Training Table -- NCAA Football (Week 5)


“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13

Giving to the Needy

When University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt made the commitment to begin visiting Honduras, he did so with a keen understanding of what the Bible says about our responsibility to the poor.

He didn’t use the trip as a weekend getaway, though.

Richt first went to the poverty-stricken areas of Honduras with World Vision on a mission trip, and has done so multiple times, as a way to minister to the poor. He understands perfectly what Proverbs 21:13 says, that if we ignore the cries of the poor, that when we cry for help we won’t be answered.

As we are reminded in Romans 11:35-36, it’s a reminder that God gives all things, and He is the One (not us) who enables us to give back so that we can experience the joy of giving. “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” Romans 11:35-36.

— Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 

Heavenly Awards

University of Alabama lineman Barrett Jones has won numerous awards related to college football: Two National Championships; All-American; All-SEC; the Outland Trophy for college football’s best interior lineman; Jacobs Blocking Trophy, for the SEC’s best offensive lineman; Wuerfel Trophy, for community service and athletic and academic achievement; and SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year after having a 4.0 GPA in his accounting major.

But his greatest award could be seen by the way he used his last three spring breaks to help the poor and oppressed in Haiti and Nicaragua.

His trips to Haiti focused on construction to help refugees, school children and other Haitians, and his trip, last spring, to Nicaragua was focused solely on presenting the gospel. “This is the most important kind of trip, to present the gospel.” Jones told Baptist Press. “This trip could have an eternal effect, hopefully, on some people’s lives.”

He realized that his football-related awards compared little in regards to eternity, and that sharing the gospel was “the most important” thing he could do to affect someone’s life now and after we leave this earth.

Proverb 19:7 teaches us this principle of having the right focus, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.”

What is your focus? Are you concerned about your rewards on earth, or in Heaven?

— Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


“For, ‘All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.’” I Peter 1:24-25

Glory for Self or God

As big-time college football players run onto the field, the crowd’s cheers are deafening and the moment overwhelming. It’s a scene replayed over and over again each college football season and, likely, in most of the minds of current and former college football players’ as they relive that moment.

Some dream of that moment until they reach college, some live for that moment each season while they’re still able to play the game, and others relish that moment when thinking about it years later as they remember “the good times.” But is all of that really the best we, as Christians, can imagine life being? Is that the ideal life? Is that all there is, to live for fame and glory?

As I Peter 1:24-25 reminds us, all of that glory will fade away as quick as the grass withers (which is pretty quick), but God’s Word and His promises stand forever. Begin chasing “forever” things by choosing God, and stop chasing the things that wither and fade.

— Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Proverbs 13:4

Hard Work Equals Results

University of Iowa running back Mark Weisman seemed to be your typical walk-on. He was given little respect, little chance and little motivation to succeed.

But he possessed a great drive, a great will, and a great attitude. He kept pressing on when he didn’t have any reason to do so.

Consider this: when he was in high school, he was offered a scholarship by only one Division I Football Bowl Subdivision school, Air Force. But he only lasted one semester at the military school.

He chose Iowa because they were one of only a few schools that still used the fullback position. When he arrived at Iowa, though, he was ignored. In the spring game, he had zero carries. How’s that for a welcome? And in his first two games this season, it was only slightly better as he totaled only two carries for eight yards.

Then, something happened. All of that perseverance seemed to begin to pay off. He was switched to tailback, and began to pile up the yards as he rushed for more than 100 yards in each of those games. It’s a reminder that desire alone will only satisfy your mind, but desires that are coupled with hard work and determination will completely satisfy.

— Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.” Proverbs 12:22

Lying Lips Lead to Destruction

The University of Miami has been rocked by scandals involving their football team multiple times. The University of North Carolina, which had a pristine reputation, was recently cited for academic improprieties involving its football program. And, the Penn State sexual abuse scandal involving a former assistant football coach is all too familiar to everyone.

In the investigation process involving each of these situations, it was found that some people knew things were going on. But what kept the scandal from being uncovered was that people lied. Even though the scandal was eventually found out, innocent people had been punished, and reputations had been tarnished.

Heartbreak and disappointment flooded those schools, as well as the rest of the college football world. And those were only a few of the major scandals.

All of the heartache could have been avoided, though, had they understood that lying never succeeds as Proverbs 12:19 indicates, “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.”

Ask for God’s guidance and direction on a daily basis so that you will avoid the temptation of lying and also avoid the destruction it causes to you and others.

— Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

Going Long

Read Matthew 5:7 and meditate on what it says about showing mercy. Have you ever been in a position to show mercy and then decided not to do that? If so, why? In light of this verse, how important was it to Jesus to show mercy and what was the result for those who did?