“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” — Psalm 18:19
Imagine a woman in labor. After great pain and effort, the woman finally gives birth to a baby boy. Everyone is smiling, except the dad. The nurse asks, “Are you OK? Aren’t you happy?” And the father answers, “Well, we’ll see how good of a kid he is.” Pretty harsh, right?
When my kids were born, they didn’t have to do anything for me to love them. In fact, for the first good while, they spent much of their time screaming at me and pooping on me. Yet, I still loved them. I loved them because of their identity, not because of their performance.
Being an athlete challenges everything we should know about our value and approval. In competition, we’re approved because of our performance. We’re cheered (or booed) based on our actions.
Make no mistake, you and I are much like babies. We make messes. We are in need of God providing for our every need. As Psalm 40:17 says, “As for me, I am poor and needy.” We couldn’t earn His approval, because we could never measure up.
Yet, you and I are not accepted by God because of anything we do. We are loved, not because we earned it by what we do, or because we’re good enough to earn a starting spot on God’s team. We are loved because Jesus’ work has given us a new identity.
— Steve Hawthorne, New York Red Bulls chaplain
If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to