Sermons

Summary: Are you running from God?

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Have you ever heard the story of “Wrong Way Roy”?

His name was Roy Riegels. Sports fans listen up! You’ll appreciate this. He was playing in the Rose Bowl of 1929. Roy was an All-American center from the University of California, Berkeley. His team, the “Golden Bears,” were facing the Georgia Tech “Yellow Jackets.” Roy was playing both offense and defense. It was toward the end of the first half when a Tech player fumbled the ball. Roy picked up the loose ball and started running toward the goal some 65 yards away. There was only one problem: it was the wrong goal! The opposing team’s coach, Georgia Tech head coach Bill Alexander, watching this said, “He’s running the wrong way. Let’s see how far he can go.”

Fortunately, one of Roy’s teammates, Benny Lom, took off in hot pursuit of Wrong Way Roy and tackled him just before he crossed over the wrong goal line!

Half-time came and you can imagine the shame and embarrassment of Roy. He left the field, no doubt with head hanging low to the locker room. He probably thought he was finished in that game and in football in general. Everybody in the stadium was wondering what Nibs Price, the Cal coach, would do with Roy Riegels.

As the team sat in the locker room, the coach remained quiet. The only sound was that of Roy, sitting in the corner and crying like a baby. Finally, the coach stood and announced to the team, “Men, the same team that started the first half will start the second half.”

Roy Riegels lifted his head, his eyes red and his cheeks wet with tears, “Coach, I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you. I’ve ruined the University of Southern California. I’ve ruined myself. I couldn’t face that crowd in the stadium to save my life.” Coach Price reached out his hand and said, “Roy, get up and go on back; the game is only half over.”

Wrong Way Roy Riegels got up and went out to play one of the most inspiring individual efforts in Rose Bowl history.

Perhaps you feel like Wrong Way Roy right now. Perhaps you knew what it was to walk with the Lord, but you turned your back on Him. Or God called you to do a certain thing and you went in the opposite direction. Satan said, “He’s running the wrong way. Let’s see how far he can go.” While the Lord, like Roy’s coach, is in effect saying, “Get up and go on back!”

Here I am... send him!

Here before us is the story of Wrong Way Jonah

He was given a job to do and he got on a boat and went in the opposite direction.

You might say Jonah was the original “Chicken of the Sea.” He found out it is impossible to run from God. He also found out that God gives second chances! And the Lord accomplished this through a storm, and a whale, and a worm.

I have always loved animals of all kinds. In fact, I had two aspirations as a young boy: to be a professional cartoonist and to own a pet shop!

Over the years, I have gone through every phase of animal. Reptiles, including turtles, lizards in all shapes and sizes, and snakes galore. Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, and hamsters. Birds, including finches, parakeets, cockatiels, lovebirds, and parrots. Dogs, including poodles, collies, a springer spaniel, German shepherds, and mutts. Fish, including angelfish, Oscar fish, plecostomus, silver dollars, etc. No cats! Animals are amazing! One of the things I am looking forward to in the Millennium is how they will be tame! Because I have been bitten by parrots, rabbits, hamsters, snakes, and even a monkey!

Isaiah 11:6 says, “The wolf will romp with the lamb, the leopard sleep with the kid. Calf and lion will eat from the same trough, and a little child will tend them” (MSG). The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God—a living knowledge of God, ocean-deep and ocean-wide.

God is in control of the animal kingdom. He cares about animals! He was angry when Balaam beat his donkey. He cares about every sparrow that falls to the ground. And, when necessary, He uses animals to accomplish His purposes.

A pre-selected donkey carried Christ into Jerusalem. Another donkey spoke and rebuked the prophet Balaam. Ravens hand-delivered food to the prophet Elijah. Bears came out and attacked teens who were mocking the baldness of Elisha.

I read two stories about dogs (not cats) that saved people’s lives. One was a beagle that dialed 911 when its owner fell ill. Apparently, the owner taught his dog, Belle, to bite his cell phone if he had a diabetic seizure. And a man whose SUV plunged 40 feet when backing out too far from his driveway. He told the dog, Honey, to “go get help.” She ran half a mile to a friend’s house and brought them back.

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Greg Nance

commented on Sep 25, 2013

Wow! Great convicting call to obey the great commission! Thanks so much for sharing!

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