Summary: Superbowl Sunday sermon - what we are playing for will last forever, not just a season.

1CO 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

JAS 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Did you know that you are in a race? I’m glad it’s not the kind of race that you have to be able to run real fast… or I wouldn’t have much of a chance… but it is a race that will require endurance, perseverance, discipline. The truth is that we are in this game of life, we are playing for a crown, the crown of righteousness, and it’s worth playing for, Amen?

As you know today is Superbowl Sunday, so I have decided to use some similarities between those on the Football field who are competing for a World Championship Trophy, and us who are competing for the greatest prize of all, a crown of righteousness.

1st - This is a Team Effort, We Play for Each Other

One thing you will notice about the teams that are playing in the Superbowl, they won’t talk about how great they are as an individual, they won’t talk about their personal achievements or awards. There is a type of code of honor that the good teams always adhere to… the team always comes before the individual.

These players, no matter how talented they are as individual athletes understand that they could not have made the Superbowl by themselves, they needed their teammates for the journey.

This year we saw the truth of this played out on a team in Philadelphia, where one player put himself above the team, he was only concerned about himself and he caused major problems. Because of his selfish and self- centered attitude, he was suspended for the year, and his team who was supposed to have a great chance to make the Super bowl had a horrible season, not even winning half of it’s games. Even in football, discord, selfishness, will destroy a team.

How many of you today have come to the conclusion that you need your Brother’s and Sister’s in Christ to make it on this journey?

Many of you are new to the Faith, and may not totally understand why we call each other Brother and Sister… let me share a scripture that will help you understand this relationship that we have with one another…

RO 8:12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

As Christians, we live according to the Spirit of God, we are called sons of God, and this spirit that we received is a spirit of sonship…. When we cry out to God, we literally can call out… “Daddy”.. that’s what “Abba, Father” means. So we are God’s children, we are Brother and Sister through the Blood of Christ.

So throughout Scripture it teaches us that we have a responsibility to each other, we are not playing this game of life on our own, God hasn’t called anyone to be the lone ranger, in fact, he uses the illustration of us all being a part of His body, each of us having a important part of the whole. This should give you great confidence in who you are through Christ.

We Play for Each Other…. Will you say that with me… We Play for Each Other.

I’m going to say it again and again, this is why it’s so important to get involved in one of our Life Groups… this is the place that you can find the friendship, the trust, the place to share with your brothers and sisters what’s going on in your life, and it’s through these groups that God will extend His Grace, and His Comfort… through others.

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