A Pre-Game Devotional 

“May His Kingdom come in sports as it is in Heaven” 

I Am What I Am

9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the [...]

February 28th, 2020|0 Comments

God Alone

14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as [...]

February 21st, 2020|0 Comments

Eternal Confidence

3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 4though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! – [...]

February 7th, 2020|0 Comments

Two Houses

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words [...]

January 31st, 2020|0 Comments

First Be Reconciled

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24 Scripture makes clear that we were created to worship God with our entire lives, bringing glory to Him [...]

January 24th, 2020|0 Comments

The Security of Integrity

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” – Proverbs 10:9 This week has been a crazy time in the world of baseball. The Astros, world champions in 2017 and runner-up in 2019, were punished for cheating over the past few seasons. Currently, there are more details coming out that possibly reveal [...]

January 17th, 2020|0 Comments

A New Thing

18“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." One of the best things about a new year is the seemingly fresh start that comes with it. Everyone looks to [...]

January 10th, 2020|0 Comments

The Stains of the Son

1Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. [...]

December 20th, 2019|0 Comments


1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all [...]

December 13th, 2019|0 Comments


10And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” 11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. 12 They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. 13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as [...]

December 6th, 2019|0 Comments

The Love of God

8The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens [...]

November 22nd, 2019|0 Comments

Take Time to Celebrate

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17 This is not how we usually picture God. We don’t imagine Him singing with delight over us, or even smiling at us for [...]

November 15th, 2019|0 Comments

Stay Hydrated

37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” – John 7:37-38 As athletes, we know the importance of staying hydrated before workouts, practices, and [...]

November 8th, 2019|0 Comments

Built Tough

2 From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me. 3 My back is covered with cuts, as if a farmer had plowed long furrows. 4 But the Lord is good; he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly. – Psalm 129:2-4 There is a myth about Christians that has been around for some time: [...]

November 1st, 2019|0 Comments

Praise and Criticism, Pt. 2

“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.” – Proverbs 15:31 Last week we discussed how we shouldn’t reject praise, but redirect it to our good God and the people around us. Now we turn our attention to criticism, which Scripture typically refers to as reproof. If you spend time reading Proverbs, you quickly realize that listening to [...]

October 25th, 2019|0 Comments

Praise and Criticism, Pt. 1

“The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold and each is tested by the praise accorded him.” – Proverbs 27:21 How do Christian athletes appropriately handle praise and criticism? The reality is that each has the ability to take us away from the will of God. Beginning with praise, Proverbs 27:21 highlights a very important point. Basically, if [...]

October 18th, 2019|0 Comments

Paul’s Secret

12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:12-13 We typically use Philippians 4:13 as a claim that God will help us achieve [...]

October 11th, 2019|0 Comments

Radical Humility

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. – Philippians 2:3-4 The verse above seems impossible to apply in the context of sports. It’s one of those passages that doesn’t motivate us pregame or that we use as [...]

October 4th, 2019|0 Comments

Our Defender

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. – Exodus 14:14 The Israelites are at a crossroads in Exodus 14. They have escaped Egypt led by Moses but now find themselves standing in front of the Red Sea with nowhere to turn. All the while, Pharaoh and his army are in pursuit and the people of God can [...]

September 27th, 2019|0 Comments

Temptations in the Wilderness, Pt. 3

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left [...]

September 20th, 2019|0 Comments

Temptations in the Wilderness, Pt. 2

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus [...]

September 13th, 2019|0 Comments

Temptations in the Wilderness, Pt. 1

1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the [...]

September 6th, 2019|0 Comments

Fill in the Blank

 16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:16-17 “I am  _________.” How do you fill in the [...]

August 30th, 2019|0 Comments

CrossRoads: Season Two

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."  – Ecclesiastes 4:12 Welcome to CrossRoads: Season Two! Last season was a great beginning and I was encouraged by the response we heard from athletes, coaches, and parents. This year will look very similar with just one opportunity added! One of the [...]

August 15th, 2019|0 Comments

God Cares

28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 We are near the end [...]

April 26th, 2019|0 Comments

Know Your Who

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own [...]

April 12th, 2019|0 Comments

The Real G.O.A.T.

 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. – Matthew 23:11-12  Some of my most vivid memories of my time playing baseball are those moments where I tasted “humble pie.” One of those moments consisted of me beating my chest after a bases-clearing double, only [...]

March 29th, 2019|0 Comments

The Power of the Gospel

 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. – 1 Corinthians 4:20 We all know a teammate or opponent that talks a big game, but can’t back it up. Off the field, they walk and talk with swagger, but when it comes down to it, their talk is only a cover up to their lack of confidence [...]

March 22nd, 2019|0 Comments

Selfless and Sacrificial Love

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  – 1 John 3:16 Sports provide a great opportunity to practice what we believe. Our games and practices are a setting, similar to a laboratory, where our character and identity are tested [...]

March 15th, 2019|0 Comments

Play with Belief

“Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” – Mark 9:23-24 Recently, I was having a conversation with my dad, a longtime collegiate baseball coach, who said, “Our performance rarely, if ever, exceeds our self-image.” He went on to explain how some of his players struggle in the game [...]

March 8th, 2019|0 Comments

Enjoy the Grind

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4 A common word we like to use in sports is grind. “Keep grinding!”, “Enjoy the grind!”, and “Grind it [...]

March 1st, 2019|0 Comments

A Willing Heart

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 The prophet Samuel was given the task of finding the next king of Israel after Saul. Similar to how [...]

February 22nd, 2019|0 Comments

Active Faith

17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. – James 2:17-19 If you are like me, this [...]

February 15th, 2019|0 Comments


You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. – Psalm 16:11 Recently, I have recognized something about myself. Every time I am about to pray or worship God, I take on this serious and melancholy attitude, confusing those postures with reverence. But, as I look [...]

February 8th, 2019|0 Comments

Know Your Role

17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. – 1 Corinthians 7:17 One of the hopes of CrossRoads is to help Christian athletes play and live burden free—that you would experience joy and confidence instead of disappointment and self-doubt while playing the game you love. Theodore Roosevelt wisely [...]

February 1st, 2019|0 Comments

Victory in Christ

7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. – Psalm 112:7-8 Many of us walk this earth like we’re walking on eggshells, hoping to never make a false step, but feeling like we’re going to fail [...]

January 25th, 2019|0 Comments


A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. – Proverbs 17:17 One of my favorite relationships in the Bible is Paul and Timothy’s. When coming to the end of his ministry, Paul writes letters to Timothy encouraging him in the faith and basically preparing Timothy to take over his ministry. You can only imagine the amount [...]

January 18th, 2019|0 Comments

Be Unshakeable

So, my dear family, be firmly fixed, unshakeable, always full to overflowing with the Lord’s work. In the Lord, as you know, the work you’re doing will not be worthless. – 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Translated by N.T. Wright) Looking back, I would not define myself as “firmly fixed” and “unshakable” during my athletic career. After every game, I immediately checked [...]

January 11th, 2019|0 Comments

God’s Opinion

“Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:6   Whose opinion do you trust the most? Is it your parents or friends? Your coaches or teammates? Maybe your own opinion matters to you the most? Well, Abram (later to be named Abraham) teaches us that God’s opinion is the only one that can [...]

January 4th, 2019|0 Comments

He Must Increase

He must increase, but I must decrease. – John 3:30 Every day, game day or not, we face the challenge of either making our day about ourselves or about Jesus. The way our culture idolizes the individual and sports makes this particularly difficult for athletes. We read a verse like the one above and question its relevance in our lives, [...]

December 14th, 2018|0 Comments

God is Greater

19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. – 1 John 3:19-20   We talked about this before, but our real enemy is not the other team, but the [...]

December 7th, 2018|0 Comments

The Gift of God

“ 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10 The Christmas season is upon us which also means the giving and receiving [...]

November 30th, 2018|0 Comments

Play with Thankfulness

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Anyone else struggle with staying and playing in the present? We have a tendency to get caught up in the "what ifs," the results, and the many things we cannot control. This is why coaches preach the "trust the process" and "one [play, [...]

November 23rd, 2018|0 Comments

The Real Enemy

1O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2 many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” 3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 4 I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy [...]

November 15th, 2018|0 Comments

In View of God’s Mercy, Pt. 3 (Romans 12)

6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do [...]

November 9th, 2018|0 Comments

In View of God’s Mercy, Pt. 2 (Romans 12)

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have [...]

November 2nd, 2018|0 Comments

In View of God’s Mercy, Pt. 1 (Romans 12)

1“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” [...]

October 26th, 2018|0 Comments

Our Source

8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:8-9 [...]

October 19th, 2018|0 Comments

Seek First

33“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:33-34   Although this passage is calling us to trust in God to provide for our basic needs (food, drink, and [...]

October 12th, 2018|0 Comments

You are a Child of God

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. – 1 John 3:1 I can assume most of you have been playing your sport for quite a long time. Even long before you played organized sports, you were a child on the playground or in the backyard playing with [...]

October 5th, 2018|0 Comments

You Are Not Alone Pt. 2

“ 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat [...]

September 28th, 2018|0 Comments

You Are Not Alone Pt. 1

“ 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat [...]

September 21st, 2018|0 Comments

Suit Up in Humility

“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” – 1 Peter 5:5 The jersey of a Christian athlete is stitched with humility. While the lie of the Enemy is for you to put on the jersey of pride and beat your chest to victory, the Word teaches us that it [...]

September 14th, 2018|0 Comments

Let Your Light Shine

"…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." – Matthew 5:16 If you're looking for a mission statement as a Christian athlete, this could be the verse. Here in Matthew's gospel, Jesus is not recommending us to shine our light but calling us to. From the very beginning, God [...]

September 7th, 2018|0 Comments

Perfect Love

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” – 1 John 4:18 There tends to be a variety of emotions that we experience before our games. While there is excitement about playing and the opportunity to compete, there are undoubtedly nerves, fears, [...]

August 31st, 2018|0 Comments


I take it that if you have chosen to sign up for CrossRoads that you are 1) a Christian and 2) an athlete. I would also guess that you find it difficult to balance the two. Some of you may have never found yourself even thinking about your faith when it comes to athletics. Others of you may think the [...]

August 23rd, 2018|0 Comments

Every Friday, game day, you will receive a link to read a short devotional. My goal for the devotional is that it will realign your heart to the right motivation before you play.

About the Author

Case Smith


For those of you I haven’t met, my name is Case Smith. I was born in Starkville, MS, in August 1994, but my dad’s new baseball coaching job moved us to Waco two months later. Being a coach’s kid, sports have been a part of my life since I can remember. My dad has coached collegiate baseball for over 28 years and that means that I was pretty much raised on the field. Growing up, I played most sports before I decided to only play baseball when I got to high school. I achieved one of my greatest dreams when I graduated high school and had the opportunity to play for my dad at the next level. I also can’t talk about my childhood without mentioning my favorite teammate and brother, Ryan. We had our differences growing up, but watching him play quarterback as well as playing baseball alongside him at Midway and Baylor was one of the biggest blessings of my life. Simply put, sports are in my DNA.

The best part about my life growing up was not having a dad who was a coach or my brother being a teammate, but having parents who followed Jesus. I remember them sharing stories of the Bible and praying with me before I went to sleep. I remember going to church and watching them worship God. Finally, I remember jumping into my dad’s arms in our living room and telling him I want to follow Jesus. Without their influence, I would not be who I am today (a sinner saved by grace).

Today, I am married to my sweet wife, Danelle, and serve as the Director of Recreation at First Woodway. For some time now, God has been stirring up a passion to help athletes follow Jesus and my hope is that CrossRoads can be an outlet for that passion.

Go to Top