QUITTING TIME

Ahhh, the end of a long hard shift or day at work arrives. Everyone looks forward to wrapping up work. Except THIS ain’t quitting time!

Today’s message is entitled “QUITTING TIME.”

In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest’s lifelong friend Jenny had endured a childhood of abuse and neglect at the hands of her father. In one scene, Forrest and Jenny visit her old house, and Forrest watches as Jenny throws stone after stone at the weather-beaten old house which held so many painful memories for her.

Finally, Jenny quits throwing rocks, sinks to the ground and begins to cry. Forrest says, “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.”

We live in a world in desperate need of real hope. I won’t begin a list of hope-robbing issues facing us all over the world; the list in your mind is plenty. It can get tiring and even overwhelming to keep on fighting against the evils and pains we see, to feel as though we simply don’t have enough rocks.

Though today’s message is entitled “QUITTING TIME,” today’s verse is a word of encouragement that we all need to hear. It says LET US NOT BE WEARY IN DOING GOOD; FOR WE WILL REAP IN DUE SEASON IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP.

God calls His people into families and communities so that we can stand with one another, encourage each other and continue the mission. None of us has all the answers. We need the rest of the team. The job of advancing the Kingdom of God is far too large for one man or woman to accomplish it. We need one another. Jesus sent His disciples out two by two so they wouldn’t have to be alone. God places men and women in a marriage relationship so they can help one another and encourage one another.

During a football game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, one of the announcers observed that Walter Payton, the Bears’ running back, had just accumulated a total of over nine miles of running with the ball. The other announcer remarked, “Yeah, and that’s with somebody knocking him down every 4.6 yards!” Walter Payton, the most successful running back ever, knows that everyone –even the very best– gets knocked down. The key to success is to get up and run again just as hard. And the key to being able to do that is having a team around you to block for you, encourage you, and lend a hand in picking you up off the turf.

Actually, Christianity has some very interesting correlations to what occurs in a football stadium, whether you’re speaking about “American football” or “World Cup Football.” A football match or game could be described as a massive number of spectators in the stands desperately in need of exercise sitting about watching a relatively small number of players on the field desperately in need of rest. Following Jesus is not a spectator sport! He calls each of us to become part of the Body of Christ, and each one of us has a part to play. One part is not more important than the others, and all parts are necessary. Believe it or not, that’s actually a biblical position!

As I share Mornings with Bishop Robert day after day, I most often focus on those who are still wrestling with their decision whether or not to follow Jesus. But today I want to encourage those who’ve decided to follow Him, but need to be encouraged to get on the pitch or the field and begin to engage in the work of winning the game. (Obviously, I know that it’s much more than a game, but you get my meaning.)

The task is great. God has created you and gifted you to play a part in achieving it. There’s a bible-preaching church near you that can help you fulfill God’s plan for your life. They’ll help train you in your gifts and calling. They’ll block for you, encourage you and lend a hand as you get up after being knocked down. Some goals will be blocked, and others will score; that’s just part of playing the game.

But the Almighty God — the Rock of Ages — hasn’t left us without call, gifts, talents, vision or skill. With Him we always have PLENTY of rocks. We can continue the battle, advance against the enemy, win hearts to Christ, disciple new followers of Jesus into becoming effective tools in His hands and advance the Kingdom of God. We can, because HE is with us. We may be tired, but it’s NOT quitting time. The clock is running and there are lives hanging in the balance.

LET US NOT BE WEARY IN DOING GOOD; FOR WE WILL REAP IN DUE SEASON IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP. We can continue. We can! Together, we can PRESS ON and take hold of that for which Christ took hold of us.

Today’s message is entitled “QUITTING TIME” – and the main thing you need to remember is … THIS AIN’T QUITTING TIME.

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