"The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The LORD is for me among those who help me...." (Psalm 118:6, 7a)
And may we never forget, "among those who help me." As I was reading our text today, I thought of a personal experience which was for me a great illustration of our text. When we moved from Somerset to Johnstown in the summer of 1956, I was about to enter the eighth grade. That early September, I entered the locker room of Cochran Jr. High School to join the football team. I didn't know any of the other guys. The head coach, Rudy Shingler, became a great influence and friend in my life. (Tragically, Coach Shingler died a year later of a heart attack; it was the biggest shock of my life to that point.) During the middle of the season we were playing one of our cross-town rivals. Our quarterback was injured and could not run very well, so coach Shingler devised a play which switched me from halfback to quarterback; in football terms it's called a "student body left" play; basically everyone on the team, including the other backs would lead the way blocking. We were just a few minutes into the game at a packed stadium when Coach called that play. It worked better than the chalk board version. As I turned the corner with the goal line 80 yards away and was running down the sidelines, practically right on the chalk line, kids in the grandstands yelling, I ran right past Coach Shingler and heard him yell, "Go on Woody!" That was the greatest cheer of the day. There is just nothing like someone in authority, someone whom you admire and love telling you, "Go on, Woody!"
Weary traveler, this is exactly the reality of our text today for you too. "The LORD, Jesus Christ, is on my side (takes my part)....The LORD, Jesus Christ, is for (supports) me." Metamorphically, Jesus Himself, right now is "standing on the sidelines" of life, dare I say it, yelling your name, "Go on___!" Remember too, there are others pulling for you. The Message paraphrase says, "Do you see what this means-- all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running-- and never quit!"
In Jesus Christ we have the Great Coach, the, "Friend Who sticks closer than a brother," the One, "for me among those who help me," saying, "start running--- and never quit!" If you have received Jesus Christ, if you have surrendered your life to Jesus, He lives in you, and from within, in the Holy Spirit, can you not hear Him?------------------- "Go on______"
Father, in Jesus' Name, I hear Your, "Go on, Woody" today. How could I ever thank You enough? Amen.
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When Peter, an 18 year old Norwegian, "heard the call to evangelize China, on that day he not only emptied his wallet into the collection plate, but included a small note with the words, 'and my life.'"
"Looking unto Jesus"