Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mark 1:45

Has your success in athletics and the resulting popularity ever led to a loss of privacy for you?  Many people of sport who achieve highly become celebrities and thus lose the ability to move about freely in society.  You might be thinking, “I’d like to have that problem.”  We can watch that happen to Jesus as we read from Mark’s gospel.

At chapter 1 and verse 45 we read, “Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news.  As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places.  Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.”

Jesus had just done some seemingly impossible things in town and the man that was most affected couldn’t help but talk about it.  Jesus asked him to keep it quiet, but the man’s excitement couldn’t be contained.  All this resulted in a level of celebrity for Jesus that began to rule his life, he couldn’t go anywhere without a crowd gathering.

Even if this season results in you and your teammates becoming big celebrities, stay connected to your coaches and friends.  Your teammates are the ideal support system.  Practice and competition can be your escape from the crush of the public.  The people you want in your life can still find you and you can enjoy the more private places for retreat, like Jesus did.

Let’s compete today in a tremendous way and give everyone a reason to treat us like celebrities.

Bible Reading Plan:
Matthew 14:1-21
Acts 20:13-38
Matthew 17:1-13
Psalms 41

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ephesians 1:18

Are there ever opportunities to score or to make a great play that escape your notice?  It was there, but somehow you just couldn’t see it.  Are there other times when it seems like someone is shining a giant flashlight on the situation and the whole game slows down for you?  Today’s scripture will enlighten our hearts to great treasure.

In the book of Ephesians at chapter 1 and verse 18 it says, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”  How well do the eyes of your heart see?

Paul prays that these people’s hearts would be enlightened toward three things – hope, an inheritance and power.  Hope is confidence in the future.  An inheritance is provision from someone who loves us.  Power is the ability to do what’s right.

This same prayer is applicable for us in the world of sport.  I pray that the eyes of your hearts are enlightened to know the hope you can have, in this life and in the next.  I pray that your hearts are enlightened to know the inheritance that is yours presently in the marvelous opportunity to compete and to have such teammates and coaches.  I also pray that your hearts are enlightened to the power that is yours to make choices that honor your family, your team and even your God.

As you prepare to compete, echo this prayer for enlightenment and then watch for its fulfillment in this very day.

Bible Reading Plan:
Psalms 27
Exodus 13-15

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Psalm 20:7

On what basis do your opponents or teammates boast?  Do they brag about their size and strength?  Maybe they talk loudly about their skills, technique or knowledge.  Does anyone you know boast in the power of his God?

That’s exactly what we hear from David in Psalm 20 and verse 7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

God’s power is greater than a whole division of chariots.  His strength is mightier than a thousand horses.  To David the warrior, God’s name is better than all the finest military equipment on the planet.

When your opponent boasts of his speed, God is faster.  When your teammate is bragging about his power in the weight room, remember that God is most powerful.  When the media boasts of your most recent victories, think about the eternal nature of God’s wisdom. 

In today’s competition, if you must brag at all, make your boast in the one unchanging, immovable person – God almighty.

Bible Reading Plan:
Matthew 11:1-19
Acts 16:16-40