(Jude 1:3 NASB) - Eighth Grade Football
(Jude 1:3 NASB) "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints."
When I was in the 8th grade, I was part of our school's football team. We weren't the greatest team to ever come along, but we did have heart. We would put all we had into a game............but many times we'd end up as the losers.
On one particular outing we played a team that was supposed to be far superior to us. They had a fullback that was bigger than anyone I had seen playing that position...........even on some high school teams. I played defensive line and was no match...........not even in the same league as this guy. He would receive the handoff and begin to lumber up through the line. Those of us unlucky enough to be defending the position he was coming through would run at him only to bounce off or be dragged along with him as he moved. It seemed like it took half our team to bring him down.
But despite all that was stacked against us..........our team won that game.........beating one of the premier teams in our league. We were ecstatic...........and we began to feel like we were invincible.
The coaches warned us in practice not to be complacent, but we all felt that next week's game against a far less intimidating opponent was going to be a cake walk..............so we began to get sloppy. When next week's game rolled around, the other team breezed on easily to victory.
I felt that Jude was trying to warn me, too, in tonight's scripture not to go down the road of salvation taking things for granted. Yes, the "game" has already been decided, but my part still remains to be played.............and I've got to "contend earnestly for the faith" that will see me through to a successful conclusion.
The Lord gave me what I will need to win this "game"..............but I can't afford to take anything for granted. The enemy is real..............and committed to the "game", and I must have the same level of interest in achieving the goals set out before me by the Coach, my Lord and Savior.
And I must call upon Him who gives me strength............who sustains me.............who coaches me in ways to prevail in this "game" He has set before me to play.
Love in Jesus,
"But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB)
This devotional was originally posted on CCI-Devo - Daily Group Devotionals on September 20, 2004 in post #652. It was written by Jim Ross, a former United Pentecostal Church member, who attends Christian Challenge International, the sponsor of the devotional group. The devotional is the copyright of Jim Ross and is reprinted on this site by permission.
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August 23, 1997
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