This Weeks Devotional:  “Perseverance”
Read: Philippians 3:12-21

Last night I was fortunate enough to be at the Illinois vs.
Ohio State basketball game at the Assembly Hall.  It will
probably go down in history as one of the most memorable games
due to the fact that Ohio State was ranked 5th in the nation
and Brandon Paul had one of the best individual performances
in school history. (43 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocked shots,
15-17 free throws)

But the game did not start that way for Paul.  In the first
couple of minutes he committed 4 straight turnovers.  At that
point I said to the person sitting next to me, “It looks like
Paul is not on his game tonight.”  Boy was I wrong!

After overcoming that rough start Brandon Paul lit up the
Assembly Hall like never before and it made me think of the
word “perseverance.”  How often do we let a rough start drag
us down to a frustrating finish?  We can take each day of our
lives and relate it to that.  What we need to remember is that
a rough start does not guarantee a rough finish.

Even in living out our faith in Christ we have difficult
seasons.  That’s why Paul (Not Brandon) writes in Philippians
3:12 “But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ
Jesus took hold of me.”  Jesus promises a good finish if we
will place our trust in him and persevere.

Samuel Johnson once said, “Great works are performed not by
strength but by perseverance.”  Most everyone knows that
Abraham Lincoln persevered through many, many failures before
finally becoming one of our greatest Presidents ever.

We need to remember that the word “persevere” comes from the
prefix “per” which means “through.”  When you put that with
the word “severe” it means to keep pressing on, trusting God,
looking up, even through difficult circumstances.”  I’m sure
that some of you are in that difficult circumstance right now.

The great preacher of many years ago Charles Spurgeon said,
“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”  Last night was
just a basketball game (a great one at that) but it reminded
me once again how important it is to press on, even when your
game starts with four straight turnovers.

Make it personal:  Press on, look to Jesus, pray about your
situation and don’t give up.  Give your failures, your
shortcomings, and your challenges to Christ and ask him to
give you the strength to press on in your life.  At the end of
the day you just might get carried off of the court on
someone’s shoulders. (Brandon Paul did last night)

Have a blessed week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life

Arthur Mennonite Church