Thanksgiving. This is the time of year when we take an opportunity to remember all that God has blessed us with. It is also a time to share a Thanksgiving meal with your loved ones.
After the Thanksgiving meal, one of the time honored traditions of Thanksgiving is to watch football on television, or even get out in the back yard and play the annual family football game! As a football parent I got to see lots of games and practices. I want to share with you two games in particular that I remember. One I will call the “Great” game, and another one I will call the “Better” game.
The “Great” game was a game my son’s team won. The outcome of the game was inevitable from the start. His team was disciplined and focused. Every player on the team was playing to the best of their abilities. The coaches were providing feedback to the team at every possible opportunity. If you’ve never seen American football, it kind of looks like this. If you make a mistake, the coach yells your name at the top of his voice, and explains what you did wrong for the entire stadium to hear. And then he explains that he wants you to correct your behavior immediately.
The team responded and made the necessary adjustments. They also won. This is the hard part. We all felt great, but the assumption is that we did all of the right things for the right reasons. The next week his team played what I call the “Better” game. The outcome of this game was inevitable before they even started. His team wandered to the sideline and wandered into the game. No focus, no determination. They lost.
But the reason I call this the “Better” game is because this game exposed something very important. The team had coaches who are dedicated and disciplined. The coaches and league officials spend countless hours in preparation, and volunteering of their time. The “Team Mother” sends emails, and organizes, and the parents get the team prepared, provide transportation, and of course provide encouragement.
But there is one important step that has to be taken. The coaches, team mothers, and parents cannot play the game. The people on the sidelines can only teach football, the players have to use what they have learned to play the game. It has to be personal.
I saw the great football player and preacher Deion Saunders once gave a sermon at a Men’s prison. He said that God had taught him that there may be thousands of people in the stadium, but only 22 players on the field. He used this as an illustration of our personal commitment to Christ. Are we in the game?
This is how God presents the Gospel to us. He has given us Coaches, Pastors, Teachers, and even the Holy Spirit to guide us. But our response to the Gospel has to be personal. No one can do it for us. Revelation 3:20 (KJV). Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Today is the day. You can give thanks today for the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ. Now is your opportunity to be thankful that He died for us so that we may have life everlasting.
Like we say may the feast be great and the calories of little impact!
God Bless. We love you.
Pastors Willie and Rochelle McIntosh