Revelation 3:5, 6- "He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' "
A person doesn't have to be a golf fan to empathize with Adam Scott. With four holes to go he had a four shot lead in the British Open. Four shots! Par the final quartet of holes and the trophy was his. Might as well have told him to chew gum. He could par these holes in his sleep. Everyone knew the tournament was his. A craftsman in a nearby workshop began sketching the name Adam Scott on the winner's medal.
But disaster struck, missed putts, and wayward shots. The next thing he knew, he was scrambling to make a ten-foot putt to force a playoff. He missed it. "Wow," he mouthed, chin trembling.
The most poignant moment of the collapse might have been the camera shot of the engraver as he was given the news. He stopped his work and, gulping, erased Adam Scott's name from the first place medal. Viewers offered a collective groan.
Many Christians can relate. We fear the same will happen to us. We fear the fatal stumble, the ultimate collapse. Might we fall so utterly that God will erase our name?
After all haven't we all done the same thing? Isa. 53:6 says it this way, "All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way." And Rom. 3:23 declares, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
All I needed to do was apologize, but I had to argue.
All I needed to do was listen, but I had to open my big mouth.
All I needed to do was to be patient, but I had to take control.
All I had to do was give it to God, but I tried to fix it myself.
What went wrong? Just like Adam Scott it was not some major blunder or mishap. It was a combination of things. You know! You rush just a bit and say; I don't need advice. Fore! I'm in the tall grass. I can handle this myself, I'm just fine. Shank! You short sided yourself. I lose a little focus and Thud! I'm in a deep bunker. Then the nerves mount and I miss the crucial putt, Ouch. Before you know it I've lost my marriage, my children, my job, my friends, and the match, Wow!
Pastor Tony Foglio says, "Sin takes you further than you want to go. Keeps you longer than you want to stay. Cost you more than you are willing to pay, and hurts others more than you can imagine."
What is one to do? Take some time to contemplate. Isa. 1:18,"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool."
Next, make a decision. Determine in your heart to make a turn around. Acts 3:19, Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. "
Lastly, move on! Get back up and prepare for the next match. 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Proverbs 24:16, "For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again."
Don't let your name be erased from the ultimate trophy. Run the race set before you and finish strong. If you have blown it and are suffering from a major defeat, turn to Jesus today. Call upon His name and start your turn around. Be a victor not a victim. AMEN
("From the Pulpit" is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)