The Sunday Message

Welcome to February – and Super Bowl Sunday!

I am always sad when football season ends. Football lets us down easy though – we have fewer and fewer games until the final big game – the Super Bowl.

Then football ends. There is emptiness on Sundays (and Mondays and Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays).

The next football games are in August, and that is a long time from today. Sure there are other sports – but nothing compares to the competition on the football field.

The Bible gives us a lot of information about competition. For example:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV)

Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.2 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

My favorite verse about competition is this one:

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

Have a great day with your family and friends!

 

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The Sunday Message

An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.2 Timothy 2:5 ESV

Football season is starting and it’s one of my favorite times of the year. From now until January there will be football games on television almost every night of the week except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The game of football has some interesting rules and their own justice system right there on the field. If a violation of the rules is seen, the referee will throw a flag and the punishment marked off in yards. The other team may accept the penalty or take the result of the play. Of course, we see coaches and players pleading their cases, but most of the time their requests fail. There are no plea deals in football – we don’t see a 15 yard penalty reduced to five because it’s a first offense.

May your favorite team do well this season!

You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. So run to win!1 Corinthians 9:24 (NCV)

 

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The Sunday Message

1 Corinthians 9:24 (NCV)
You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. So run to win!

But don’t cheat…

2 Timothy 2:5 (NCV)
Also an athlete who takes part in a contest must obey all the rules in order to win.

This past week three former baseball players received enough votes to make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The honor was overshadowed some by talk about the steroid era. During that time some baseball players used performance-enhancing drugs (PED) to enhance their already great talent. Some voters are adamant that nobody from that era should get into the hall of fame, even if they did not get caught or test positive for PEDs. Basically a few folks believe just playing during that time means you don’t deserve entry into the Hall of Fame.

Several athletes that I thought highly of, and I defended vigorously on this website, confessed to using the PEDs. The last one was Lance Armstrong. Although Armstrong contended for years and years that he was clean, he finally admitted to cheating.

Maybe this sounds weird to non-believers, but I bet Armstrong feels better after coming clean. He no longer lives a lie. He can start rebuilding his life.

It’s like confessing your sins to God – you feel better afterwards. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 (NCV), But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.

Although people may take longer to forgive those of us who have messed up, God’s forgiveness is automatic – if we ask!

 

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