Thursday, May 31, 2018

John 16:1

When has someone said something to you that saved you lots of pain, heartache and suffering?  How did you take the warning?  Today, we’ll hear a warning from Jesus.

Jesus said this to His disciples in John 16 and verse 1, “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.”

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples just before He was betrayed and arrested, prior to His crucifixion.  He was informing His disciples of the events to come so they would not stumble in the hours to come.

You hear lots of words that are meant to keep you from stumbling.  Among them are administrative rules, sport federation regulations, e-mails from friends, and admonitions from your coaches.  These all keep you from going astray, from wandering off course, they warn us of obstacles in our paths that could cause us to stumble.

Listen carefully when you hear words like this, they are life to you.  Listen to the coaching staff’s words as you prepare to play today.  Those words are life to your team.  They are spoken to help you avoid stumbling and to guide you into victory. 

Bible Reading Plan:
Psalms 108
II Samuel 5-7

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

P o s s i b i l i t i e s
Matthew 19:26

Which of your preseason goals seem to be presently impossible?  Which seem totally beyond your grasp?

In Matthew chapter 19 and verse 26, Jesus says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

There are times when our dreams are shattered and our goals seem beyond human attainment.  These are the perfect times to turn to God.  God specializes in making the impossible a reality.

Jesus assures us that with men much is impossible, but with God all things are possible.  Nothing is beyond His reach or outside His ability.

As you prepare to compete today, ask the Lord to fill you with His infinite ability.  Trust Him to help you compete at the highest level of achievement possible.

Bible Reading Plan:
Mark 13:14-31
II Corinthians 12:1-10

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

D r e a m s   F u l f i l l e d
Psalm 126:1-3

Take a moment to recall a time when your sport dreams were realized.  Perhaps it was a championship won, a rival beaten or an individual award achieved.  The Bible shares a poetic look at dreams fulfilled in today’s scripture.

Psalm 126 and verses 1 through 3 reads, “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.  Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.  Then it was said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them.  The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

The writer remembered returning home after a long absence.  It was almost too good to believe, like a dream.  He remembered the laughter and the joyful singing of his friends and family.  The people from surrounding countries were amazed.  Even more, he remembered the source of these blessings.

It’s so much fun for us to see our dreams fulfilled and our goals achieved.  Our mouths are filled with laughter and we exult in every victory.  Those who watch you compete even join in the fun.  Occasionally we’ll even remember to thank the ultimate source of all that’s good… God.

During today’s competition, give your best effort to see your dreams fulfilled and your goals achieved.  Don’t be surprised when people comment like they did in the psalm, “The Lord has done great things for them.”  You can echo their comment in grateful prayer with a wide grin on your face.

Bible Reading Plan:
Psalms 103
I Samuel 21-23

Monday, May 28, 2018

S E L F I S H   P L A Y E R S
Proverbs 18:1

Do you have any teammates who seem to compete for themselves and tend to shun their responsibilities to the team?  Is there anything wrong with separating my personal competition from the rest of the team?  Should I pursue my personal goals if they conflict with the team's goals?

In the book of Proverbs at chapter 18 and verse 1 it says, “He who separates himself seeks his own desire, and quarrels against all sound wisdom.”

If you see a teammate who separates himself from the team, always trying to be an individual rather than part of the team, be sure that he's seeking his own desire.  The danger is obvious to the writer of the proverb.  This person is fighting against everything that makes sense about team activity.

The Proverbs and the whole Bible are written in the context of relationship.  God is our Maker and He knows that we operate best when we work together.  The Lord's wisdom is revealed best when we compete in loving, respectful relationships.  That's what it is to be a team, to have strong relationships with teammates and to seek the best for the team, not for one's self.

As you prepare  for competition in prayer today, ask the Lord to keep you properly related to your teammates and coaches.  Ask Him for the grace to not seek your own desire and so separate yourself from the team.

Bible Reading Plan:
Mark 11:27-33
II Corinthians 7

Sunday, May 27, 2018

S c o u t i n g   R e p o r t
Mark 9:30-32

Can you recall a time when your coaching staff told you something about an upcoming opponent that triggered some questions?  They’re how big?  Are they really that good?  They’re how fast?  Why are we playing them?  Can we compete with them?  Did you dare ask the question or did you bite your tongue, afraid to ask it?  Jesus’ followers had similar thoughts as they heard some tough information from Him.

We read about this in Mark chapter 9 and verses 30 through 32, “They left that place and passed through Galilee.  Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples.  He said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.  They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.  But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.”

These men heard some very distressing news from Jesus and were immediately full of questions.  They didn’t understand what was about to happen, but they were sure it was not good.  Why would Jesus even tell them about this?  It’s like your coaches telling you that your next opponent is unbeatable.

The point of such a discussion is to teach and to prepare.  Wise coaches give their teams sobering information about upcoming opponents not to bring them fear, but to lead them to strongly prepare for a great competition.

In today’s competition, apply every bit of information you’ve attained from your coaches, from watching videotape, from each day’s practice and let it all lead you to a great victory.

Bible Reading Plan:
Psalms 98
I Samuel 11-13