If you watched or heard about Super Bowl 49 you’ll know where I got the title for this devotion. Although that was the worst play call I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, I’m not the one who has to live with it. And it was not a sin! Coach Carroll can rest easy knowing he can account to God for his decision. I know Seattle fans probably think it was a sin, but I assure you… it was not. However, making the decision to disobey God is and will always be a sin and is much worse than losing a big-time over-hyped game. Life is not a game. It’s so much more. Every decision counts and has an impact on someone.
I have waaaay too many personal stories to share on this subject. Fights in my marriage, missed moments with my kids, missed blessings that I could have had by doing something for others… All the selfish decisions I’ve made begin to mount up as I think about how many times my Loving yet Mighty Powerful Warrior God and Father has forgiven me for making the wrong decisions. I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from so let’s consider two things today.
FIRST: Understanding our failures and how to overcome them. We have all failed. We have all sinned and fallen short (ROMANS 3:23). We fight a spiritual battle everyday if we are believers. We are family and we must stick together in helping each other fight this battle and share with others the Truth so they might become part of our family. We, as a family of believers, fight against the sins of selfishness, laziness, pride, lust, envy, greed, etc. every day. ROMANS 6:12-13 – Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. We can’t go into battle without a strategy. We go to our Warrior God (EXODUS 15:3 –The LORD is a warrior; The LORD is His name) and ask for His help for each day. We get our mind set straight and we ask for wisdom from the One who gives it to us without hesitation (JAMES 1:5 –But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.) And if we fall during battle we cry out to our Merciful Leader (DEUTERONOMY 4:31a –For the LORD your God is a merciful God...) who will forgive us and save us and pick us up, defend us and set us back upon our feet so we can fight again. This is the life we’ve chosen. To live to please The One who deserves to be worshiped and praised (PSALM 96:1-13), and most importantly, obeyed (JOHN 14:23 –Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.) The Head of our family. The Great God and Father and Author and Finisher of our Faith. Go to Him each day. That is how we both gain understanding and forgiveness for our sins and wrong decisions.
SECOND: We help others see where they are failing, and help them overcome. This will require a lot of prayer and a lot of practice and a ton of love and concern for others. No one likes to be told that they are in sin or that they are consistently making the wrong decisions. However, we as a family of believers are to encourage and help each other overcome sin. HEBREWS 10:24 –And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. JAMES 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. PROVERBS 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. I once heard a friend say that “We should not go to others about God until we’ve gone to God about others.” The point here is, PRAYER. Pray for the person before you confront them. Matthew 18 is pretty clear about how to approach a believer who is in sin. Follow that model with a heart full of love and understanding. Remember to treat them as you would want to be treated (Luke 6:31 – Do unto others….) and pray for their restoration.
As believers we will all make some bad decisions. We all sin but we’re all part of the same family and we take care of each other. We look out for our weaker brothers and sisters and strengthen them in the faith. We pray together and sing praises to Our Strong Worthy Creator. We’re all in this together. Forgive and be forgiven and stand together in The Faith. Maybe you’ve made a terrible decision. It’s ok. Your family will help you through the consequences of that decision and guide you back to Our Father who is ready and waiting to Forgive You because that’s the kind of Dad that HE IS. Oh… And if you’re ever in the Super Bowl, and you have one of the best running backs in the league, and you have the ball at the 1-yard line… run the ball.
By: Jackson Bailey