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 it cheerfully. – Romans 12: 6-8 In the Christian life, we are never left hanging. For one, our God is faithful to the end, but two, He has given us His Spirit which gives us specific gifts. While this passage is highlighting a few spiritual gifts, the point I want to make is that the purpose of the gift is to be used for the benefit of others. As a matter of fact, any time God gives us a gift whether it be spiritual, [...]
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 the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. - Romans 12:3-5 When we realize God’s mercy and grace for us it not only causes us to worship Him, but it completely changes how we see ourselves and our relationships with others. We no longer treat people based on what they can offer us, but rather we put them above ourselves. Just take a moment and think about the humility of Christ: not only did [...]
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.” – Romans 12:1-2 As athletes we work to earn our place, position and victories. If we never put in the work then we will never receive the reward; our reward is always a product of our work and effort. Well, Jesus flips that reality on its head. The passage above tells us that “…in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice…” Did you catch it? We offer our lives as worship in response to God’s mercy. God doesn’t wait [...]
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 Last week, I challenged your priorities. This week is all about your source. If you have grown up in church or been around for a while, you have probably heard and read verse 9: “Have 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.” But rarely, do we read and think about the importance of verse 8. Anyone can puff out their chest and look within themselves to find [...]
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 clothing), I believe it also has truth we can apply to our athletic endeavors. Too many times we focus on the future, the outcome, the decisions we cannot control. We worry about what might, could or should happen rather than the present moment. The writer of Matthew roots this worry in our priorities. What would happen if you put seeking Jesus above getting better in your sport? What if you prioritized spending time with Him over spending time in the weight room? Athletes, including [...]
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
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.