Daily Devotional for Sunday January 26, 2003

Running for the Prize

(Philippians 3:14)

Running for the prize. For those who love football, today is known as Super Sunday. This afternoon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play the Oakland Raiders for the Vince Lombardi trophy that is awarded to the winner of pro footballs' championship game. The season that started out with such hope and promise in July for 32 teams, will be over except for 1 team by the end of the day.

The journey a football team takes from training camp, the pre-season, a 16 game regular season, and finally the playoffs, is full of ups and downs. It is full of peaks and valleys. Along the way people get injured, teams often change strategies, and many events lead to the ultimate success they experience. Oakland is slightly favored to win the Super Bowl, but earlier this season lost 4 games in a row. The Buccaneers hired a new coach this season, and last week had to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia, the same place they lost in the playoffs the last two seasons. The bottom line is both of these teams have overcome adversity, worked hard, and kept their eye on the prize.

I appreciate you allowing me to talk sports with you, a subject I have loved since I was very young. The spiritual application here is obvious. Our Christian life is a journey. There are many things that we must overcome along the way. We often have to change our strategy and gameplan at times. But through it all we MUST keep our eyes on the prize. We must not let the bumps in the road slow us down. It is important that even when things don't work out the way we like, we don't give up, and we stay focused. Unlike football, we don't have to do it in our own strength. We have God on our side to give us wisdom, guidance, strength, and love, to help us each step of the way.

Unlike a football game, where either team has a chance to win, God has already defeated our foe. Unlike a football game where you have to wait until the game is over to know the final score, we already know that in the end, if we know Christ as our Savior, WE WIN!!!!! How much easier should it be for us each day to keep focused on the prize, when we know that no matter what, in the end, we will be victorious!

I love you and care about you so much. God has placed me in your life to help you along your journey. My prayer for you is that no matter what may be going on in your life, always keep focused on the prize. You can't let the ups and downs of day to day life keep you from your ultimate objective. I truly believe that the Lord has allowed you to receive these Daily Devotionals to keep you focused on the prize. It is so easy during the course of a day to lose sight of what we are really trying to accomplish. We get off-track much of the time which ultimately keeps us from the fullness of God's blessings. Never forget that He loves you, and wants you to know and enjoy those blessings during your life. God wants you to stay focused, to stay on track, and to keep your eyes on the prize!!!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller