Monday, November 17, 2008

November 17, 2008 - It's Late In The Game

Last week I wrote about running a smooth offense; one in which we effectively take our “shots” at sharing the Gospel. That is the “offense” God left for us in the “game of life.”

When running an offense I often would remind my team that a game is 4 quarters. Early in the game I would try to get them to play in rhythm and relaxed. If we got down a bit I would remind them there was time. As a coach the job entailed “clock-management.”

Yet what would happen when we were down and time was running out? The tendency was to play frantic and get away from our offense. As the coach I would have to constantly remind the players that our “hurry-up” offense still relied on taking good shots.

Lately there has been much preaching and teaching on end times. The “clock” is running out on life as we know it. Yet there are 2 major difficulties with “playing” at the end of this “game.”

One is that as believers we know we are on the “winning team” and thus do not always “play” with urgency. We tend to just coast through. We have gotten away from our “offense.”

The second difficulty is that we can’t see the clock. We are not exactly sure of when time will run out. And if you have ever played sports you know it is difficult to play when you can’t see the time.

My question to you is this: do you care that people will spend an eternity separated from God? I don’t know when Christ will return, nor when an individual’s “clock” will run out. Therefore I need to be in a “hurry-up offense” and taking every “open shot” I can get!

1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5)

The Coach (God) has given us the “game plan” and the “offensive set” that He intends for us to “run” all the way through the end of our “game.” What are you going to do with it? Better yet – do something with it! I don’t want to hear cheap talk of plans. As a coach I want to see action!

28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to Him, “The first.” (Matthew 21)

Following the example of our “Star Player”:

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9)

34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4)

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