“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” – Vince Lombardi
“It’s very special. This game was much like this season has been. It tested our toughness, resilience, our unselfishness,” – Peyton Manning
Romans 8:28-29 Amplified Bible (AMP)
28 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.
Forward Thinkers, every year 32 professional football teams enter the new season with desires of winning the Super Bowl while millions of hopeful fans across America believe this will be the year their favorite team or home team wins the big game. The same spirit runs through churches across America every year; dreams, hopes, and excitement are high that this will be the year we will do something big.
Forward Thinkers, this year 1,696 players played in the NFL and today only 106 of those players were still standing as “Lady Gaga” sung the National Anthem. Each of the 106 players have a story to tell about how they got to the 50th Super Bowl game and like many of us, their stories are filled with life’s ups and downs; and on today we will take a look at players and coaches from both the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos teams.
I will discuss the stories of 3 players and 2 coaches to encourage and empower you to reaching your full potential. Before we look at these players and coaches I want to examine a 100 dollar bill and a 1 dollar bill. Notice they are the exact same size and weight and made from the exact same paper. As a matter of fact, the only difference between a 100 dollar bill and a 1 dollar bill are the words on it.
Forward Thinkers, keep this in mind as we go further: faith comes by believing the words of God; and fear, doubt, and low self-esteem come by believing the words of people. In 2016, it is very important the words you use and the words you choose because words will make or break you this season.
Cam Newton is the Carolina Panthers quarterback and this year he had one of the best years in the history of professional football. Cam was not only in the Super Bowl but he is the MVP of the NFL, yet he is the most criticized player in the game.
I. Silence Your Critics With Great Results
Matthew 5:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Forward Thinkers, like Cam, we must let our light shine so bright so that our biggest critics will be forced to change their mind and shut the heaven up. Matt Miller, professional football analysis, said this week, “I was wrong about Cam Newton in October 2010 when I said Cam Newton is not an NFL QB. At all. Great athlete. Heisman contender. That’s all”.
People are now saying Cam acts like a thug but all Cam does is win games, scores touchdowns, dances, and gives footballs away to kids in the stands. Cam replies, “I’m an African-American quarterback. That scares people because they haven’t seen anything that they can compare me to”.
II. What God Has For Me, It Is For Me
Forward Thinkers, remember when they were looking for a king? No one thought David was worthy enough yet. King David became the most powerful and accomplished King of Israel. Samuel 6:14 in the bible says David danced before the Lord with all his might. Cam Newton may not have gotten a chance to dance in the Super Bowl but he had a season worthy of a dance.
Forward Thinkers, I encourage you this week to dab on the devil, dab on the haters, dab on depression, dab on debt, dab on cancer, and dab on every weapon formed against you because what God has for you, it is for you.
III. You Can Overcome A Bad Start
Michael Oher, the man responsible for blocking for Cam Newton had a beginning so bad it should have totally defeated him. You don’t have to be a football fan to be a fan of Oher, whose story was made famous in the Oscar-winning film “The Blind Side“.
Born Michael Jerome Williams, Jr., he was one of 12 children born to Denise Oher. His mother was an alcoholic and crack cocaine addict, and his father, Michael Jerome Williams, was frequently in prison. Due to his upbringing, he received little attention and discipline during his childhood. He repeated both first and second grades, and attended eleven different schools during his first nine years as a student. He was placed in foster care at age seven, and alternated between living in various foster homes and periods of homelessness. Oher’s biological father was a former cell mate of Denise Oher’s brother and was murdered in prison when Oher was a senior in high school.
He has already won a Super Bowl with another team but was let go after getting hurt. Isaiah 40:29-31 New International Version (NIV)
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
God allows us to go through what we went through because like Michael, he had big plans for our life story. God gives the hardest assignments to those He plans to bless the biggest. I’m glad I know the plans the Lord has for me are not to hurt me but to prosper me.
IV. Press Your Way To The Top
Peyton Manning has become one of the best quarterbacks to ever play football. He has won a Super Bowl and broken many records in football; yet his previous team let him go. As funny as this may sound he wanted to play for the Houston Texans, a team starving for a good quarterback, but they didn’t think he was good enough yet. On Sunday night, every doubter had to eat footballs because Peyton Manning became one of only 12 quarterbacks to win multiple Super Bowls.
Philippians 3:13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 [a]Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
The Denver Broncos head coach is Gary Kubiak. Yes, the former head coach of the Houston Texans who was fired with 3 games left in the season; and the coach of Denver’s defense, which was one of the best in football, is Wade Phillips, who has been fired by both Dallas and Houston.
Forward Thinkers, today both Gary and Wade are coaches of the World Champions and their stories should inspire you to keep going after divorce or being fired. Remember never let anyone determine your value. The Denver Broncos are a team loaded with players who were given up on by other teams but they won the Championship because they let go of the past and pressed on to the future.
In conclusion, Forward Thinkers, no matter what your current status is, the stories coming out of “Super Bowl 50” reminds us to never give up because, what God has for us is for us and no one can defeat or deny us if we keep the faith.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church now located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net