It’s the third quarter ~~ the most decisive part of the game ~~ regardless of where the points are swayed, and what the stats reflect, this is the most pivotal segment of the game. Your team may be way ahead of the opponent ~~ and everything is looking like you’re bound for glory ~~ however, being overly confidently has proven to be the single most greatest error to any competition.
I’ve always enjoyed a healthy competition. And I’ve always enjoyed (almost) all sports. In high school, being on the cheerleading squad gave me the privilege to attend sporting events that I may not have otherwise chosen to witness ~~ everything from football, basketball, track and field, even soccer. But being the shortest cheerleader and standing along the sidelines of a football field behind all the TALL players prevented me from seeing most of the game as it happened. So I had to rely upon the other cheerleaders for ques and updates on every play. In fact, I never really understood the rules of the game until I was much older and watched the game from the comfort of my home on television.
I can proudly say that I can actually enter a conversation about the game of football with anyone willing to engage with me. Yes, I’m one of those who can express dislikes and likes about blundering game plays and the errors that cost the incumbent team their win. I can even dialogue about possible strategies that could unfold before they occur on the field in the next play.
So when it comes to the third quarter, I know full well that it’s decision-making and back-breaking time. Your team has got to play like they “want” this game. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve accumulated the most points and yards rushed and passed ~~ you can still lose.
Philippians 3:12-14 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Whenever your team (you) messes up, there are consequences ~~ “penalties.” These “setbacks” can cost you the game if you rack up too many penalties. So during the infamous third quarter, you’ve got to make certain your team (you) presses forward as “clean” as possible. You don’t focus on your previous lack of scoring during the first half of the game or errors or even the penalties during that half. You concentrate and press on to win the game with all you’ve got ~~ and you set your mind to achieve the goal.
The Apostle Paul encouraged the newly formed Christian Churches to press on regardless of their past sins ~~ because if we don’t look forward, our efforts will fall short of our goal. Remembering the past so that we can learn from it and not repeat it are what keeps our perspective straight. But we must not dwell on our past life and sins. As our Scripture verse above cheers us onward, so we must set our minds to reach the end of the race ~~ achieve the goal ~~ that heavenly prize which awaits us if we press onward through Jesus Christ.
The enemy has a way of making us feel guilt-ridden over our past life. He will lie to us and try to convince us that we’re no better off than where we were back then. He will tell us that our past sins are too huge for GOD to forgive and that we could never truly be forgiven. He will tell us that we cannot possibly be worth saving. He will deceive us to derail us so that we don’t achieve our goal. Dear Sister, I’m going to tell you right here and now, rebuke and resist those lies.
James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1 John 4:4 Little children believers, dear ones, you are of God and you belong to Him and have already overcome them the agents of the antichrist; because He who is in you is greater than he Satan who is in the world of sinful mankind.
Girlfriend, I’m telling you: “It’s the third quarter!”
You’ve still got time to win the prize ~~ you have GOD on your side because He’s on the inside! Don’t look back and dwell on the past ~~ if you’ve accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior He’s already dealt with all that ~~ and you are an overcomer.
Your Sisters-in-Christ are cheering you on ~~ I’m cheering you on. We know how you feel ~~ I know how you feel. We all have those ugly yesterdays, too. And quite honestly we know how difficult it feels to have those in our memories of days gone by. But GOD (I know no sweeter words than these) has a purpose for us far greater than our “first half.”
I’ve watched many football games that looked like a no-win situation for one team in the first half of the game, only for it to completely turn around in the second half. To the amazement of spectators and sportscasters, the losing team resets their mind and overturns their losing status. But this is a deliberate and conscious decision on the part of the team in the deficit; and it requires every ounce of energy to go the distance.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s your third quarter, Girlfriend ~~ let’s win this!
Ephesians 6:10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~