Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional - Wednesday, January 3, 2018

God calls us to be uncomfortable.

This season has been full of ups and downs for me. Though I’ve been sent down to Triple A multiple times, I’ve watched God use these opportunities for good. One thing I really love about playing for the Diamondbacks is the pregame Bible studies and prayer. I’ve never had something like that on any of my teams before, and this year it’s really impacted me in significant ways. Having been sent down, I’ve been able to share that with the minor league team.

I’ve never been much of a talker. I don’t like it, I’m not great at it, and I’ve always tried to avoid it. But God’s been calling me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been learning how to communicate to others the truths from the Bible and what God’s teaching me through them. My teammates and I have gotten into the habit of reading God’s Word, digesting it, coming together to share and discuss it, and then pray together. It’s been so rejuvenating!

“Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it — they will be blessed in what they do.” — James 1:22-25

When it’s my turn to share what God’s been teaching me, I might not have a clue what I’m going to say beforehand, but when it comes to it, I know He’ll speak through me. In fact, God promises that when we rely on Him — listening and responding to Him — He will fill us with His Holy Spirit’s truth.

“For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” — Luke 12:12

God didn’t make the Bible to be interpreted in many different ways. It’s one truth with a concrete meaning and purpose. But the truths of Scripture impact people in unique ways based on their background, personality, life circumstances and needs. When we come together and share with one another, we are then able to understand, relate to, sympathize with, and learn from the struggles someone else has gone through. We often miss out on these deep personal relationships with the people right in front of us because we’re too busy on social media. Stuck on our phones, we miss out on the personal interaction we can have when we choose to do life together. There’s no better way to express love to one another than to show them that love personally and directly.

Get uncomfortable. Choose today to step out and share something God’s been teaching you, and watch as He gives you a boldness you might have never thought you had.

J.J. Hoover, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher

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