Summer 2024

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Wednesday, July 22

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9

Kingdom Chemistry

Throughout my youth, coaches were always preaching, “Let’s work together, this should be a well-oiled machine!” They hoped that with enough team chemistry, our individual players would synchronize in a way that would maximize performance.

To carry a spot on any roster, an individual must possess at least one quality that contributes to the overall success of the team. Wearing a jersey means that you, as an individual, are a key part of that team’s unit. Over the years, I have learned that there are various and unique roles on every team. Each player, from bench to superstar, has a designed task. Whether it is uplifting the overall energy of a team, bringing mental encouragement to the group, or utilizing elite talent to raise the bar for others, everyone has their place. There is no “cookie cutter” way to lead a team, but certain people have characteristics allowing them to take other players under their wings and soar. For a group to flourish, these components must work together toward a harmonious pursuit of success.

This idea of team chemistry is not solely designated to a sports team; it carries over to life. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, God tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.” This grace is found in Jesus, and our infinite dependence on God is the root of all strength. Because I am human, I am fully reliant on the Lord in every breath, repetition and step of my life on earth. Having an awareness of this reliance takes the pressure off of willing myself to perfection. The Gospel is one that speaks freedom, not works. Thankfully, Jesus paid the cost of my sin so that I can have a relationship with the Lord and allow His power to flow through my being.

Humanity is one large team of brothers and sisters in Christ — at least, that is how I believe God envisioned it to be. God’s plan for the Church is to act as one cohesive team that tackles the game of life. This roster is constantly expanding, growing and seeking the heart and will of God. As a believer, when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I opened my heart to total transformation. The goal of my transformation is to become more Christ-like every day. As the body of Christ, the Church is meant to reflect Jesus in all things. We do this by loving God and loving people.

Each member of a team has different strengths and weaknesses. God has uniquely created us that way. Unity means filling the gaps, serving as a bridge in the weaknesses of others and enhancing or building upon strengths. To be Jesus for someone is to “love thy neighbor.” By the grace of God, I uplift the areas of weakness in the lives of my teammates, family and friends. By doing so, I create an opportunity for others to positively impact my own brokenness. To have differences in the body of Christ is a blessing!

Philippians 4:13-14 says, “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.” We are able to do good for God’s masterpiece of humanity with Christ in our hearts.

Take time to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses with which God has gifted you. Ask yourself, how can my strengths benefit others in my community? In what areas has God brought relationships into my life to provide aid for my weaknesses? That is how we begin to build Kingdom chemistry.

— Karlie Smith

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