Sports Spectrum Weekly

Devotionals From Fall 2015 Print Issue (Week 6)

SERIES: PSALMS, LESSONS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

Monday: “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:10-11

Vain Pursuits

A college coach once told me that he recruits the person, not just the athlete.
He found that he could take an average athlete with a great attitude and make him or her into a great athlete. However, an athlete with the wrong attitude, or wrong outlook on training, would be difficult to coach.

This verse reflects that, as well. God isn’t impressed by physical strength, He’s impressed by the attitude, and in this case, “those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”

Are you caught up in vain pursuits, or are you concerned with what concerns God?

By Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


Tuesday: “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:1-2

Joyful Living

Imagine if every athlete on an NFL team came to workouts with positive attitudes, smiling faces, and joyful hearts.

They would likely win championships for years to come. Sure, quality athletes are needed to win, but at the highest level, where small things matter, the small things would be the difference.

The positive outlook would influence their work ethic, which would result in doing everything well.

Psalm 100 begins by saying, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”

Imagine if we started our day or our quiet time off like that?

We likely couldn’t help but see God in our circumstances, good or bad, and we likely couldn’t help but influence people to follow Him.
Start today to bring joy to God by being joyful about God.

By Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


 

Wednesday: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4

More Than a Game

Being thankful should resonate with us more often than just during Thanksgiving. It should be a daily habit, as the Psalm above suggests.

If we commune with God on a daily basis, then we should thank Him on a daily basis, and if we thank Him on a daily basis, we will praise Him on a daily basis, as this Psalm also suggests.

As an athlete or coach, imagine how it would affect your team if you told your teammates or athletes who you coach why you were thankful for them—every day. Do you think they would play harder and work harder? Do you think your thankfulness and their work ethic would, in turn, positively affect everything else they did, too, and in turn reap more than just wins and losses?

Today, let’s think about why we do what we do, instead of just thinking about doing what we do, so that we can affect others deeper than merely playing a game.

By Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum



Thursday: “Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation.” Psalm 85:4-7

Unfailing Love

I can almost feel the pain in the writer of this Psalm. He feels rejected, abandoned, unworthy, out of grace with God, and he’ll beg until God shows favor again.

An athlete who fails miserably can be like this in a small way, too. If they’ve done something bad off the field (maybe broken a team rule) or messed up on the field (possibly causing his team to lose a game because of a mistake he made), their desire to prove themselves to their coach is 100 times what it would be if they hadn’t messed up at all.

Unlike a coach, though, we know God will eventually restore us (although, sometimes not immediately), because of what we know about His character—that His mercy and love endure forever as the Psalms say.

Today, ask God to allow you to show others this unfailing love that He offers us each day so that others can see God in and through us.

By Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


 

Friday: “May the LORD silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue—those who say, ‘By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?’” Psalm 12:3-4

Choosing Your Words Wisely

What comes to mind when I read this verse are athletes who guarantee victory, or athletes who get up in the faces of opposing players, yelling and screaming that they’re better than them.

Those athletes make headlines because of what they said, with some guaranteed victories coming to pass and most ending up being only words that filled a newspaper for one day and a bulletin board in an opposing locker the next. The screamers and yellers, the antagonistic players, they’re eventually humbled.

Boasting that you can or will do something is unnecessary, especially since God has given us our abilities. If we just go out and do the work, our actions will speak for us. The boasting only causes pressure and makes people look at you as if you’re arrogant.
Today, let your actions define you and let your words be few.

By Brett Honeycutt, Sports Spectrum


Weekender: ”…having on the breastplate of righteousness.” Ephesians 6:14 (KJV)

Going Long

Without a breastplate, Roman soldiers were open to being killed because the breastplate protected so many vital organs. Without righteousness, we open ourselves up to spiritual and physical death as well.