Tag Archive: win

Coming Back from Our Mistakes

What do we do when we’ve really messed up—a mistake, or error in our ways, that’s so big, we see no coming back from it?

Jesus’ disciple, Peter, might have wondered the same thing. On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter denied knowing Him, not once, but three times. Peter might have seen no way of coming back from that.

But although Jesus knew Peter would deny Him, He also knew something Peter probably didn’t know about himself. Jesus knew Peter’s potential and who Peter would become. And Jesus knows the same about us.

Jesus doesn’t just know who we are now, but who we can become through Him. Jesus knows we’re going to fail and make major mistakes, but He also knows these are opportunities for growth in our faith, and in who we are becoming. Jesus knows our potential.

Jesus knew Peter would mess up by denying Him, and yet, he told Peter, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19 NIV)

Wow. Jesus knew Peter would be the foundation of His church, even though he knew the mistakes Peter would make.

So, how do we come back from our mistakes? We confess them and ask His forgiveness.
God knows our heart, and when He forgives, He chooses to remember our sins no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)

God forgives us, and we need to forgive ourselves. Forgetting our mistakes is often difficult—there may be consequences to face and lessons to be learned. But when God forgives us, we don’t need to carry the guilt and shame around like baggage. We need to forgive ourselves. If that’s something we struggle with, we can ask Him for help. Forgiveness draws us closer to God, and allows us to move forward in becoming the person He knows we can be.

What can we do to start discovering our potential? Is there any way to do it without going through mistakes?

Leave your comments and questions below or on our Facebook page.

Article written by Laura Rath
You can catch up with her on her blog at http://www.laurarath.blogspot.com/
Or you can follow her on twitter @LauraJRath


Getting in the Game: Rebounding from a loss

Jim Marshall had a career in football that extended well over two decades. Jim’s career marks are as follows; 409 games (pre-season, season, post season and pro-bowls), *1050 + tackles (league and post season games), *133 + sacks (league and post season games).  Jim was captain of the Vikings for 17 years.  His teams won 11 Divisional Championships, 1 with the Cleveland Browns and 10 with the Minnesota Vikings.  He played in 4 Super Bowls. *No individual stats for the Cleveland Browns

The unfortunate thing is that Jim Marshall is not known for any of those accomplishments. He is best known for his nickname “Wrong Way” Marshall. On October 25, 1964, in a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Marshall recovered a fumble and ran 66 yards with it in the wrong way into his own end zone. In celebration he slammed the ball down, it went out-of-bounds and gave two points to the opposing team.

Why do I mention a player like this? It may be to point out a gaffe by a Vikings player, but more importantly I would like to point out that every player makes mistakes and sometimes it results in points for the other side. How can you recover from something like that?

On this side of heaven we will not lead a perfect life and some of our sins can threaten to interfere with the rest of our life. They haunt us and keep us awake at night as we replay what we did or failed to do. God’s grace says that we start each day fresh. There is no going back and you cannot make up for previous loss, but God says that you can be right back in the game because of the victory of his son.

Have you ever had a major gaffe in life and didn’t know how you would ever recover from it? Did you recover from it? How? Please leave your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Getting in the Game: Overcoming Injuries

In every game there are injuries. We definitely don’t like to see our favorite players go down to injury but we know that is the risk the players take when they play hard and play to win.

There are certain players that have had the same injury over their whole career. Past injuries can threaten any player if they have not taken the time to heal and regain their strength. Often times it means they have to go through physical therapy to slowly regain their strength. No player ever wants to sit out of the game they love to nurse an injury but it is extremely important that they do it or it will get progressively worse.

If we are truthful with ourselves we know that there are many things that can injure us in this life, everything from broken relationships to broken bodies. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” Jesus promised that there would be One who would come as our guide or our trainer to help heal the hurts. The Holy Spirit is called the comforter who is able to heal hearts and give strength to the weak.

What injuries have you suffered in this life, both external and internal? What process did you go through to heal? Do you have injuries in your life that you have chosen to ignore, hoping they would just go away? Have you noticed the pain that continues to hang around?

We will be dealing with the issue of injury and healing in this week’s message. Leave your comments below or on our Facebook page. Thanks!

Strategy for the Game

Everyone needs a strategy. I can remember playing pickup games of football in Jr. High. I was frustrated when I was on the team that had no plan for how we should try to score to win the game. Usually it started with everyone fighting over who was going to be the quarterback, after that was decided the game started. I never liked to hear the quarterback say these words, “Just go long and I’ll get you the ball.”

‘Just go long’ is certainly a strategy but not one that has ever been successful on a consistent basis. The team that I liked to be on was the one that had a plan. The quarterback told the receivers what route to run, told the offense line who to block and you knew the ball would get to you. There was a clear-cut strategy to win and most of the time it was successful.

Can you imagine a college or professional team with the strategy, “Go Long?” As fans we would not tolerate such a strategy from our team. We would call for the heads of the coaches, owners and whoever allowed such foolishness. But when it comes to people around us we see strategy-less lives and never bat an eye.

There are a lot of Christians that live lives without a strategy in mind. We are victors through Christ and yet there are some who act like they have lost. It’s time there was some strategy laid out so that we can start playing like champions.

A proper strategy has a strong offense and a strong defense. The following is a recap of the points from the message.

1.) It is an important strategy to not become over-confident because we have an enemy in the devil that prowls around looking for people to devour. When we become over-confident we open ourselves up to attack. Be alert and guard your hearts!

2.) We have to play as a team. That means we look out and care for other Christians. If someone is straying we speak to them instead of watching them self-destruct. We also encourage one another when life gets to be difficult.

3.) Read the play book. How do we know what God intends for our lives or more about him if we never read his word? It would be difficult. To put it simply find the time to read your Bible. It might be in a small group, large group, online, or private devotions. Whatever it might be read the Bible.

4.) Play with a winning attitude. Play like you know the end of the story, because you do! Jesus’ death and resurrection has given us the victory. Our attitude should be one of thankfulness and joy in all circumstances.

This is a strategy. Let’s start living life in an intentional way and playing as a team.

What is your biggest struggle in this game of life? Leave your comments and questions below or on our Facebook page.

Last week we talked about playing to win and not playing to not lose. Once you have defined a win, a way of life which is pleasing to God and fulfilling for you then you have to defend it. Scripture says that we need to guard our heart. The devil is prowling around like a roaring lion ready to pounce on any opportunity. If we are not on our guard we will fall into old habits and redefine winning in terms of the world.

Defense is only half the game; you also have to play to win. Spiritual disciplines are the offensive line of our faith. If we want to remain strong in our relationship with God then we better be proactive in our reading, prayer, and meditation.

For an example let’s look at Jesus. When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness as he was fasting for 40 days, how did he respond to attacks by the devil?

When the devil said “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” If I haven’t eaten for 40 days and you mention bread, if I have the power to turn the stones into bread you better believe that I would do it. But Jesus responds like this, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” To read the whole story go to Matthew 4:1-11.

When confronted by the devil, Jesus responds with Scripture. He spent time studying the Word so that it would roll off his lips when confronted with a battle. (Not to mention that he is at the center of all the Scriptures)

What rolls off your lips when confronted in battle? When it comes to your faith: What does it mean to be on offense? What does it mean to play defense?

Leave your comments below or on our Facebook page. Thanks!

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