Ahhhhh…I can breathe again.
I made it through the long, hot summer…
I made it to September…
...AND FOOTBALL SEASON!!
Yes, you read that right – I am a football fanatic!!
High school football, college football, professional football – it’s all good (although I must admit, I didn’t succumb to arena football – I have my standards, after all!)
My favorite NFL team?
Don’t really have one – though I am kinda partial to the “Old Man”
My favorite college team?
UCLA Bruins, hands down…(I know - it's going to be a LONG season)
I love sports in general – but there’s just something about football that gets my blood going.
Do I understand the game, you ask?
Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do – I’m no John Madden, but I can appreciate a well-executed screen pass with the best of them.
Part of what I love about football is the intensity.
Getting suited up, the coach’s pep talk, running out onto the field – everyone’s got their “game face” on.
And the crowd goes wild…
They have come here to witness two teams play their hearts out – and they “cheer” or “boo” every move.
It’s the same way with Christians…
We are being observed, too. Every move we make. The good plays and the bad plays. The 80-yard touchdown pass – the interceptions and the fumbles.
The crowds are watching…
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” (Hebrews 12:1)
How do we do that?
By keeping our eye on the “quarterback.”
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)
More and more, the world is looking at Christians – seeing how we behave, listening to what we do or do not say, assessing what decisions we make, critiquing how we live our lives…
We are being evaluated.
How are we going to “play the game”?
My friends, we’re suited up (“Put on all of God’s armor…” – Ephesians 6:11) – we’ve listened to the coach’s pep talk (“Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13) – and we know the playbook (“I have hidden your word in my heart…” – Psalm 119:11).
It’s time to run onto the field…it’s time to play our hearts out.
Do you have your “game face” on?
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