Stick to the Plan
"Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be clear-headed and disciplined for prayer.”
-1 Peter 4:7
I love March Madness! I grew up playing basketball, continued through high school, and then cheered for my older brother throughout his college career. I coached the game for a number of years, as well. To me, nothing beats the passion, desire and determination that these collegiate men and women display during the "Big Dance." I love watching teams overcome large deficits in order to advance to the next round. Unfailingly, the commentators state again and again how poised these teams are, and I must agree. The teams that prevail are clear-headed and focused, and they stick to their coach's plan.
In the midst of battle, winners are clear-headed. They remember the basics and stick to the fundamentals. They remember who they are and where they come from. The teams who make it to the Final Four understand one thing: that they have one chance. It’s win or go home. I would bet that their coaches encourage them to trust each other, stay under control and stick to the game plan, knowing if they do that, they will prevail in the end.
In his epistles, Peter writes with passion and urgency, and he presents a game plan of his own to ensure victory. In 1 Peter 4:7 (KJV) he says, "The end of all things is at hand." As he wrote, Peter must have pictured that last night before the crucifixion with Jesus. That night, Christ's entire focus was on finishing the work God had ordained for Him. Jesus' final task before He was betrayed was to prepare the disciples for their ministry. In 1 Peter 4: 8-11, Peter echoed what Jesus told the disciples that night and gave instruction on how the disciples should live "in light of the end." Yet, I believe it is important that Peter opened this passage with the phrase; "therefore, be clear-headed and disciplined for prayer."
We live in the last days and do not know when Christ will return. Let's be clear-headed and disciplined for prayer. Let's remember who we are and whose we are, and let's get on the battlefield. The game plan is sure, the victory is secure. We will prevail!
No questions this time, just a challenge. In light of the recent Easter event, take your Bible and find a spot to sit alone for an hour. Open to John 13-17 and imagine yourself with the disciples. Read the entire passage without a break. Listen. Really listen to Jesus' words to you.