No Wild Card Game

No Wild Card Game
Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox played the New York Yankees in a wild card, winner take all, game. After 162 regular season games, these two teams were given the chance to play one game to determine who would continue in the playoffs.  I suppose the idea is to create more excitement for the fans, as a team that would normally be out of the playoffs, is given a chance to be continue their season.  I do not follow baseball that closely but baseball is a funny game.  It is a hard game.  If you get three hits out of every ten at bats you are considered a star player.  To boil your season down to one game...that is a hit or miss proposition (pun intended).  In baseball, you often have more “off” games than you have “on” games.  What if this just happens to be one of those off games?  Bye, Bye.  Yesterday, the Red Sox, with good pitching, caught the mighty Yankees on an off day hitting, and they advanced.  The Yankees, as they say, went golfing.
I did not watch the game but I did catch a batter or two while checking the score.  The announcers kept emphasizing how much pressure this game held and how the loser would go home for a vacation.  We have been meditating on Hebrews 11 on Wednesday Evenings (you all should come out) and last week we meditated on the truth that God placed so many people in this great chapter on faith who, on more than one occasion, had bad days.  They messed up.  Yet, God in his grace, includes them in this chapter on faith.  We came to two conclusions.  Both conclusions should give us reason to rejoice.  First, we are grateful that God looks at our life as a whole.  He does not allow our life to be defined by one or two mistakes. Abraham left his home, in obedience to God, and made it to the place God had called him.  God did not mention that he stopped for 15 years half way through the journey.  Sarah believed that God could give her a child.  He did not mention her awful plan with Hagar.  If we were to speak of Abraham and Sarah, we would feel obligated to mention their failures.  God never feels that obligation.  The second conclusion we meditated on was that while this chapter lists examples of faithful people, this chapter is not really about people.  It is about how God calls and equips people.  This is about how God uses flawed people by empowering them and giving them faith.  We, reading today, are to be encouraged by the work of God in and through people.  As he worked in them, he is working in us.  We rejoice in the fact that by God’s grace we, at times, get it right.  Without him that would never happen.
I am so glad that my life in Christ does not come down to just one event in my life.  One day where it is win or go home.  I am too inconsistent in and of myself.  My story is more settled than that.  My victory was won on the cross by Jesus.  My story was settled before the foundations of the world when God chose me to be one of his.  My story was settled when God quickened me, gave me new life, implanted faith in me, and I then chose to respond.  My story was settled when God chose to see the righteousness of Jesus in me and called me holy and blameless.  My inconsistencies and failures in living out who he has made me will also be wiped out when he brings me to glory and perfects me.  Ephesians tells me that he sees me as all ready seated in the heavens.  My one winner take all game, was not my game at all but was played years ago by Jesus on the cross of Calvary.  My life is the living fruit of that game won years ago.  The roar of the crowd is still being heard today.  I pray that you are living and cheering that victory today.

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