Everyday, across the world, millions of people are spending an incredible amount of time, energy, and resources on sports. Athletes and coaches are motivated to invest in competition for many reasons. Motivation can be defined as “the inclination to pursue and persist”. For the Christian athlete and coach, what causes them to “pursue and persist” in competition?
While the world can come up with many ideas to motivate athletes and coaches to compete, the greatest motivating power is found in the Scriptures. The apostle Paul reveals the single, most compelling, motivating force of his life:
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Cor. 5:14-15)
Paul is amazed at Christ’s love for sinners demonstrated by his voluntary death on the cross. This love controlled Paul’s life and motivated him in all he did. A famous missionary said this about the love of Christ. “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” and Isaac Watts in one of his hymns wrote, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”
Paul wrote more about this love in his letter to the Ephesians, saying,
“that you…may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. (Eph. 3:17-19)
Paul prays that believers would be able to grasp the unbelievable love of Christ. Sadly, many believers forget or fail to comprehend this love. We need to be reminded of the truth that while we were once haters of God, he loved us and demonstrated his love by sending “his only Son into the world…to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19).
When we truly grasp this amazing love and grace that Jesus extends to us, it should motivate us to serve, love, and glorify Him in ALL that we do, including sports.Print this Page