Summary: A Super Bowl Sunday Sermon on living for God’s eternal purposes.
Welcome to Super Sunday!
One Sunday a year all of America and a large part of the world watches football. People will tune into the game today that haven’t watched a game all season. (That almost describes me!) The Super Bowl is the biggest game of the year. It’s the culmination of over five months of “grueling gridiron match-ups”. (Do I sound like an announcer or what?!)
But for some of us, it’s a great opportunity to simply get together with friends and enjoy the commercials and food. Although I always enjoy watching the parts of the game I actually see.
For those who are avid football fans, forgive my sacrilege on the subject.
For those who don’t have a clue what the game is all about, let me sum it up in a few phrases:
The end zone
Get the ball to the end zone
And get it there as many times as possible, preferably more than the other team.
That’s football. All the timeouts, penalties, plays and commentary are just side issues from: two teams, one ball, get it to the end zone.
Now while you are trying to get the ball to the end zone there are forces fighting against you.
There are tackles when they drop you to the ground. There are fumbles when you drop the ball and the other team gets it. There are missed passes and failed plays.
Sometimes you make a little progress. Sometimes you make a lot of progress. Sometimes there are setbacks. But the point is to gain as much yardage as possible and push your way down the field and into the end zone.
The purpose of the game is to get the ball to the end zone. The best teams and best players never get their minds off the end zone.
THEIR PURPOSE IS THE END ZONE.
You could say that they are LIVING FOR THE END ZONE.
That’s football. That’s the Super Bowl. But when all is said and done, it’s still just a game. It’s a huge game with lots of money at stake, lots of trophies and of course the bragging rights. But in just eight months that will all be forgotten and all of the teams will start over again.
It’s just a game.
What we are doing this morning, on the other hand, is not a game. Church and genuine Christianity is not a game – it’s about eternity.
Someone once said, “This life is preparation for eternity.”
Eternity is the ultimate “end zone”. In many ways we are to be focused on “end zone living” as well.
That’s why we are challenged in 1 Timothy chapter six to…
“Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to” (The Message Paraphrase)
Our challenge is to run hard and run fast and to seize…eternal life.
What the Apostle Paul is challenging us as believers to do is focus on the end zone, focus on the purpose when God gave us His life, eternal life.
So how do you get to the end zone?
How does one practice “END ZONE LIVING”.
Have you ever noticed the players when they make it to the end zone? They celebrate, they dance, they get together with their team mates and make a big deal out of fulfilling their goal. Nothing else matters but making it to the end zone.
But how do you get to the end zone? And now I’m not talking about football, we’re talking about making it to our eternal purpose, fulfilling our eternal purpose.
Well, to make it to the end zone you have to gain yardage.
(Back to football for a moment)
The football field has also been called “the gridiron” because it is laid out in grids. The field is 100 yards long and is marked off at every yard. Then there are five yard markers and of course the well recognized ten yard markers that run the entire width of the field. The goal is to push the ball farther down the field and in the process “gain yardage”. You want to make gains.
In order to make gains in our spiritual life we have to think very similar to how the players think during a football game.
To gain yardage you can’t get distracted.
One of the great stories of football happened on New Years day, 1929 at the Rose Bowl. The teams were Georgia Tech and the University of California. The teams were scoreless in the second quarter when Georgia Tech’s John Thomason, nicknamed Stumpy, fumbled and dropped the ball. That’s when one of the UC players recovered the ball and began running. But in the confusion of being grabbed at, shoved and tackled, the player, Roy Reigels got turned around and disoriented. That’s when it happened.