“Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:12
Sunday, February 6th is Super Bowl Sunday, Packers vs. Steelers. The game will be played at Jerry World in Dallas. As I think about famous moments in Super Bowls, I am reminded of Super Bowl XXVII, January 31, 1993 in Pasadena, CA. Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys were facing Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills.
The game was a blowout with Dallas winning 52-17. The only thing that really stands out about that game was a play in the fourth quarter involving Cowboys defensive tackle, Leon Lett, and Bills wide receiver, Don Beebe.
Lett, the 6’ 6”, 300 pound behemoth, scooped up a fumble late in the fourth quarter. He had a wide open 55 yards to the end zone. Lett had a chance to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl, something every lineman dreams of, but very few ever get the opportunity to do. Lett sprinted his way toward the end zone. Everyone thought it was a sure score, especially Leon. At the 10 yard line, he began to slow down, celebrate the moment and coast into the end zone. That proved to be the formula for disaster.
The Bills Don Beebe had a “never say die” attitude. When he saw Lett pick up the fumble, he got on his pony and raced after him, hoping against hope that he could somehow prevent a sure touchdown. Because he pressed on and Lett began to coast, Beebe was able to strip the outstretched ball from the showboating lineman right before he crossed the goal line. The result was Leon Lett lost his sure touchdown, and Don Beebe made the play of the game.
PRESSING ON OR COASTING IN?
In your Christian life, are you more like Don Beebe or Leon Lett? Are you coasting into heaven or are you pressing on? Are you still giving it your all, or are you just going half-speed? Years ago I heard this straightforward statement: You are either growing or dying. Which one is it for you?
The Apostle Paul had accomplished so much in his life for Christ and a big reason why was that he never let up. He kept pressing on with Jesus. He kept learning and growing and praying and seeking the Lord until he took his final breath.
A few years ago, a friend of mine shared this true story about Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s wife. Toward the end of her life, she was mostly confined to her bed due to arthritis and other ailments. In her weakened condition, it would have been very easy to coast her way into heaven. But she did not do that. Until the very end, she took time to read and memorize Scripture. When she was asked why she was still trying to memorize, she said something to the effect, “There will come a time when I can no longer see. So I want to be able to quote God’s Word and have it in my heart.” May God help us to have that kind of passion and drive to press on, all the way to glory.
Let me ask you again, are you living life more like Don Bebee or Leon Lett? Regardless of your age or station in life, God has things for you to do until He calls you home. Perhaps He has left you here for the sole purpose of being a prayer warrior and an encouragement to others as you live in failing health as Ruth Graham did.
Would you make a fresh commitment that regardless of the circumstances you are facing that you won’t quit and won’t coast and won’t mail it in, but you will go all out until God calls you home? Although imprisoned, in chains and facing possible execution, Paul still says, “I press on.” Will you say the same?
by Pastor Jeff Schreve