Down – But Not Out

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

It was the greatest in NFL history! It occurred in 1993. I watched it and had a hard time believing it. At halftime the announcers had already given the game to Houston and were interviewing the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, asking him how he would play Houston in the next round of the playoffs. Thirty-two points behind – the game was over.

Frank Reich, quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, had a different idea. Back in 1984 he had brought the University of Maryland back from a 31-point deficit against Miami. That also was a collegiate record.

Reich’s pinpoint passing and perfect play calling in the second half engineered the comeback. Buffalo scored 32 points to win over Houston! In the postgame interview the first thing Reich said was that he gave the credit to Jesus who was most important in his life.

Later in the locker room interview he said the music to the Christian song Christ Alone, by Michael English, was what gave him the composure and determination to win. He read the lyrics at the press conference. The heart of the song reads, “Though I can pride myself in battles won…by His strength alone I overcome.”

Marv Levy, the coach of the Buffalo Bills, said he was surprised but had faith in Reich. He highly complimented his Christian faith. He said, “It is his faith that gives him so much composure and causes people to believe in him.” Coach Levy said he would never count Buffalo out of any game as long as he had a man with the faith of Reich as quarterback.

The greatest strength in the world comes in our friendship with Jesus Christ. You are never out in any situation when you trust in Him. Sometimes some situations seem hopeless – but “by His strength, I overcome.” You may be down, but in Christ you’re never out!

The Buffalo Bills advanced to the AFC championship game. If your faith is in Christ alone, you will win in the most important game in town – the game of your life. You will always be advancing to the next round. I have read the last chapter of the Bible and seen the final score, and the winners are the people who are running the plays that come from the Head Coach and relying on Him for all their strength.

[The above is an excerpt found on page 42 from the book Extra Effort by John Ed Mathison. Extra Effort is available through the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries.]



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