First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Storming the Field

October 31, 2016

The lyric goes something like, "I've paid my dues time after time....." The refrain then blasts, "We are the CHAMPIONS!...."  Well, my alma mater's football team northwest of here had been on a 36 game losing streak. Imagine, going to practice every day, working on technique, and playing the game Friday night only to go home with another loss. The eroding morale in the players, coaches, and family members of the players must be off the chart. 

    Then, this past Saturday, the team played a game on their new football field. The district and community have invested a lot of money into new facilities and wouldn't you know it, the team won a football game!! When the clock registered zeros, the game was over, the team had won, and the field was stormed in glee and joy! Coaches probably gave a yell and parents must have gone ballistic with euphoria. After three plus years of futility, the 0 and 36 streak was no more!

    In a parallel universe, women and men wander through life on a losing streak of their own. They work hard and try to achieve the win only to look at the scoreboard to see another glaring loss. If only I was prettier, if only I was making more money, if only I could get that person to attend the dance with me, if only, if only, if only.....

    Consider the broken failure that began in the Garden of Eden and that which follows all people. The dark gloomy curse of sin seems to always remind us of our losing streak. The whispers of Satan sound like this. "You are no good. Stop trying. Who do you think you are?? Why would God want you?? There is no hope. You are filthy."

                        After a while, we begin to believe that sinister voice and see no way forward. So, we quit.

In the midst of a horrible losing streak might just be the best place to be for a sinner. Only then can the brilliance of Jesus Christ be seen for what it is. It is a win!  When Jesus was laid in the tomb, all the darkness and evil in the realm rejoiced. Gloom overtook the world. Hope was lost and the losing streak continued. Then in one flashing moment three days later, the victor rose out of the tomb once for all to beat Satan, beat despair, beat the lies, and beat losing streaks.

    Jesus does the practice, works the technique and offers us the gift of eternal victory. In our sin, we are in a place to submit all our struggles to Him and receive this victorious new way of life. We can't get it by our own toil and we need help. God loves us too much to allow the losing streak to drag on. Our best responses are to believe in Jesus, receive the gift, and rejoice.

    Have you sensed you are in an eternal losing streak? Is there a diminishing hope you'll ever savor victory? Don't give up! Give in! Allow Jesus Christ to be the victory waving Savior that he is. Allow his work on the cross and in the empty tomb become your victory cry. It's time to storm the field!

        "For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the 

        perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that

        is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  “Where, O death, is your victory?

        Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to

        God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:53-57, NIV)

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