By Robert White

Dr. Robert White was raised in central Florida and completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida. After college, he completed the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees at Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. For more than 40 years he has served as pastor of churches in Florida and in Massachusetts. In October 2016, Dr. White joined Care For Pastors as a Pastoral Counselor/Coach. Robert currently resides with his wife, Kaye, in Leesburg, Florida.

    3 Key Takeaways from Super Bowl 51

    Thursday, February 09, 2017

    My wife was literally yelling at the TV. She was a Falcons fan. Yes, I was a Patriot’s fan. By all accounts it was a great game.  Perhaps one of the greatest games ever. Certainly the outcome could have been different but there were some key moments in the game. You probably have your own set of turning points but here is mine…Edelman makes a great catch and keeps the drive alive. That drive eventually led to a 28-28 tie score. Now, for the first time in Super Bowl history we go to overtime. And you know the end of the story…the greatest comeback in a Super Bowl game.

    So, what lessons can we learn from this memorable moment in history?

    Here are just three of the key takeaways from that game:

    1. Never give up.

    The Patriots didn’t hang their heads like there was no hope, even when they got behind by 25 points. They continued to “do their jobs” just like they had all season long. They trusted their coaching staff and their team mates.

    For followers of Jesus Christ this should be a banner of truth hanging from every corner of our lives. We have every reason to have hope. We have every reason to hang on. We have every reason to stay in the game. Our coach, leader, quarterback and KING is none other than the risen Son of the Living God. We can have confidence because of who Jesus is.

    1 Corinthians 15:57- “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    1. Always remember who you are.

    The Patriots have built a culture of winning. When the team was in crisis, down 25 points in the third quarter, they didn’t panic.  They did not give up. They remembered who they were and “did their job”.

    What makes you special and unique among the billions of people on this earth? You are a child of God. Never forget that fact.

    If you tend to gain your identity from your work then as soon as you are done with your work you will have no identity. If you tend to gain identity from what you own then as soon as you no longer own it you will lose your identity. If you gain your identity from the people you know then as soon as they are gone you will have lost your identity. If however, you gain your identity from what God says about you then your value and purpose in life will always find meaning and fulfillment.

    Here’s something we use at Care for Pastors to help us focus on the truth of our “Identity in Christ”. This has been gleaned from the book “Search for Significance”, by Robert McGee.

    “Because of Christ’s redemption, I am a new creation of great worth.  I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted by God, and absolutely complete in Christ.”

    When we are facing the crises of life, whether it is the death of a loved one, a financial setback, a physical illness, or a relational failure, we can be assured of the truth of this statement above. Nothing can ever change who we are in Christ.

    1. Trust God’s Purposes

    Here are three verses that remind us of God’s presence, power, and purposes in our lives.

    • Proverbs 16:9 states that “The mind of man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps.”
    • Proverbs 20:24 states that “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord.”
    • Proverbs 3:5-6 states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

    There’s something bigger going on than the Super Bowl. It’s God’s Kingdom. When it gets right down to it, God has plans that are bigger and better than you have imagined. He has promised His presence, His power, and His purposes for every one of His children. Trust His purposes. At the end of this game called LIFE, we win. That’s the good news and it’s worth celebrating every day.

    Photo courtesy Flickr user USDAgov via the Creative Commons license.

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