“As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” — John 17:18
Purpose is a complicated word. Usually, your purpose is dependent on what matters most to you.
To illustrate, let’s take a few minutes to walk around our nearby surroundings and search for one object you can bring back (piece of nature, sports equipment, etc.) that represents something important in your life.
- What did you bring back and what important thing in your life does it represent?
- What aspect of your athletic life matters to you the most and why?
When things aren’t going as planned, it might be hard to stay motivated to push through it all. But when you compete for God, you are playing for a far greater purpose.
It’s a question that all athletes ask themselves at some point in their life: Why do I compete?
Usually, that question comes up when dealing with adversity, and when you face adversity, tangible results like personal achievement, team goals, physical benefits and long-term dreams (such as scholarships or career opportunities) tend to be the default motivation.
- How often do you ask yourself the question, “Why do I compete?”
- What are some tangible results that help you stay motivated as an athlete?
In John 17, Jesus was a few days away from being crucified, buried in a tomb and raised from the dead. He knew He had limited time with His followers. That’s why Jesus spent a lot of His remaining time on earth praying for the disciples and all people who would one day believe and commit their lives to telling the world about Him.
Jesus wanted to make sure they had no question about their greater purpose:
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” — John 17:16–18
Part of loving God is giving Him the glory for anything good you do, and part of loving others is to tell them about Jesus and remind them how to live like Christ:
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:19–20
- How often are you tempted to compete or live for yourself?
- How do the above passages challenge you to compete for a greater purpose?
Wrap-Up (Choose an athlete to read the scriptures below.)
You have been called to compete and live for someone and something greater than yourself. Here are three ways that your greater purpose will manifest itself in your life:
- Greater Glory. Understanding your greater purpose reminds you that the glory goes first and foremost to God!— John 13:31
- Greater Team. Understanding your greater purpose means you will look for ways to share God’s love with others.— John 15:12–13
- Greater Things. Understanding your greater purpose will launch you into a new mission and will exceed your wildest expectations.— John 14:12
Pray this prayer with your athletes:
“Dear Lord, you are so great. We have greater purpose in You. Help us to prioritize what’s important in our lives. Set our eyes on things above and not temporary. In Jesus name, amen.”