“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” — John 3:17
Every athlete has experienced some level of success—something as big as a championship or something as small as a satisfying play. But one thing is for sure: the gifts of those moments are always short-lived just like the athletic gifts that made those moments possible.
- What is your best athletic gift or talent?
- When have you experienced athletic success and how long did the happiness you felt last?
Your athletic ability is a gift, but it can only bring you so much happiness before it’s gone. Thankfully, God has a greater gift that will last forever! Let’s shout and cheer for God’s Greater Gift!
It’s the thing that all competitors dread—a season-ending injury.
Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings experienced that reality at the worst moment possible—midway during her senior season at the University of Tennessee. A torn ACL robbed her of a chance to play in the NCAA tournament and forced her to sit out her first WNBA season with the Indiana Fever.
There was no guarantee that Catchings would recover and that hit her hard. So, she spent the next few months not just rehabbing her knee but working on her relationship with God. The injury was a harsh reminder of Catchings’ temporary gift.
For dedicated athletes, it’s a tough thing to face. But for those who understand that sports are just one aspect of earthly life, rather than the only thing, find a clearer path to obtaining lasting contentment.
- If you’ve ever seen an athlete lose an athletic gift from an injury or circumstance, what did you feel?
- How often do you think about your athletic gifts are only temporary and how does the thought make you feel?
The religious leader named Nicodemus was having a conversation with Jesus late one night. He wanted to understand Jesus’ teachings about light and darkness, life and death, and Heaven and Earth.
Jesus explained to Nicodemus that all of humanity had been born with sin in their hearts and needed to receive a new spirit through Christ in order to go to Heaven and “have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Eternal life means never-ending. It means that even though our bodies might wear out and die one day, we have the greater promise of an amazing, unending life with God. Unlike our short-lived, temporary athletic gifts and earthly lives, the greater gift of Heaven will last forever.
- What comes to mind when you think about that this life is temporary?
- What excites you most about the gift of eternal life?
There is no greater gift than the promise of eternal life through a relationship with Jesus. Here are three more gifts attached to that promise:
- The Gift of Hope. We will always have difficult times in this world, but the greater gift is the knowledge that we have hope in Jesus Christ. —2 Corinthians 4:17–18
- The Gift of Heaven. The good things we experience in this world will lack in comparison to the unimaginable blessings we will experience in our forever home. — 1 Corinthians 2:9
- The Gift of Eternity. We will live forever in God’s presence. There will be nothing greater than that never-ending reality. — Revelation 21:4
Huddle up and shout out, Greater Gift! Then, close in prayer.