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I’ve become one of those people who watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. I grew up as a football fan, but then “my” team went through a long and painful period of bad play and terrible management. Given the demands of an always crowded schedule, I decided there were better things to do with my Sunday afternoons. I stopped watching football.

Thanks be to God that He has more patience with losing streaks. Where would we be if He gave up on us every time we fall to score the goals He has set out for us? Though we loudly proclaim we are on His team, playing for His glory, we often try to call the game ourselves. We put aside His playbook and we look to our own understanding, flawed and egocentric as it is, to figure out how to win. And so we lose. We play not for His glory, but for our own selfish satisfactions. And so we lose. We do not play as a well-rounded team, but as a collection of convenient colleagues who think they’re moving toward the same goal, but who fumble and fracture on the way there. And so we lose.

Yet God stands by us. He picks us up when we are knocked down. He gives us counsel and direction. He binds our wounds and clears our minds. He coaches us and sends us back out into the contest with renewed spirits and hearts filled with hope. Every time we get tackled by fear, envy, anger, or doubt, He calls a new play. He gives us a new chance. He keeps us in the game.

And no matter how many times we lose, how often we disappoint Him, how many times we claim victories for ourselves, He does not desert us. He redeems us. He sanctifies us. He secures the ultimate victory – the big win over sin and death – for us.

So let us be champions – for Him. Let us play the game according to His Will, loving our teammates and striving together for a holy goal. And may all the glory for each victory be His.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39