The Gospel of Christ

“It has been has been communicated on all seven continents, in thousands of languages, to people of all races, throughout twenty centuries. It has been transmitted through the printed word, spoken word, in song, through visual image and dramatization. Glimpsed by a smile and felt by a touch.  Displayed on billboards and written down in …

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Basketball Devotionals

Nothing has more power on the court that a well planned and delivered basketball devotional.    The indoor environment provides a multitude of year-round moments to present the gospel to many players and audience members.  If you prepare with prayer and proper packaging, your basketball devotions can be a slam dunk.   You can stand at …

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5 Minute Devotions For Kids

Anyone with any youth or children’s ministry experience knows that children have short attention spans.   Of course, ironically they do delight in being entertained.   So it is that there can be an immense challenge and supreme reward for presenting Christian devotionals to children.    Surely we can envision the thousands of Sunday school classrooms where …

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Sports Devotions

Sports devotions are phenomenal tools for outreach ministry, in particular for young men who are often difficult to engage for the Gospel.   Our cultural affinity for team-based athletic competition provides an excellent opportunity to meet men where they are with a Sports Devotion.  By definition, a sports devotion is a compact message, primarily delivered in …

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Aftermath of Defeat

Traveling home after a stinging defeat is an unpleasant experience. The team vehicles reverberate with silence and disappointment as the questioning game begins. After hard hitting losses, the prospect of regrouping and achieving victory again can feel improbable amidst the pounding grief. When we experience the distress of consequences from our own sinful choices, the …

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A Pre-Game Christian Sports Devotional

Before any athletic exertion, wise participants spend time stretching their muscles and warming up their hearts. These minutes are critical to injury prevention and peak performance from the moment the whistle blows. As a result, stretching prior to games and workouts is must for every athlete. Each exercise readies the muscles for the rigors of …

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Playing Free

You can always tell when an athlete is encumbered during games. The stress of performance anxiety or personal problems will manifest itself in his or her demeanor and play. Our bodies are intertwined with our minds and our hearts, and we’re not able to separate one from another. To succeed athletically, you need a clear …

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The Prodigal Son

A son from a wealthy family said to his father, “I demand that you give me my share of the inheritance now. His father graciously agreed, allowing the son to take his new wealth and head to Las Vegas. In just a few months of wild living and blackjack he lost it all. Growing hungry …

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Opening Day

The onset of a new season ushers in waves of excitement and anxiety. What will the games ahead hold? Will the team overall and you individually experience the success you envision? As you step up to the plate, run out onto the field, or walk onto the court, gird yourself with the confident peace that …

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The Gate

The world has WIDE open gates. Instinctively we stream full speed toward all that our heart desires. That’s the way of the world, wide open gates and broad roads. Whatever trouble you desire can easily be found. The herd moves down the road of vanity and selfishness, leading to brokenness and destruction. Thankfully, there is another …

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Massive Treasure

A young guy came to a church-related event because it sounded fun. Spiritual matters had always seemed vague to him. This time, though as he walked onto the church grounds, something was radically different. God’s message finally made sense to him. The power of the Gospel broke through his stagnant heart. Jesus took our punishment …

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The Lost One

From the baseball field, the ball is hit high in the air, out of bounds and over the fence. The foul ball bounces into the parking lot, over one car and then rolls under another. A player runs off the eld and into the parking lot in hot pursuit, dodging and navigating through the stationary …

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The Guest List

A great coach started a team for his son, because he knew the game better than anyone. He personally outfitted the team with top notch jerseys and gear. Then he sent his son to invite the top players to join the team. Instead of seizing the opportunity, they made excuses. One said, “I’m going away …

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Sowing Seeds

The Gospel is compared to the seeds a farmer sows. It contains the message, “Repent of your sins and turn to Christ for salvation. Some seeds fall on the hard path and are quickly eaten by birds. These are the hard-hearted people who say, “There is no God. I haven’t done anything wrong. Other seeds fall …

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The Unlikely Teams

For the first game of the season a team showed up that no one had seen before. They didn’t appear very athletic looking and their gear was dated. The other teams didn’t give them much of a chance. Initially the other teams looked forward to playing them, but as each week went by perceptions began …

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Listen To Your Coach

When it comes to teams, the coach is in charge.  He or she knows the game well and can see things on the eld beyond what you as a player can see. For any player to be successful they must listen to their coach. The Bible teaches us that we must listen to the wisdom …

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The Bat

The Bat is a force to be reckoned with in batting sports – a weighty, powerful item which has the ability to completely redirect the trajectory of a thrown ball in an instant. One second the ball is thrown toward the batter and the next it flies through the air in the opposite direction due to …

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Let It Fly

Are you ready to let it fly? In Psalm 124 the nation of Israel reflects on all that the Lord had done for them. He had brought them through so much. They realized that, If the Lord had not been on our side, v. 1 we would not be here now. Can you recognize the …

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Everything Matters

There is nothing insignificant in the world of sport. In fact, plays are recorded and there is a stat for everything that happens on the eld: batting percentage, field goal percentage, quarterback ratings, spikes, strikeouts, and errors. All action is catalogued. In our lives everything matters, every decision, every word, every action. The Bible tells us …

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Fields Of Forgiveness

There is something about a ball field. Beyond the fun and competition that takes place on playing grass, deep things, enduring things have happened out here.  People new to town make friends, old friends reconnect and romances bloom. People reconcile with each other and their Heavenly Father in a complete and permanent way through Christ …

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Get Off The Highway

The 90’s pop song tells us that “Life is a Highway and it certainly is with the mass of humanity surg- ing frantically toward their lusts. Have you ever been stuck on a log jammed freeway? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that there is another way. Thankfully there is an exit strategy! …

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Indicted For Right

Have you ever been persecuted for Righteousness? Jesus Christ tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that we will be persecuted for the godliness others see in us. Doesn’t that sound messed up? Do the right things, live for God and get persecuted. Do wrong and hear the world clap. Have you experienced this? …

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Building Bridges

Are you a peacemaker? During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus Christ said, “Blessed are the peace- makers, for they will be called Sons of God (Mt 5:9) . A peacemaker brings together two groups that have been divided and reconnects them through mediation and resolution. We all know the conflict that can arise on …

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Hungry For Good

Preaching to the crowds on the mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness for they will be filled (Mt 5:6). Is righteousness something that you hunger for? As athletes, justice on the court or in the eld is important to us.  Every league is filled with player’s pleas for the …

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Strength Under Control

During that famous speech known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made a series of dramatic statements. Jesus third blessing pronouncement was, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth (Mt 5:5). By definition meekness is strength under control. The meek or humble don’t appear to rule this world, but Jesus is …

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The Spiritually Poor

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus made a dramatic statement, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 5:3). No one desires to be poor, but Jesus is saying that we must be, “poor in spirit to be a part of God’s family. Spiritual poverty is the full …

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Rebuilding Our Minds

Our God is a rebuilder. He takes what the enemy has destroyed and sets about the glorious labor of restoration. Perhaps the most critical thing that needs to be rebuilt is our minds. Scripture tells us that by default we will be conformed to the pattern of this world. We live for ourselves, by our own …

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Life By The Spirit

There are only two ways to live. Either we live by the flesh of humanity or we live by the Spirit of God. The flesh is our default. It is the way we instinctively act and think, pulling us off course with the Lord. The results of fleshly living surround us every day. When you come …

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Rebuilding Relationships

To rebuild our lives we need to rebuild our relation- ships. You know the pattern; people sell us out and as a result, we cut them off. Think of all the grudges between athletes. It’s sad to see teammates separated from each other. Our God desires union. Through Christ we are offered a brand new relationship …

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Rebuilding The Walls

Have the walls of your life ever been completely broken down, by sin and circumstances? There was a time when the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed by enemies, keeping it in a pattern of disrepair and disgrace. But when God directed Nehemiah to begin a prayer campaign from hundreds of miles away, he set …

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Rebuilding Purpose

It’s time to rebuild! Our country has much to rebuild and individually we need to rebuild our purpose. Our default purpose is to serve ourselves, our interests, what’s best for us, no matter the cost. The Book of Matthew is named after a man who collected excessive Roman taxes from his own people, pro ting …

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Rebuilding Worship

Imagine a football team that lost all the copies of it’s playbook and had to make up plays on the y. What about a construction crew that lost the blueprints for the project and continued building anyway? Would you believe there was a time when the nation of Israel got so off track, and woefully …

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A Christmas Word

Christmas can be summed up in one word… HOPE. When God intervened in Human history through the person of Christ, HOPE became tangible, real, and ultimately visible. In the flesh, the full picture of God’s grace could be seen. This living HOPE endures to this day. There is HOPE for this world and HOPE for the …

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Your Potential

You know how the conversation goes. A new acquaintance asks you, “What do you do? and the conversation begins. Did you know that you are more than a vocation? Jobs and careers change. They last for a season. But each one of you was made in the image of the Living God. Your identity is …

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Hold Your Horses

There is one thing that can bring any man or woman down; athletes and executives, pastors and politicians. Even fathers and mothers on your block are susceptible. One temptation, one impulse more than any other has the power to destroy our lives. The battle for sexual morality is a test for everyone. The choices we …

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Eternal Reality

People mention that their sport games seem to go by fast and that they wish they were longer. Once the season starts, in only a snap the mid-point comes around, and then the playoffs arrive. 0-0 records quickly become filled with stats and results. Ever noticed how crowded stadiums populated with screaming fans give way …

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The Perfect Official

Imagine if tonight we made some game play changes based on modern thinking. The lines and boundary markers will be removed. Forget about flags. Just try and get the ball from the other team any way you can. Holding no longer matters, just bring that rusher down to the ground any way you deem fit. …

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Run His Plays

You’re the coach of the team and call a simple handoff to the running back, instead the quarterback drops back to pass and is sacked. As he approaches the sidelines he tells you, “Coach, I didn’t believe your play call was the right one, so I changed it up.What would you do in this situation? …

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Don’t Miss The Snap

In football there is nothing worse than missing a snap. I once watched the ball sail over the head of the quarterback on the opening play of a fourth quarter come- back drive and saw how the entire team was unravelled. The snap is the origination of the play and if the center and the …

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New

New seasons bring new teams and new faces. Each year brings new gear and blank win / loss columns. What would a new beginning, a new direction, or a new start do for you? Did you know the Bible contains the story of Christ Jesus making all things new. What do you need to be …

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Deflated

Visual: Old Basketball “Never-Flat Basketball + Air Needle Have you noticed how life has a way of deflating us? Day in and day out the labor of work, the frustration of bills, the concern for our health, the grind of traffic and vehicle trouble can drain the air right out of us. Add in a …

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Warn Baseball

At the end of the season, ball leagues have a mound of worn, dinged up balls. League protocol is to begin each game with a brand new ball, so these battered and grungy balls have little use anymore. They are dropped into a storage tub under the bleachers and shipped out to other organizations. Thankfully, …

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Teammates

We’ve all heard the adage there is no “I” in team. Team sports require the highest degree of partnership and real-time cooperation between members of the same squad. To deviate from this principle lowers the overall performance of the team. As humans it’s hard to blend our individual dreams and abilities with the broader team. …

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Stat Sheet

Baseball & softball are statistical games with ERA, batting averages, and on-base percentages. We can look at any team’s performance in any given season or any player’s performance in a specific game. Baseball is a good metaphor for life, because we know the Lord keeps all of our stats. Every thought, word, and deed is …

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The Line

After all the religiosity is done, all the talk, singing, and ritual, we must all step up to the line. It’s an eternal line, a demarcation between life & and death, unending joy or lasting sorrow. The question is how do you cross the line? I certainly wouldn’t try to cross the line based on …

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Love

Love at its highest degree is concern for the welfare of another. We love someone when we desire and act for their best. When we truly yearn for the success and wellbeing for each other we manifest the agape love of God. This love is comprehensive, spanning the full range of our needs and desires. …

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Courage

The opposite of fear is courage. Courage EMPOW- ERS us when we need it most. A tide of mighty encouragement swells into a triumphant force. Courage is continuing to pursue righteousness and trust in the plans of God, despite any opposition. It takes courage to be a man of our word. It takes courage to …

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Fear

Fear affects everyone. Fear holds us back, paralyzes us, and keeps us quiet when we should speak up. It can cause us to react in ways that we normally wouldn’t behave. The problem is we fear the wrong things. Our fear of the Lord God is too small and as a result we fear man …

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Outsider

Have you experienced what it’s like to be on the outside? The full understanding that you are without a set of benefits that insiders enjoy is painful. We feel this when we are not welcome in a group or invited to join the team. When we sense the holiness of the God Almighty, in light …

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Hope & Change

It seems everyone is interested in change. The political realm is swirling with this campaign slogan. The bottom line is that we all need hope and we all desire change. Whatever type of change you’re interested in, physical, financial, societal, or relational; the root is spiritual. Because our vertical, the line between God and us, …

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Life Change

We could sum up what Christ’s Church is all about with one phrase – life change! By God’s grace, a man or woman can come in here with any type of past, any religious tradition, any level of Bible knowledge and experience life change through the power of the Gospel. I’ve read the accounts of …

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Rule Of The Game

Every game has rules that denote the boundaries of appropriate play and ensure equitable competition. Without rules there would be no order, and the game would descend into crisis. Do you recognize the moral law, God’s transcendent standards for human behavior? The first commandment directs our attention upward to our Heavenly Father. We are to …

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Average

As a fundraiser, a high school had a men’s volley- ball team that was coached by the female volleyball players. All the baseball, football, and basketball players trotted out to try their hand at the new sport. They were not volleyball players, so skills were aver- age, but effort was high. One guy played outside …

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Making The Team

In the great sport movie, Rudy, we see a man who badly desires to be a part of a certain team. He is willing to do literally anything to play football for Notre Dame; leaving everything he knows behind, sleeping in a shed, and suffering physical beating on the practice team. He’s fueled by the …

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The Tale Of Two Men

Two men came into church one Sunday; one of them a member of the choir, the other a part of the local gang. The choir member stood up front and declared, “Lord, I thank you that I am not one of the bad people, a criminal like that gang banger I saw walking in. Aren’t …

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Pump Fake

With the ball in hand, the quarterback drops back and goes through the throwing motion. But he doesn’t release the ball and instead pitches to a different teammate. Many people pump fake on God, going through the motions of a phony routine. A nice suit and a ritual coupled with a life of willful rebellion. …

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Audible

A play has been called, the offense runs up to the line of scrimmage. But as the quarterback surveys the defense he doesn’t like what he sees; running the same play may bring unfavorable results. Therefore he calls an audible. Our lives before Christ are made up of the same schemes, and predictable offenses; deceiving, …

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The Button Hook

One of the first plays a football receiver learns is the button hook. The mechanics are simple; the receiver runs full speed and the QB launches the ball while you are running. Then you turn completely around to catch the airborne ball before the defensive player can react. We’ve all run full speed into trouble, streaking …

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QB Sneak

One of the most commonly run plays in all levels of football is the quarterback keeper. The one expected to throw becomes the rusher. The one pro- tected, is suddenly vulnerable. In Israel, the man who many thought would be the conquering king was in reality the suffering servant, the Messiah. The Holy One of …

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Blocker

The set is up, the hitter is in the air… spike! But no it’s blocked! Blocking is a key part of volley- ball and the success of every team rests on a defensive game. All the offensive re power in the world is irrelevant if the team cannot withstand the oppositional forces. Middle blockers are …

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Round The Bases

Goal of baseball – Get your teammates all the way around the bases and back home. Goal of the Christian church – get all people, everywhere around the spiritual bases of life and home to heaven! 1st Base: You have been speci cally designed by our loving Creator to be in fellowship with Him! 2nd …

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Hail Mary

When the distance to the goal line is long and time is short, football coaches call a Hail Mary pass. The quarterback is not able to target particular receivers; he just throws deep down eld into the crowd, hop- ing for a miraculous catch. Is that how faith works? Is dealing with God the same …

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Run The Counter

The counter play in football is simple; the entire offense heads in one direction while the running back cuts and heads the opposite way. Do you know that Christianity is really a counter play? The world advises, “Do it on your own.Christ says, “I’ll do it for you.The world suggests, “Advance by domination.Christ says, “Advance …

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Forgiveness Business

God is involved in many different industries; creation, life, and judgment for sure. But there is one enterprise that we see him engaged in throughout The Bible. God is in the business of reconciliation through his son, Jesus Christ. In an unbelievable stance of graciousness, God allows us to bring Him all of our spiritual …

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Never Too Late

Here is one of the most hopeful phrases in the English language, “It’s Never Too Late! Have you heard that deceptive voice bellowing, “It’s too late, you’ve missed your chance! That is a lie. You can have another chance. The most hopeful book in the world – The Bible is filled with people who looked …

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Triple Play

Triple plays are rare jewels to witness. One night, a guy playing shortstop called out to his girlfriend playing second before the pitch and said, “Hey babe let’s turn a triple play. Boom! The ball was hit in a line drive right to him. He quickly pitched to his girlfriend on second, who then threw …

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The Waiting Game

Joseph was the favorite son with a promising future and powerful dreams, who was betrayed by his own brothers. He became a slave in a foreign land, received miraculous favor, and successfully handled temptation. In return for his righteousness he was unjustly punished. He was a forgotten prisoner, later remembered, and elevated because of his …

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Giant Slayer

Daunting opponents can appear massive and larger than life. When David faced off against Goliath, he was taking on a man who exceeded him by two times. The gleaming soldier had double the size, experience, and prowess of the young shepherd boy. It should have been a blowout win for the Philistine champion. Instead it …

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Triple Play

Triple plays are rare jewels to witness. One night, a guy playing shortstop called out to his girlfriend playing second before the pitch and said, “Hey babe let’s turn a triple play.” Boom! The ball was hit in a line drive right to him. He quickly pitched to his girlfriend on second, who then threw to …

Read More…

The Waiting Game

Joseph was the favorite son with a promising future and powerful dreams, who was betrayed by his own brothers. He became a slave in a foreign land, received miraculous favor, and successfully handled temptation. In return for his righteousness he was unjustly punished. He was a forgotten prisoner, later remembered, and elevated because of his …

Read More…