Summer 2024

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Thursday, April 22

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” — 1 John 3:1

A Father Who Believes in Us

God has big plans for all of us, yet we squander them away by wrongful thinking and partial effort. Our Father in Heaven shows us His grace and mercy every day, yet our efforts do not reflect the gratitude that He deserves. We are sinful, imperfect beings that roam around as we please, even though we are blessed with so many opportunities to do God’s work and glorify Him.

We aren’t and never will be perfect, yet we are loved. We are wanderers of the world despite the fact that we are given the gift of life from the one man who walked this earth yet was not of it. We fail and are forgiven despite our multitude of shortcomings.

During my first trip to the Dominican Republic, we visited a rundown orphanage that was filled with mentally and physically handicapped children. When I first walked in, I was overwhelmed by what I saw. These children were helpless, broken and disabled. Later, I had a discussion with one of the coaches who was on the trip, and he asked me one of the deepest rhetorical questions I will probably ever hear: “Is that how God sees us — helpless, broken and disabled?”

This thought of broken, disabled helplessness, and how God sees us, followed me throughout the week. But then one of the coaches of the youth baseball teams I disciple said something that hit my heart. He said, “There isn’t one father in here that doesn’t believe his son will someday play in the MLB.” My mind quickly went back to the question of, “Is that how God sees us?” These youth players were young and had very little knowledge of the game, yet it was true in saying that their fathers had no doubt that they could play at the highest level of baseball.

We walk throughout this world with the smallest amount of knowledge as to what life is, yet our Father in Heaven believes that we can do amazing, unthinkable things. Even though we are disabled and broken, our Father has nothing but high expectations of our capabilities.

The coach added that no matter how much their fathers believed in them, it was dependent on how hard their kids were willing to work, and how much they would buy into the opportunities to be great at baseball. The fathers of those young baseball players know their sons will strike out or make an error, but they love them still and continue to give them the opportunity to become great at something they won’t ever be perfect at. Their fathers believed in them, just as our Father in Heaven believes in us. He paid for our death with His Son’s life so that we could have a righteousness that we will never earn.

God knows that we will fall short of His glory, but He continues to bless us with His grace and mercy. We fail multiple times in this game of life, but we are blessed to have a Father who is loving and persistent enough to grace us with opportunities so that we can succeed. He is strong in our weaknesses and loving despite our shortcomings. Take every day as if it were a gift, because that’s what it is.

Jesus died so that you could have life. Live your life for Him because it was bought by His death and resurrection.

— Jake Merrick

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