In week one of the 2023 winter Doing Sports God’s Way study, we dug into the foundation of what Doing Sports God’s Way is and why it matters. The natural place to start is in God’s word.
DSGW begins with the Gospel. God created us to be with Him. Our sins separate us from God. Sins cannot be removed by good deeds. Paying the price for our sins, Jesus died and rose again. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Life that is eternal begins now and lasts forever. In Acts 2, Peter explains to the people who Jesus is, and that the one who the people crucified was the Messiah, sent to save people from their sins. When the people heard Peter, the Bible says they were cut to the heart and asked him, “What then shall we do?” Peter responds with verse 38, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” DSGW begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and surrender our lives to him, we receive the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit working in us, we cannot do sports, or any part of life, God’s way.
Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.” This verse has two major building blocks for DSGW. First, the phrase, “whatever you do” includes sports, as well as every other area of our lives. There is no area of our life that is separated from God. Nothing is off limits to him. We often separate our faith from certain areas of our life and sports is a prime example. An example of the normal way of life versus a Colossians 3:23 way of life is shown below.
The second building block from Colossians 3:23 is that we see there are two ways to do anything that we do in our lives: man’s way or God’s way. Man’s way focuses on results, is our natural tendency and relies on our own strength. In the Bible, in Matthew chapter 5, we see examples when Jesus contrasts man’s way versus God’s way. For example, in verse 43-45 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Jesus is interested in our heart and our attitudes, not just our behavior. God’s way requires a conscious choice on our part and is only possible when we rely on the Holy Spirit and allow Him to live through us. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”
The final foundational aspect of DSGW that we talked about was To, By, For. If you want to sum up what DSGW is, it is To, By, For. According TO the Word of God. BY the power of God. FOR the glory of God. 1 Peter 4:10-11 say this: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do it as speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Christ Jesus. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
Next week, we will read through week 1 of the DSGW Coaches Edition devotional titled, The Call.