• Jon Forrest

WE need each other

The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

We Need Each Other!

During a practice session for the Green Bay Packers, things were not going well for Vince Lombardi’s team. Lombardi singled out one big guard for his failure to “put out.” It was a hot, muggy day when the coach called his guard aside and leveled his awesome vocal guns on him, as only Lombardi could. “Son, you are a lousy football player. You’re not blocking, you’re not tackling, you’re not putting out. As a matter of fact, it’s all over for you today, go take a shower."

The big guard dropped his head and walked into the dressing room. 45 minutes later, when Lombardi walked in, he saw the big guard sitting in front of his locker still wearing his uniform. His head was bowed, and he was sobbing quietly. Vince Lombardi walked over to his football player and put his arms around his shoulder. “Son,” he said, “I told you the truth. You are a lousy football player. You’re not blocking, you’re not tackling, and you’re not putting out. However, in all fairness to you, I should have finished the story. Inside of you, son, there is a great football player and I’m going to stick by your side until the great football player inside of you has a chance to come out and assert himself.” With these words, Jerry Kramer straightened up and felt a great deal better. As a matter of fact, he felt so much better he went on to become one of the all-time greats in football, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a few years ago was voted the all-time guard in the first 50 years of professional football.

That was Lombardi. He saw things in men that they seldom saw in themselves. He had the ability to inspire his men to use the talent they had. As a result, these players gave Lombardi 3 consecutive world championships at Green Bay.

Perhaps, you are another Jerry Kramer in need of your Lombardi moment. Or maybe you are a Lombardi in search of a Jerry Kramer who needs encouragement. Jesus has always looked at us, not for what and who we are, but for the potential we have as his child. Perhaps you are having one of those moments when you feel like you are completely ineffective in the kingdom of God. You aren’t blocking Satan’s attacks or tackling the problem of your own sin, and you’re failing to put out the effort to serve God that you should. You may be ready to give up!

I want to tell you something. Jesus knows that you are much more than the failure the devil says you are. You are a champion! He already knows that he can do everything through you that you are failing to do right now. You are not a failure! You are a child of God! You are the instrument through whom Christ can do the impossible. Paul wrote, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Jesus knows that you are much more than the failure the devil says you are. You are a champion!

This is why Jesus gave us the church! His intention for creating the church was based on the fact that none of us could make it serving him alone. We need encouragement. We need others who are struggling with the same battles we have and who can come along side us with reminders that we will overcome our failures through Jesus Christ. Paul didn’t write those words for his own benefit. He didn’t write them to a few elite saints. He wrote them to the church serving in the city of Philippi and for the rest of the church that would read his letter, including us today.

Jesus created the church to flourish, to grow, to pull together and to remind each other that the gates of hell cannot resist our attack. His purpose was that we come together for encouragement, so we can go out and SHAKE THE WORLD! This shaking has to do with letting people know who Jesus is; that he loves them; that he wants to rescue them from their failures and to make them part of his family. Within the church, some of us will be Jerry Kramer’s and some will be Vince Lombardi’s. And some days you will be one and other days you will be the other. But, whichever one you are today, you need the other. And Jesus has provided for both, so we can be victorious.

This Sunday, August 12, we will continue our series of messages, SHAKE THE WORLD, with a sermon titled “The World-Shaking Impact of a Thriving Church” based on 1 Thessalonians 2:17- 3:13 & Acts 17:1-9. I hope you will join us as we examine the impact Christ wants us to have together in a world that needs to be turned right-side-up for him.

We need each other,


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