Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, July 8 - Learning From Leadership

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” — 1 Peter 2:21

>> Sign up here for Sports Spectrum devotionals sent right to your email inbox <<

As one of only 100 Major League Baseball players with at least 2,500 career hits, Adrian Beltre was just elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2024. But one of his greatest honors first came in 2013 when he was named captain for the Texas Rangers. A team captain leads other players to greater heights by holding himself to a higher standard and understanding the necessity of accountability for his actions. Beltre was a great model for other players on and off the field.

Groups are often organized with key leadership and roles for various people so that they can best function. It’s true for sports teams, churches, and any other collection of people. And it was that way for Jesus’ ministry. After Jesus left His father’s carpenter shop to start His ministry, He found and called 12 men — known as the 12 disciples — to follow Him closely for three years so they could learn from Him. Among the disciples, three men — Peter, James and John — were closest to Jesus and had the most opportunities to see Christ do His marvelous miracles.

Jesus taught His disciples to be humble servant-leaders rather than control-freak, demanding leaders. Eventually, Peter, James and John learned to lead by example, but they did a lot of boasting and disappointing before they reached maturity.

Jesus showed His power over death when He raised the daughter of Jairus back to life. As Jesus went to do this mighty work, the three most trusted disciples went alongside the Savior. They saw everything. “He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished” (Mark 5:41-42). As Jesus did more and more miracles, Peter, James and John gradually grew in faith and fearlessness after witnessing such supernatural happenings.

On another occasion, Peter, James and John peeked into Heaven for a few brief moments when Moses and Elijah came from Heaven to visit Jesus on a mountain. They came to confirm that Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament predictions about the Messiah. As Jesus shined with Heavenly glory, Moses and Elijah spoke about Christ’s crucifixion (Luke 9:28-36). Though everything didn’t sink into their hearts and minds immediately, these incredible moments made Peter, James and John some of the bravest and best messengers for the Lord. Jesus led them well, and they learned from Him so they could carry on the Gospel ministry and strengthen the body of Christ (the Church).

What about us? Do we walk close enough to Jesus to learn from Him so that we may also carry on the Gospel ministry in the ways we are called? Whether leading a team or a small group, contributing to the workforce or being a light in the neighborhood, Jesus wants us to follow in His footsteps and love others well so they are pointed back to Him.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

>> Do you know Christ personally? Learn how you can commit your life to Him <<

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more devotionals and stories where sports and faith connect <<

>> Purchase “The Increase 52 Week Devotional” to further grow your relationship with Christ <<

>> Dive more into God’s Word with Sports Spectrum through the YouVersion Bible App <<

If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to