James “Jim” Lawrence Marshall was drafted in the 4th round of the 1960 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Marshall played the 1960 season with the Browns before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings. He then played from 1961 to 1979 with the Vikings.
During his time with the Minnesota Vikings, Marshall was involved in what is considered by many, to be one of the most embarrassing moments in professional sports history. On October 25, 1964, in a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Marshall recovered a fumble and despite the screams and yells from his coaches and teammates , he ran 66 yards the wrong way. He couldn’t hear the warning to turn around over the noise of the crowd and he ran 66 yards the wrong way into his own end zone. Thinking that he had scored a touchdown for his team, he threw the ball away in celebration. The ball landed out of bounds, resulting in a score for the other team.
For a moment, Jim Marshall, in his own mind, was a hero, running in the right direction, headed for victory, celebration and applause. But the grim truth is that he was running blind and deaf to the truth. He couldn’t hear any of the screams and yells telling him to stop and turn around. He only heard the cheering crowd and he only saw what looked like success. His heroic recovery of the fumbled ball and his athletic run of 66 yards into the end zone all resulted in failure, embarrassment and a score for the opposing team.
Like Jim Marshall, many of us are running with courage, faith, strength and gleeful expectation of reward. Many of us are being cheered on by the crowd and encouraged to run on, press on and go on. But many of us are running blind and deaf to the truth. We are running in the wrong direction and the voice of God is instructing us to turn around. However, we cannot hear the voice of repentance over the noises of our own ambitions, religions, greed, pleasures and treasures. And like Jim Marshall, at the end of our run, we too will be disappointed and shocked to discover that we were playing for the opposing team all the time. And instead of scoring for the kingdom of God, we scored for the father of lies.
I remember Jesus saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day,‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
I pray that we avoid these damning Words.
Before we continue any further down this path of life, we should be sure that we are listening to the voice of God (JESUS CHRIST) and that we are running in the right direction. Our focus should not be on individual achievements in Christianity, greed, pleasures and treasures, popularity or fame but on keeping the Word of God.
If we were told that today was our last day and that we will die within the next 6 hours, are we absolutely sure of the direction and destination of our soul?
Would you bet your eternal soul on the direction that your life is going?
Why gamble with something as important as your soul?
OBEY the WORD! CONFESS! SUBMIT ! SURRENDER !
REPENT and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ( Acts 2:38)
Discover the path of true salvation and run a race that ends in eternal victory and not eternal death and defeat.
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