Easter - 2018

Monday, January 25, 2010

Colts Win & Reminders to Believers!

The Indianapolis Colts are on their way to taking us to the another Super Bowl win. I was watching the game and I realized the modern Football player is either an offensive or defensive specialist. Even the cheerleaders have a set of cheers for each team. When the defensive team is on the field they shout, "Hold that line! Hold that line!" But when the offensive teams takes over they yell out, "Go, team, go! Go, team, go!"

There was a moment when Jesus faced his disciples. Behind him were all the years of public ministry, the trials and the triumphs, the ecstasy and the agony. All the previous events culminated in this moment as he stood before his disciples, a strange and motley mixture of human beings, and said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). Along with this challenge there was a promise, "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (v. 20b).

The saints who came before us were offensively-minded. They moved the ball down the field. Look what happened. It was like the concentric circles which result from a rock thrown into a pool of water. First there were twelve, then in the Upper Room 120, then 3,000 on the day of Pentecost after Peter preached his sermon. For four centuries the Christian fellowship was a mighty force and power that no emperor or nation could stop. But today a malaise has come over the church. It has become defensive, producing a fortress mentality, a kind of spiritual protectionism. There is a widespread desire to hold, protect, and keep what we have by avoiding risk. The cry is, "Hold that line!"

Let's stop the clock, call a time out, re-group, huddle, and do some serious thinking together. Let's consider one important question. How did we get here? We got here because the saints before us were willing to carry the ball forward. Take a stethoscope and listen to the heartbeat of the early church. What do you discover? J.B. Phillips in his introduction to his book, The Young Church in Action, states:

"Here we see Christianity, the real thing, in action for the first time in human history. The young church is appealing in its simplicity and single-minded-ness. Here we see the church ... valiant and unspoiled -- a body of ordinary men and women joined in an unconquerable fellowship never before seen on the earth ... There is someone at work here besides mere human beings ... never before has any small body of ordinary people so moved the world that their enemies could say with tears in their eyes, that these men and women 'have turned the world upside down'."

We got to where we are because of the readiness of these saints to believe, to obey, to give, to suffer, and if need be to die, so as to establish a way of fellowship united in love and faith. They were open to the God-ward side of life that is almost unknown to us today. Their rallying cry was never, "Hold that line," but rather, "Go, church, go!"

Football is just a game for entertainment and fellowship. We certainly enjoy the Colts and the fun of an exciting game. My prayer is also that the church will never forget that we are in an eternal struggle that will see rewards beyond a trophy. The reward is eternal for every Christ-following believer. Have a great day, "Go Colts!" and "Go, Church GO!" - Don

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