Mark 8:32-33 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men."
The things around us shape our lives, and there can be no denying that sports is around us, it is good to examine how it shapes our lives. There is a proverb in today's sports: winning isn't everything, itís the only thing. This hasn't always been true, there was a time when the chief thing about sports was learning how to get along with everyone, when the fundamental value was good sportsmanship. Sure, winning was important, but honor, integrity, fairness, and getting along with people were more important. Why, because it was only a game, and the people you played were people you would deal with for the rest of your life.
We all enjoy winning, the problem is that there is very little in life where everybody wins. Usually there are winners and losers, and often what we do, we do in order to avoid loosing. And that is how we begin to learn about choosing sides, and picking teams - oftentimes in picking teams, we learn who is most likely to help us win, and we learn to choose them, over the people who are our friends. The problem with this, is in doing so, we stop treating people as people, and look at them as a means to an end - in this case winning.
So we've got our football team, and we've got the ball, its first down, and we want to move the ball 10 yards. We call the play, snap the ball, incomplete pass. 2nd down, now is time to remind people to work together, that we can only do it as a team, we line up, the ball is snapped, another incomplete pass, 3rd down. Now something has to happen, some progress must be made, now we might even call on God, because if no progress is made, we'll have to puntÖ.
That's about how we live life, we do what we can to get our way, and then when we've tried everything else, we try God. We know it shouldn't be this way. We know the Lord's prayer is not "my kingdom come, my will be done." And that's the problem, because we largely choose sides so that we can advance our kingdom, and accomplish our will - and in the process, we often forget all about God.
In the church there are always 2 sides, there is God's side, and the wrong side. To often we find ourselves on the wrong side, because we don't even look to see where God is. I hope we don't have another problem, one were we imagine that God is somewhere else - you know, our Father who art in heaven, that is God who is distant, and not here with us.
That was Peter's problem. He liked Jesus, and wanted Jesus to always be with him. Peter did not want to hear why Jesus had come. Peter did not want to hear that Jesus would suffer and die. It wasn't what Peter wanted, and Peter let his feelings be known. God forbid, Lord, that you should suffer and die - that is, God forbid that you, Lord Jesus should do what God has sent you to do, to do those things which a savior must do. And that was a problem - Peter had chosen sides, and he had chosen the wrong side - he had chosen Satan's side, not God's side.
And that is what brings us to what is special about God and the game of life, for in God's plan everyone can win. Why? Because we are all sinners, and we all need a Savior. Because Jesus died so that all our sins might be forgiven. God want everyone on his side. God wants everyone to win the life and salvation that are ours by grace through faith in Christ - not that we do anything to earn or deserve it - Jesus did all that for us - and that is the good news.