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"Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that."

Bill Shankly, Liverpool Football manager

Trustworthy 4

The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
If we are faithless, he remains faithful –
for he cannot deny himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13

Here Paul is probably quoting a contemporary hymn. The reference to dying with Christ is probably a reference to dying to our old self in baptism meaning something like “if we die to sin we will live with Christ”.

Endurance is an important part of our Christian life. We are to endure, keep going, not to give up. Athletes, perhaps, understand that better than most. We are to keep going even when training and when the sacrificial lifestyle is tough. Just as the hope of running faster or playing better motivates us to train, so the hope of reigning with Christ keeps us going in our Christian life.

The reference to denying Christ may recall Jesus’ words: “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:33). This is a solemn challenge to us”.

The final sentence is a real encouragement: even when we fail, God remains faithful. Go to practice, to the club or to the office today challenged and encouraged by these words.

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