UNPACK this

These Games Matter

Published on September 2, 2016 | By
Last night was loaded with plenty of football games to watch. On one channel you had the NFL preseason (those games didn’t really matter), but on the other channels you had meaningful college football action during week one of the season. 

Every game that took place in college football last night matters and affects the postseason. If a team loses week one, their chances for making the playoff or a bowl game could be ruined.

Opening day or week one in other sports like baseball, basketball, and hockey are fun for fans, but ultimately the games don’t carry that much weight because they play so many games during the regular season.

Football is unique with the first game having huge implications for later on and the ability to alter the entire season. There is significance in how a team performs and what they accomplish in week one, although the postseason seems so far away at this point. Teams must take their first opponent seriously, even if the team appears to be easy on paper, because a weak effort could cost them a great reward in the postseason. When it comes to life and our faith journey, we need to realize that our actions and work here on earth actually matter for eternity. We can’t overlook our opponent and we can’t downplay the importance of our effort this side of heaven. Thankfully, when we receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we know we will spend eternity with God. However, we are still living here on earth for a certain amount of time and what we do according to God’s will and for His kingdom, do matter. We aren’t competing in meaningless preseason games, so to speak. Our efforts count! The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:10 (ESV), "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil."

1 Corinthians 3:8 (NLT) also explains, "The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work."

What a college football team does during week one of the season truly counts, and helps determine how they are rewarded during the postseason. As followers of Jesus, our salvation is secure because of grace, not works, but our time on earth still counts for eternity. Are we living a life in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ, with heaven in mind, and a desire to please God? Are we making meaningful decisions with purpose that will be rewarded when we meet Jesus face to face? Let’s take today seriously and remember that how we live matters for eternity. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I rest in your amazing grace, and pray that my life would be honoring and pleasing to You. Help me to remember that my decisions and actions count for eternity. I pray that I would live with meaning and purpose and a heavenly perspective. I’m amazed that I’ll spend eternity with You. Thank you Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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