Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional - Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Without Him, I am Nothing

I remember watching a 17-year-old Michael Chang in 1989 win the French Open. He was shorter than other players and therefore did not have a very quick serve, but he was fast on the court, and through defense and perseverance got the better of Stefan Edberg. I just loved the passion with which he played.

Afterward, he said the following: “I thank the Lord Jesus Christ because without Him, I am nothing.”

Jesus said this in John 15:5 (ESV): “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

This is probably our most basic error. We think we can do things on our own. We strive to be independent. The self-made-man image appeals to us. We want to be the heroes of our story.

But we must confess like Chang did, that without Christ, we are nothing. Without Him, we can’t do anything good. We need to stop trying. Sometimes without Him, we may see success, but does that success bring something good? Success in itself can be very destructive, not just for us, but also for those around us. Just think of well-known brands who abuse their laborers in factories.

We have to humbly ask Jesus Christ to be with us and His Spirit to be in us, so that our lives will be fruitful. We have to shun selfish ambition. Then our lives will be pleasing to God and satisfying to ourselves.

— Stephan van der Merwe

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