“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
Let’s pair up and ask each other the following questions:
1. What do you love most about playing sports?
2. Who is someone in your life that you really love and why?
As your coach, I give my time for this team because I love to coach and I love to see each of you improve as athletes and, more importantly, grow as people.
I’m not the only one who loves being a part of your lives. You have family, friends, teachers, and spiritual leaders who also love you and want to see you succeed and want to help you make a difference in the world.
Even on this team, I want you to love each other as teammates, as comrades on the court. Without your teammates, you couldn’t succeed on your own in this sport. But even though the love we have from the people in our lives is important and necessary, it cannot compare to the love God has for us.
Who here has heard that God loves you? What do you think His love is like? (pause for a few answers)?
Whether you’ve heard it yet or not, let me emphasize the point of our Huddle time today: God loves you.
But it’s not just any kind of love. It’s unconditional.
Let me point it out again: God’s love for you is unconditional. If you don’t know what unconditional means it’s basically that God, your heavenly Father, will always love you for exactly who you are. That’s right, the Creator of the universe and the One who made you in His image loves you, no matter what. This means even when you make mistakes and even when you fail.
The best people in your life will try to love you as best as they can, but even the most important person in your life will fall short in loving you compared to God.
Let me take some time to explain why this is.
Remember, God loves each of us, unconditionally, even though none of us deserve to be loved by Him. The reason we don’t deserve to be loved is because each one of us misses the mark of God’s standard. Each of us has sin in our hearts.
Who knows what sin is (pause for a few answers)?
In the Bible, we read that, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” — Romans 3:23
Sin happens when we disobey God and do things that He doesn’t want us to do—things that aren’t good for us and take us away from His purpose for our lives.
Would you believe me if I told you that you can sin every day, even multiple times a day?
It’s true. Unfortunately, it’s in our human nature. But here’s the good news: we serve a God that loves us so much that He won’t let us suffer the consequences of our mistakes. Instead, he gives us a gift.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What is the best gift you’ve ever been given (pause for a few answers)?
Try to think back to what we discussed during our first week. I told you that because God is a wise and loving heavenly Father, He knew we needed a savior in advance. And by sending His Son Jesus, we get to experience an ever-lasting relationship with God.
Romans 6:23 underlines this concept for us. Let’s read it again: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s gift to us is the best we could ever hope for: an eternal life with Him. And it’s free! How awesome is that?
Before we close in prayer today, I want to ask a final question:
I’m so glad that God loved me enough to give me eternal life. Are you (pause for answers)? Before you leave the gym today, tell one person that God loves you.
Let’s listen as we close in prayer:
“Dear God, thank You for giving us Your great love. Thank You for giving us the free gift of eternal life through Jesus. Amen.”