Remembering The Victory!

Just a short thought today with it being Super Bowl Sunday!  It’s amazing how important the Super Bowl seems to so many.  After all, we are canceling church tonight to have a Super Bowl Party.  Now, the reason for that is NOT to take away from God, or our time together.  We do this to give an added evening of fellowship with one another.  But it’s still interesting just how important many believe the Super Bowl is.  This week, just for fun I brought up Super Bowl Sunday on Wikipedia to see what it had to say.

“Super Bowl Sunday, sometimes referred to as Super Sunday, is a Sunday, usually the last Sunday in January or the first Sunday in February, on which the Super Bowl is played.  On Super Bowl Sunday, millions of people gather to watch the Super Bowl.  Some such gatherings are known for the large amount of food that is consumed by attendees.  As the most watched annual television program in the United States, a significant portion of the country follows the same routine on Super Bowl Sunday.  Although it has never been made an official holiday, several commentators refer to it as a holiday due to the way it causes families and friends to gather and celebrate together.  Many Americans who are not typically football fans will still gather and watch the game.”

Now, you would assume that with as important as the Super Bowl is, surly we would remember how great past winners were, right?  So let’s test your knowledge (by the way, I had to look these up myself).

  1. Let’s start with an easy one, who is playing in the Super Bowl today? Trouble with that one already?  What about the New England Patriots, and the Seattle Seahawks.
  2. The quarterback is possibly the most important play, so who are the two quarterbacks today? Did that one get you?  Try Tom Brady for New England, and Russell Wilson for Seattle.
  3. What number Super Bowl is it today? Not sure, me either, but the answer is Super Bowl 49.
  4. Since it’s so important, surly we remember last year, right? Who played, and who won the Super Bowl last year?  The answer, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos.
  5. Who won the year before that in Super Bowl 47? Ready for the answer, the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers.
  6. What about the first one? Who played in, and won the first Super Bowl?  Well, if you go all the way back to 1967, you will learn that the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs.

So here’s my point, if this game is so important, why don’t we remember much about the past?  Why, because it’s just a game.  But, there is an event that we do remember.  In fact, it is an event that we take time each week to reflect on and remember.  Off course, I am talking about observing communion, and remembering Christ’s death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead.  I’ve seen a lot of Super Bowl games, and I have seen some pretty impressive wins.  But nothing outdoes the victory that Jesus experienced that day.  And the good news is, we can share in that victory with Him, as long as we are part of His team.

In Christ,

Josh

Finishers

Found this interesting devotional in an old issue of Our Daily Bread, a daily devotion book that I have.  The key passage was II Timothy 4:7, which says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

“When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a black belt in karate.  Several years ago, I began training and came close to fulfilling that goal.  However, two belts away from my goal, I quit.  There were two reasons: my teacher changed styles in the middle of my training, and I got so busy that I could not devote adequate time for training.

Almost every week, I am nagged by the thought that God wants me to be a finisher in all aspects of my life, but especially in my service for Him.

As Paul spoke of the conclusion of his life, he did not have any nagging thoughts of unfinished business about his ministry.  In this final farewell, Paul used imagery rich words to talk about finishing his service for Christ.  He described his life and ministry in terms of a fight, “I have fought the good fight.”  The fight was good because he had engaged in it for God and the gospel.  Then he used the imagery of a race as synonymous with his ministry, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  Paul affirmed that by God’s grace he had finished all that God had given him to do.

As followers of Jesus, let us strive to be finishers, persevering in our service for Jesus Christ.  For every follower of Christ, there is a race to run.  And when we cross the finish line, we’ll be with Christ, God’s Son.  Run the race with eternity in view.”

As I consider that short devotion, I wonder, how are we doing at being finishers in life?  It’s one thing to finish a project, or to finish a job.  But how are we doing when it comes to being finishers in our service to God, and our Christian walk?  Perseverance is getting back up each time we fall.  Being a finisher in the faith means that when dark valleys come our way, we cling to the promise that, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me.”  Being a finisher of the faith means that when our time on earth is through, we don’t look back with any regrets of what we could have or should have done for God.

To be a real finisher of the faith means that one day, we will hear God say to us, “Well done good and faithful servant.  Enter into your master’s happiness.”  And won’t that be the ultimate prize, the prize that is worth being a finisher!

In Christ,

Josh