Q Review for End of Season for "EXAMINE ME LORD", "True character revealed during trials", Spiritual Fitness, One Percent Home, - End of Season Review End of Season Review Day 1 Footballers play to win championships and when they win them, there is no greater football moment. When their name is called out at the presentation, each player comes forward one at a time and is congratulated, then received a medallion or trophy of some type. This is their crowning moment. All the hard work that began from a dream as a child, right through the hard work in the developing years, through the failures, the lost games, the injuries, these things make that moment even sweeter. Passion of leading the championships drive the footballers to actively participate in games, and when they achieve the desired milestones this is actually the big stunning occasion. Upon calling the names of winning team, its players obtain a shield or some award on stage along with getting many compliments. This is the concluding point, when sovereign is granted. Final accomplishment is pleasurable, which actually comes after a long, hard and constant struggle, sportsman moves from a desire to achievement by crossing the troubles and joys through this journey that ultimately makes one feel in air. Near by, sitting on the ground near the presentation is the defeated team. All sitting there wondering ‘what if?’. They receive no prize, no glory. Possibly will never get an opportunity again. It’s all too late. On the other hand, losing team is also present in the ceremony and observe the winners and think of past. They get deprive of medals and honors. Since there is no chance for them in future being much behind, so they are observed with low morale and less energy. ‘So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Rom 14:12). At the close of every season, each player is called before the coach in his office for and end of season review. Every player has to give an account for their year. The coach would either say ‘well done good and faithful player’ or ‘you wicked player, what have you done with the time on the ground I have given you?’. .“In the same way, we will stand before God on judgement day and have to give an account to him on what we have done with our ‘playing days‘. Thus we all are held responsible of our deeds in front of God. (Rom 14:12). Review sessions are conducted at spell end in the office of coach where each player is called for final evaluation where each player justifies his annual performance. Either players are appreciated with nice comments like Very good player and well done or disregarded with the notes like “you, bad player, your performance remained zero on the ground”. Likewise, on final Judgment day every individual would be answerable before God and also accountable for his/her conducts in life. When the final siren sounds in your life where are you going to be? Are you going to be called fourth by name and congratulated by God for a good game and receive the prize, your crowning moment? Or will you be left, sitting back watching wondering ’what if?’, spending eternity with regret. When the final moment in our life makes us ready for departure to God, there are certainly two scenarios then, either we are called with good names for awarding blissful prizes and being admired by God along with grant of prizes that are of paramount significance? Or we are ashamed of our paste, waiting and observing the likely outcomes with our heart full of much regrets and grieves. SIN AND INJURY Day 2 Sin is to the Christian what injury is to the footballer. Injury keeps the footballer out of the game, as sin keeps people away from God. Injury is a part of our game as sin is an unfortunate part of our nature. Like injury, you must deal with sin immediately and prevent it however possible. Evil holds same importance to the Christian what wound has to the footballer. Their roles are same, like injury doesn’t allow a footballer in the game, in the same way sin doesn’t allow people to have God’s blessings. Game brings wounds and injuries as evil deeds regrettably also play their part in human life. We should make every possible attempt to keep us away from sinful deeds and make preventive actions just like in case of happening of injury. What footballer would not warm-up before a game? What player would not stretch his muscles before running out onto the ground? Warming-up prepares the muscles and joints to respond to the hard testing on the field of battle. This will reduce the likelihood of the player doing an injury. Before you run out into the world each day, you need to warm-up spiritually. If you fail to do this, you will be prone to sin---spiritual injury. Communion with God, prayer, scripture study and similar things are the daily spiritual exercises to help you respond to the hard testing life brings. Prayer and the Word of God keep you flexible spiritually, fit and ready to fight off temptation and avoid sin. Just as injury puts a player on the sidelines, sin takes the Christian out of the game and onto the bench. Footballer makes him warm by exercises before game starts and a player perform muscular movements before entering the ground. Being ready with drills makes the physique and body links counter for the tough challenge in conflict zone. So the chance of getting injured is avoided by this practice. Uplifting of good moral deeds is compulsory before putting ourselves in practical world. Non-adhering to such good actions will move the individual towards sin, which is termed as spiritual injury. There are many ups and downs in life which can be encountered easily by following great moral practices like maintaining prayers, implementing the rules written in guide book, getting close to God by following his teachings. Offering prayer keeps us far away from doing sins; maintain us healthy, adaptable and ready to beat-off enticement. Like a wound moves the player out of the play area, bad deeds take the virtuous individual far from God’s blessings and make him answerable. DAY 3 REPENTANCE- YOUR KEY DEFENDER When you think of the word repent, what kind of image comes to your mind? Do you think of some guy standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign with the words ‘Repent, the end is near’ written on it? When you understand what true repentance means, you will see it in a positive light. Repentance simply means to ‘change your mind and purpose of life…. to think differently after’. In football terms, repentance means this: ''You are running the ball the wrong way, turn around!'' With sin, you are like a player who is kicking towards the wrong end of the ground. The solution is simple; turn around and run back towards God and kick towards him—the true goal. God isn’t trying to catch you out in your sins; he isn’t trying to spoil your fun; he just wants you near him and kicking the right way in life! Word ‘repent’ brings what picture in your thoughts, how it is represented in your point of view? Does it convey the snap of a guy carrying the cardboard containing the words ‘Repent’ and you are going towards your end or what?. Actual perception of this word “repentance” makes you think in a good way for bringing effective change. Regret transforms the state of mind from present condition to optimum utilization of life. “In the case of game, repentance means to move the ball in wrong direction”. Same is the scenario with sin in real life; you are heading towards wrong end. Here is the key, make your direction towards the correct pat, the guided path, the path towards God, very simple and move forward towards the correct aim. God doesn’t want to put you in trouble, he just desires you approaching him and leading towards the path that is right. By running the wrong way in life (the way of the world) you won’t get much resistance. If a team was kicking towards the wrong goal, why would the opposition try to stop them? It isn’t threatening them. Mathew 7:13 tells us to ‘Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.’ When you begin to face some resistance in life, you are probably running the right way. ‘But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.’’ Premiership teams have walked the narrow road; they have reaped the rewards of discipline and sacrifice. They have not taken the easy road but walked the constricted path. Those who win that final game are few, just like those who find Heaven are few.Those who walk the broad road to destruction are many, like those who fail to play in championship teams are many. Moving in wrong direction doesn’t bring considerable struggle and challenges in our way. Like if a team was going towards the wrong goal, why the opponents would attempt to stop them, because, it is in their interest. Mathew 7:13 recommends us to ‘follow the confined gateway; if gate way would be wider and broader, it would direct us towards damage, and this later particular gate has majority of followers.’ The individuals moving in right direction mostly face challenges in their lives. ‘However, if right and straight path comes through the contracted gateway, which leads towards God, then this path has less followers.’ Tight ways have been adopted by the leadership groups; also the returns of ransom and chastisement have been acquired by them. Since they preferred to move through narrow paths and had not adopted the easy paths path. Final winners and paradise seekers are always few in numbers. On the other hand, majority of people tend to stay in comfort zones, they take the wide path towards damage just like those players who remain unsuccessful to play final games. Day 4 EXAMINE ME LORD If a footballer has a weakness, the opponent will exploit it. For example, if he is weak on his left side, the opposition will expose it as much as possible so the player is ineffective. A good player will work hard on his weak side until it is no longer a weakness, even a strength. Or perhaps the team has a few weak links which makes them vulnerable in some areas of their game plan. Opponent will always take benefit of the weakness of the player. For instance, if the player is ineffective on his left side, the opposite player will utilize it knowing this incompetence of that player. A smart player overcomes his deficiency by struggling hard. Or the team might have a few missing areas, due to which they become helpless in some parts of their strategy. The devil is very aware of each believers weaknesses and will constantly exploit them. If you have them in your life, they are a free invitation for him to expose them. He knows what sins you are a sucker for; he will avoid our strengths and play on out weak areas. The trick is to work on our spiritual game so he has nothing to work with. Drawbacks of followers are being monitored by devil and he continuously maneuvers them. Limitations present inside you openly invite devil to uncover them. He identifies our sins by symbolizing them, highlights our weak points by avoiding our strong ones. Simple technique is uplifting of our moral values, following of spiritual guidelines, so he is left with nothing considerable. In football, the opposition may also change their tactic if one thing isn't working and look for another weakness. Our enemy the devil is relentless in the same way. If he can no longer bring you down one way, he will change his tactics and find another. It can be subtle and may take a while for you to to pick up what is going on. The opponents also change their strategy if they remain unsuccessful in football game and then they attempt to find another weakness. The devil, our opponent is persistent in the same pattern. If he fails to let you down by one way, he would ultimately leave this and identify another. It can make you wait for final decision, since it can be elusive. You need to be one step ahead by allowing God to strengthen our weaknesses before the enemy can get to them. We should always be willing to examine our faith game and strengthen it, allow God to shine his light on our sinfulness, otherwise, come game time when the pressure is on, your weakness could bring you down. Guard your heart and your mind and live a life of repentance. You must be hard working and must also be near God to get converted your weaknesses into strengths before devil captures them. We should always be ready to analyze our faith and make sincere attempts in making it firm, pray to God to forgive our sins and shower his blessings upon us, otherwise, big day will come with great stress, and our faults would bring us down. Our minds and hearts should be cleaned and with God’s fear and we may live a life of sorrow. In football, many attacking moves can originate from the defensive zone. Youcan make many forward advances for the kingdom of Heaven from deep in defence if we are doing all these things. If our whole families and churches are applying these things, we will always find ourselves in championship contention. In football, cautious zone may originate many attacking moves. If you are following right path and true followers, you can make many accelerative attempts for the Paradise from real perspective. If worship places along with our families are implementing such practices , we will always find ourselves in achievement claim. Day 6 True character revealed during trials It is easier to win games on your home-ground when the crowd is supporting you and the surroundings are familiar. Everything there is safe and recognizable. The true character of a team and its players is revealed when they travel to foreign grounds, away from home where the crowd is hostile and everything is unfamiliar. Hardened teams can beat anyone, anywhere and anytime. Winning games on native grounds is always easy since crowd and environments are known and helpful and everything is secure and clear. In presence of aggressive and non-familiar crowd on international grounds, actual potential of the team and player come on surface. Tough teams can win the game regardless of crowd, space, time, opponents and such matters. Take a look around you and look at the anti- Christianworld we are living in. If you stand up as a true believer in this day, you will soon notice you are far from home and the crowd is against you and they are getting louder and louder. They are yelling abuse at us, throwing rubbish from the sidelines. Everything is becoming unfamiliar as we appear to have lost the home ground advantage. Anti-Christian world, in which we live, is taken into notice and being observed completely. If you are a true follower in the current time, you will observe, the crowd is not supportive, you are at remote location, far from homeland and they are abusing you by getting louder and throwing garbage. If we have lost the home ground, everything will seem to be strange. God needs his people to be anywhere, anytime believers. Not just pull out our faith when it is comfortable and non-threatening. What about those tough grounds in the world where God needs tough players to penetrate? How can God make ground there if nobody stands up and speaks God’s truth in those areas? God desires his people all time his followers. When it is non-alarming and relaxed, it is not mere pull out our belief. What do you think of those hard areas where God wishes his tough men to infiltrate? God has created those hard and conflicted areas, because true followers approach there and speak the truth of God in those areas? It’s easy to be a Christian when everything in your life is safe, comfortable and going well. All is revealed when you are tested. This is what separates the true believers from the rest.Weak players go missing in tough games. True Champions find a way to influence games when they are under pressure. Being a Christian is easy if all the matters around you are going pretty good. Upon tests and trials of individual, things got cleared and discovered. This thing discriminates true believers and non-believers. Weak players could not execute the games, whereas skilled champions go through the games and achieve their milestones even under stress. Spiritual Fitness Day 7 It is fitness that allows a player to endure a full game. Without fitness he will fade early and be unable to run out the match. Without fitness fatigue will strike and effect his decisions and increase the likelihood of injury. Fitness is everything to a player. It will protect him, it will help him outrun the opposition. Fitness will set him free so he can play the game on his terms and perform the task assigned to him. Without fitness, players are almost completely ineffective. It is actually vibrant state of body which tends the player to undertake the full session of game and without energy he will diminish and remain unable to execute the session. Without appropriate health, exhaustion can affect the decision making of player and injury chances can be enhanced. State of fitness is of great significance to a performer. Fitness keeps him safe and facilitates him in encountering the opponents. Execution of tasks and playing of game are dependent on healthy state of him. Players are almost fully unproductive in the absence of fitness. “Prayer is to the Christian what fitness is to the footballer”. As a believer prayer is the foundation your spiritual ‘game’ is built upon. Prayer drives you, energizes you and gives you the endurance to run out life. Without prayer, you will be spiritually unfit and fade early in the day. You will be tackled down by life and brushed aside easily, and not withstand temptation, or go back to old ways of doing things. You will not get near ‘the ball’ let alone do anything effective with it. You will not be able to carry out the task God has assigned to you and be completely ineffective in your faith. “Prayer holds great importance to the Christian just like fitness to the footballer”. Prayer is considered as a foundation stone for a follower on which whole religion is established. Energy and strength is created by offering prayers and it also gives you the durability in your life. You will be considered morally unhealthy without prayer and get weaken early in the day. Nothing could be successfully managed by you alone and you will not get near ‘the ball’. You will be certainly scrubbed away and thrown down, and not survive wish, or doing things by previous methods. You will be unsuccessful in performing the God assigned task, thus become totally unproductive in your trust and belief. If you are playing a fitter team than yours it will be difficult to keep up with them, especially late in the game when you are weary. You may be able to run with them for the first half but in the second they will wear you down and run over the top of you. How many of us are getting worn down after starting well? We feel we have a strong faith and are keeping ahead of the enemy, but then get run over by him. We would probably avoid many of our problems if we had a healthy prayer life and we would respond better to other problems we are facing. Prayer is everything. Playing a challenge with a team more robust, more skilled and active than yours is obviously a tough job, particularly, when game is about to end and you are exhausted as well. Your dynamic game will be observed only in first half, but in the rest of the time, they will beat you will become inactive. We may begin well with passion, but then our morale gets down and we lose energy, Why is it so? We believe that our belief is firm and will beat enemy, then defeated by him. If we adopt a constant and healthy prayer practice in our lives, we can curtail many of our problematic matters along with fine response to the issues. Prayer, indeed is a great blessing, it is everything. Day 8 One Percenter’s ‘He who is faithful in a very little [thing] is faithful also in much, and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little [thing] is dishonest and unjust also in much. (Luke 16:10) ‘He who is truthful in a very minor [thing] is truthful in much also, and he who is false and unfair in a very little [thing] is false and unfair in much also. (Luke 16:10) The kingdom of Heaven is like the player who was extremely talented; with blinding pace, precise skills, durability; he was cool under pressure, composed, balanced and well poised. However, he had one major flaw in his game; he overlooked the one precenters; all the small things that amount to big things. He failed to chase hard, laid few tackles and hardly attempted to smother. He waited for the contests to come to him rather than getting to the contests himself. Eventually, he lost form and the coach dropped him because of his lack of discipline. The monarchy of Paradise has the resemblance to the player who was very brilliant, possessed outstanding speed and accurate abilities, he was not panic under stress, remained calm, was very brilliant, demonstrated high level of strength, also remained self-confident and well-adjusted. Yet, one main drawback was observed in his game; things having one percent value remained unnoticed by him; all of the minor stuff which later on become of significant value. He was unable to perform the crucial steps, encountered few challenges which were not controllable. He was not a self-starter; he expected the challenges will get to him instead of getting to the challenges himself. Ultimately, he failed the test and was disqualified by the coach since he has lacked the self-control. All the little things you do or don’t do make a big difference in the outcome of the game. Are you only looking to do the glorious ‘big things’ for the kingdom? Do you overlook the smaller, seemingly insignificant things? A coach cannot trust a player with a big role if he cant be faithful with a small job. God cannot trust you with bigger things if you have been unfaithful with the small. In the aftermath of the game, every minor thing whether done or not is of great value. Are you only executing the superb ‘big things’ in order to get the monarchy? Do you ignore the smaller, knowingly irrelevant things? A coach would only trust a player having great part if he is found to be true and loyal even with minor tasks. In the same way, if you are dishonest with smaller matters, God would also not trust you in greater capacity. These smaller things can determine whether you are a mediocre Christian or a champion Christian. You must be disciplined in the spiritual one percenter’s. Do you overlook the ‘little sins’? Do you fail to do the small acts of love? Work on these small disciplines and add them to your game so you can become a well rounded Christian player. Players who fail to do these smaller, seemingly less glamorous things on the field are lazy players. They just want the easy possessions without having to work hard for their kicks. We can not be lazy Christians, expecting everything just to fall our way. We must work on our whole game, not just part of it. Your level, whether a champion Christian or mediocre Christian is decided by the smaller things. In the divine one percenter’s, you must be self-controlled. Are ‘little sins’ neglected by you? Can’t you perform the minor deeds of love? Practice should be carried out with these smaller matters and incorporate them to your games so you can become a well-rounded Christian player. Sluggish players are those who remained unable to execute small things which apparently are less desirable things. They wish to be in comfort zones where there are no hardships. We may not assume to be the lazy Christians and kept waiting for everything to come our way without doing any effort. Our focus is the larger picture of the game and not the fractions of it. Day 9 Momentum Teams with momentum are dangerous and are very difficult to stop. In football, momentum shifts, first one team has it, then the other. When momentum is lost, it must be regained. If you are playing well, you have momentum. Even in a tight contest, a ten minute burst of momentum can cause a run of goals that will tare a game apart. If you are not playing well, you need to find some. In our spiritual game, we need to build positive spiritual momentum. Teams with thrust and energy drive are very challenging and risky. In football game, thrust swings and transforms from one team to the other. Momentum must be recouped, once it is lost. Momentum is observed in you, if you are performing well. Only a ten minute rush of momentum can deliver goals, even in a tight contest. You must overcome your deficiencies to play well. We need to form optimistic divine momentum in our spiritual and moral games. We generate this momentum by having a strong faith in God, confidence in his plans and living a holy life. You have momentum when you are going well with God. When sin is keeping you far from him, you lose it. By living a blessed life, having a firm belief in God and assurance in his strategies, we can build this momentum. If your path is right towards God, momentum is there inside you and you tend to lose it when sin is keeping you away from God. We are a threat to the enemy when we are faith filled, confident, loving others and committed to service. When we are on fire for God, in communion with him and reading his Word, the devil goes defensive to regain his momentum. In football, to stop a team with momentum, defensive players must apply force for a given amount of time to stop the momentum of the offensive player who has the ball. This will bring the team with more momentum to a halt. Our enemy does this with fear and doubt to stop our momentum. If we are not careful, we could generate negative spiritual momentum where we go backwards fast. Constant repentance will stop the devil’s momentum when he gains it and help us regain ours. When we are assured, faith filled, respecting others and committed to service, enemy has a fear from us. The devil tends to be distrustful to recover his energy when we follow God’s teachings, demonstrated unity and reading and implementing his lessons. In scenario of football game, to halt an active team, protective players must express strength to stop the momentum of the attacking player holding the ball, thus causing the highly active team towards low morale. Our enemy is found to be uncertain and distressed to halt our drive. We could cause undesirable divine motion when we rapidly move backwards, if not moving with care. When devil gains momentum, continuous regrets will halt the devil’s one and support us in recovering ours. You may find yourself in a tight contest with temptation where your ‘spiritual game’ is in danger of being broken wide open. Daily repentance stops our enemies’ momentum and redirects it towards us. We must capitalize on our momentum when we have it. Use it to score big for the kingdom of God and do some damage to the devil’s plans. Your ‘spiritual game’ can be at risk of being damaged widely, when you are in a tight match with pull. Motion of our enemy can be stopped and ours can be uplifted by making daily sorrow and regrets. We must benefit from our energy when we have it. We should apply it positively in our daily lives to seek for God’s paradise and break the devil’s strategies.