this; Bible study, prayer, church attendance, working with fellow believers, practicing our faith all the while listening to God. Sometime it’s harder to do because our “teammates” are off doing their own thing or not following the design of the play. And of course, we have opposition, the devil and his team who are always trying to impede our progress. We may sometimes make good gains but many times it’s the day to day hard work and effort to stick with the plan and keep steadily moving forward.
But one day, if we persist, we will be victorious and enter Heaven. We will have won the prize, (see Philippians 3:14). The great cloud of witnesses in the stands of Heaven will erupt in cheers as we enter the gates. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (Hebrews 12:1). Listen to the coach, practice and study, play hard, work as a team and let’s win this thing!