Devotional

4th Quarter

Ready “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” –Matthew 24:44 (NIV)
Set I was raised a coach’s son and have coached football for 16 years at the college and high school levels. In that time, I’ve learned that both levels have had one thing in common. I’m not talking about blocking and tackling, but the time between the third and fourth quarters. When everyone in the stadium holds up four fingers representing that their team is going to close the game out by winning the fourth quarter. A friend of mine, who played college football in a Southeastern Conference program which has won numerous national championships, remembered one particular game in which his team was getting beat badly at the end of the third quarter, 28-0. All season his team would hold four fingers high in the air before the fourth quarter to declare, “They were gonna win the fourth quarter.” This day was different though. As he looked around no one held their fingers high because they were getting whipped and figured the game was over. My friend looked down the sideline one more time and saw one little wide receiver finally holding up four fingers halfway open. He barely lifted his arm halfway as if to say, “I doubt we can win this game.” And sure enough, they lost. I have coached teams that have been in similar situations. But I have also coached young men in the same situation who still held four fingers high to the sky, believing they could still win, who actually have pulled it off. They didn’t win because they lifted four fingers, but because those four fingers were a symbol of what they believed deep in their hearts. Years ago, football timekeepers kept the time on the field. Coaches, players and fans never knew exactly how much time was left in the game because the scoreboards did not show the official game time. Only one referee, the backfield judge, knew when the game really ended because he held the official timer in his hand. That’s the way it is in the game of life. Only the backfield Judge (the Almighty God) holds the official timer in His hand. Mankind, angels and not even the Son know the hour when this life will be over, only the Father knows. So hold your four fingers up high and keep believing. Believe in Him and strive to make His name known and when time does come to an end, you’ll stand victorious in your Heavenly Father’s home.
Go 1. What do you need to do in the game of life to make sure that you win in the fourth quarter? 2. Will you be able to hold your four fingers high in the fourth quarter of your life? 3. If you died today, and met the Judge, would you be able to hold four fingers high with victory in your heart or would you doubt your final outcome?
Workout Matthew 24:36-44 1 Peter 1:5 2 Peter 3:12