Any given Sabbath…?

Any given Sabbath…?

by Bill Probasco

 

There’s a saying in the National Football League: “Any given Sunday…”. This is a simple way some lesser team will surprise everyone and beat a better team). Why is that? Even the best teams have an off-game and fall short of victory. For the last 40 years, no NFL team has won every game. It just doesn’t happen. No team is perfect.

 

Just like football teams, Christians come up short. That’s pretty clearly stated by Paul: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 KJV)

 

Now, how is it a Christian is supposed to be steadfast for Christ with these short comings? It’s through God’s steadfast grace that we can overcome. We need to accept when we fall short and seek God’s forgiveness. If we’re unable to get past a loss (i.e. sin), how do we move on…how does any Christian move on? We’re limiting a limitless God. Good teams learn from past losses, but they don’t dwell on the past. They have to get ready for the next game. So do we. Jesus atoned for our sins and we are forgiven. Time to get ready for the next game.

 

If we go back to our “any given Sunday” thought, it’s a surprise when a good team loses primarily because they are a good team playing a bad team, so they are expected to win. They have a reputation as a winner — that’s what they do, often season after season. Now, if they begin to lose more and more, their reputation begins to change. Lose too often, and a good team becomes a bad team that is expected to lose. Maybe another way to look at it is that a strong team becomes a weak team, and less is expected of them.

 

Christians are the same. A steadfast Christian builds up a reputation, sometimes years in the making, as a man or woman of God. People look to these individuals for strength, as examples. I realize many reading the Sabbath Recorder are just that — longtime church members and believers. They have become steadfast in their faith. Though they stumble, as we all do, it’s not permanent. A steadfast Christian won’t be utterly cast down because the Lord upholds him with His hand (Psalm 37:24). He or she is reliable, steady, and a good pattern to follow.

 

But what about new Christians, or those that have suffered a great loss in their lives, or those simply struggling with different issues? Circumstances can weigh down anyone. Think of some steadfast men and women of faith from the Bible and the trials they faced: Elijah, Esther, Moses, Peter, David, etc. They struggled at times, but God was steadfast in supporting them, often with some other faithful helper. Then they rose up steadfast, too. Just like a good team can rally around a player, supporting them until they break out of their slump, so too are steadfast Christians in our churches. If the coach just decides to let a struggling player work through it and the player doesn’t, the team suffers in the long run. Coaches and teammates are expected to do what’s best for the team, including looking out for each other. Christians also need to do what’s best for the team — God’s team.

 

So, let this be an encouragement to you. We need to realize that on “any given Sabbath”, our brothers and sisters in Christ come to church to recharge, seek forgiveness, and get back up from the trials of the past week. For us all to remain steadfast for Christ, we need to be good teammates. The good teams pick each other up. So, this coming week at church I encourage you to find a teammate, ask them how their week was and if you can, pray for them. If they seem like they

can use a pat on the back during the week, give them a call. Be steadfast for them just like your Savior is for you! That way, others will know that they can count on you …any given Sabbath!

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