Summer 2024

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Thursday, February 4

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” — Psalm 107:1

What a Game

You likely have at least one or more favorite teams, athletes or leagues you follow closely. Their brand of competition is important to you and, perhaps, your loved ones and friends. In the times we are living in, where each sporting event is impacted in some way by COVID-19 concerns, we crave such occasions more than usual and soak in each minute, knowing that future games and meets may be affected or altered with little notice. Whatever our level of fandom, we all love to win and see sustained success from our sports heroes. We can’t help but share this excitement with those around us.

The game is tight. Your favorite group of guys or girls were behind, but fought back to make things interesting. You considered changing the channel, or maybe just waiting until next year. But like many years before, your devotion to the cause keeps you on the edge of your seat. Suddenly, a turnover, a Texas leaguer or a blocked shot turns the tide and shifts momentum to the “good guys” once again. In comes the clutch performer, be it a sure-footed kicker or a sixth man off the bench to energize and excite fans in the building and at home on the couch. You hold your breath until the clock hits zero and begin to celebrate. You have to exude your enthusiasm at work, online and even from your living room so your neighbors can hear. “I can’t believe it! What a game!”

As Christians who happen to enjoy sports, we can learn some lessons from the scenario I just described, which apply to our faith journey. The momentary joy and enthusiasm we want to show our friends and neighbors related to a big win is gratifying. Let us remember, though, that we have a subject far greater and more sustaining to share with these same people — the power and grace of our God!

A great place to start is reflecting on Psalm 107, which begins, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story — those He redeemed from the hand of the foe.” When we focus our minds and hearts on this truth, it naturally will flow out in our speech, actions and attitudes if we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and lead us. God has personally saved us from our sin, displayed His power by raising Jesus from the dead, and will always be with us through that same Holy Spirit. This just begins to describe the majesty of the God we represent in our world today!

As those who believe Jesus is Lord of all and has saved us from sin, we have news greater than anything in the daily sports box score to share with others. Personally, I came to know Jesus as my Savior and Lord on June 18, 2000, as a 9-year old boy. What a day! I am intrigued by the history of my favorite teams and enjoy quoting final scores and impressive feats they have achieved. I was convicted today by a sermon I heard, though, to be even more devoted to sharing the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection to those around me.

It reminds me of the great hymn, written more than 200 years ago, “To God be the Glory.” Part of the chorus states, “Oh come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, and give Him the glory, great things He hath done.” What a God we serve, and what an invitation!

— Allen Kent

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