Thursday, September 10, 2015


It’s now football season.  Growing up, I read lots of stories of beaten-down underdogs facing an unbeatable foe.  Their coach would deliver a passionate pre-game speech that inspired his boys to victory: Knute Rockne telling his Fighting Irish that their dying teammates last words were to win one for him, or Grant Teaff eating a live earthworm before his Baylor Bears stomped the heavily favored Longhorns.  When I was old enough, I played football myself.  And I learned a very difficult lesson.  All that “win one for the Gipper stuff” is great for storybooks and movies, but it doesn’t work in reality.  Every weekend, coaches across this country get sweaty, red-faced and even profane trying to inspire their teams, but all that emotion goes out the window the first time those boys get hit in the mouth.  The fact is, if the other team is bigger and faster, and has a good game plan, you’re going to lose, and it won’t be pretty.  Unless you get lucky enough to face them on an off day, or you get a few bounces to go your way.  But…if there is something in you that your opponent doesn’t have, the unimaginable can happen.

Our sermon series is called What the World Needs Now.  What we need is reconciliation with the God who created us.  And God chooses to bring about that reconciliation through His people, the church.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel adequate for that mission.  On paper, it looks like we’re going to lose, and lose huge.  So I’m not going to waste your time by giving you a passionate pep talk or filling your heads with positive thinking, because it won’t work.  What I am going to do is tell you that, in spite of the way things look, we have something in us that the enemy does not.  I’m going to tell you that greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world.  I’m going to tell you that even the worst things that happen to us, God can turn them into good in His plan.  This Sunday, I’ll tell you a story that shows all this happening.  And we'll talk about three things that we need to avoid.   

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