This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #401 titled, “The Last Hug and the Last Time .” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
He is a NFL football player who plays safety for the Buffalo Bills. He was drafted by the Bills in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He is a two-time Pro Bowl-er and, twice, he has been the league leader in interceptions.
He played football at the University of Oregon. In his freshman year, he was an All-American second-team selection and the Pac-10 co-freshman player of the year. As a sophomore, he was an All-Pac 10 conference honorable mention. And as a junior, he was an all-Pac 10 first-team selection and the defensive MVP of the 2008 Holiday Bowl.
With all of his success thus far, there’s a lot of pressure and unknowns in the NFL. In fact, when he faced the possibility of being traded during offseason, he said it’s times like that where his relationship with Jesus Christ helps him through life.
He said, “I went to a Christian school growing up, and at 9 (years old) I accepted Christ in my life… The biggest thing in the world that comes to mind [about this relationship] is peace. When you’re in this profession and you get to this level, it’s your job and there’s a lot of pressure from outside people. But that relationship just gives you peace. Peace that comes with being in a relationship with Jesus is mind blowing. The things that people think that matter — money and fame — are short lived. You know people say “NFL” stands for ‘Not For Long.’ This game could be over in a minute. So what do you have as your foundation? If you build football as your foundation, it could be gone just like that. So, you’ve got to make sure your foundation is built on something that’s going to last. And [a relationship with Jesus] is something that will last forever.”
He says, every time he takes the field he wants fans to see more than just interceptions, tackles, and big hits. He said, “I just want them to see a passion, first and foremost. When they see me on the field, I want them to see someone in worship to God; whatever I have, whatever you see me doing, it’s an act of worship.”
The football season is in full swing now that Summer is almost over and Fall approaches. Many men and women look forward to seeing their favorite teams play each Sunday leading up to that special day in February. There are many minor goals along the way, but one ultimate goal — the Super Bowl. While eleven men battle it out for their team, thousands of spectators are content to watch, cheer them on, and at times, boo them for not playing up to expectations. Even with the news about the impact of concussions and why football is a dangerous game, hundreds play, dozens coach, and millions watch the battle of football.
Football is probably the most exciting sport to watch. Not only because it is an aggressive sport, but in some ways, it captures the essence of what it means to fight for something in life. The ultimate goal of each game is to win, just as the goal we strive for in life is to be successful.
We will face opponents who try to stop us from reaching our goal. In that case, we must tackle them in order to keep them from hindering us. We may at times be striving towards a goal, and for some reason, get distracted and lose our focus. Every now and then, while we are going towards our goal to make some touchdowns in life, to make some first downs in life, to win the game on our way to the Super Bowl, we may get hit. And every now and then, it is good to get hit. Nothing will knock away the cobwebs from our minds, our souls, and our spirits, and help us to realize what is truly important in life like being hit by some tragedy, some crisis, or some difficulty. And then, at times, we have turnovers, allowing someone else or something else to gain an advantage over us. Unfortunately, dear friends, we fumble the ball, or we throw an interception. Sometimes, rarely in football, but more often in life, we go the wrong way. Or, we may have to settle for a field goal every now and then to help us stay in the game, to keep it tight, when we really want to score a touchdown. We also have to get in the huddle from time to time to gain advice, information, and encouragement from trustworthy friends and associates. When we fight hard enough and stay in the game of life long enough, we will eventually make a touchdown reaching a goal that we have set on the way to the bigger goal of winning the game and the game of life.
Many things go into a football game — practice, preparation, planning, and, yes, even prayer — it all must be done. Sometimes, players get injured and they have to fight through it. Sometimes, we get injured and we have to fight through it. Sometimes, games get intense and players and coaches have to keep their cool. We have to do the same. But at all times, football has proven to be a battle for a prize, albeit a finite, earthly prize.
Jesus Christ also fought a battle for us, a more important battle — a battle for our souls. On His way to victory, He huddled with His disciples often, taught them, and prepared them to carry on after He was gone. Jesus had to tackle the devil and the temptations the devil tried to use to get Him off His game. He had to overcome being intercepted by people, particularly religious people, who did not believe in Him and who wanted to see Him dead. He had long stretches of ministry, miracles, healing, and service to others. He scored, if you will, a touchdown when He accepted the responsibility in the Garden of Gethsemane for the world and He chose to willingly take the cross up to Calvary and die a painful death for you and for me. Jesus Christ is truly a world champion — the Lord of Glory, the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star, the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, yours and mine. He won the Super Bowl for us.
When He cried out, “It is finished,” and gave up His life, he scored the greatest victory of all time. It was a battle but He won that battle. He died on the cross for your sins and mine, so that we could be saved from the devil and Hell. When he rose from the dead, the victory was manifest. He fought hard for our souls and He wants you to give Him your soul today. He wants you to trust in Him today so that you can have eternal life and be delivered from eternal punishment for your sin in a place called Hell — a place that will make you a loser forever. Don’t you want to do this today? Don’t you want to truly win the Super Bowl of life by trusting Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Here’s how you can be saved; here’s how you can be a winner for eternity…