Let me start with a confession. I'm not the big football honk that I used to be years ago. In fact, I don't think that I have sat down and watched an entire NFL game, beginning to end, all year. With that stated, I watched the Super Bowl in it's entirety.
I am a sucker for Cinderella stories. I love the underdog, who overachieves and ascends to greatness. Therefore, I was captivated by the Arizona Cardinals. Who? The Cardinals?! In the Super Bowl?!! Yes, the team that had never been to the Super Bowl before -- that had rarely even been in the playoffs in their lengthy history -- was on the center stage against a beast from the east, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Cardinals, led by the amazing Kurt Warner, (Spirit-filled quarterback), overcame one of the best defenses that the NFL has ever seen and even took the lead late in the fourth quarter, (which, in my opinion, will go down as one of the greatest finishes in Super Bowl history), before succumbing to another incredible last-second Steelers comeback, directed by Ben Roethlisberger, (also a Born Again Quarterback), by the score of 27-23.
The game, which is often won or lost by the strength of a team's running game, was a game of the receivers. The Wide Receivers Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals and Santonio Holmes of the Steelers were simply electric in the dramatic final quarter. Holmes walked away with the Super Bowl MVP trophy for his final-minute catch in the corner of the end zone that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for the Steelers.
Yesterday at Cornerstone, I preached on "How to Be a Super Bowl Christian." I used the sports metaphor for our Christianity, drawing upon experiences from coaching High School football many years ago.
A Key to being a champion Christian is to "Be a Receiver."
We are to receive Jesus -- Receive the Word -- Receive the Holy Spirit and Receive one another.
There are several tips to being a good receiver:
1) It starts with the Right Stance.
The right stance is important for you to get off the line and into the play. Many Christians do not receive, because they take a wrong stance and get stuck on the line and out of the play.
2) You have to Run the Right Route.
One of my duties as a football coach was to teach the players to run the routes that the playbook called for. When you run the right route you find yourself in the right place to receive what God has for you. Don't run your own route -- make sure you are following the Lord's direction.
3) Keep your Hands Up.
You have to be in a ready position. Prepare yourself for the play that is coming -- ready yourself to catch the pass that is coming your way. When we raise our hands, not only do we surrender to the Lord's will for us, but we also ready ourselves to receive from Him what we need.
4) Always expect a Pass.
Expect God to send things your way. Expect to be blessed. Expect to be benefited. God is looking for you. Every good and perfect gift comes from above. Believe it - expect it - receive it!
These tips, if followed, will help you become a Champion for Christ and live an overcoming life of victory. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24, "play to win!"
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ." -2 Corinthians 2:14