Eagles Basketball Club: Devotional

Tuesday, May 18
Dirty Paws

Dirty Paws
Monday, May 17th, 2010

"'Son,' he said to him, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"
-Luke 15:31-32

I once overheard of a group of coaches discussing what they were going to do with a certain player who had problems following the team rules. He’d had plenty of issues, but the final straw came when they found out he was caught up in drugs. Some of the coaches wanted to kick the young man off the team, but the head coach did not. He justified keeping the young man on the team by telling this story…

“I once had a new puppy,” the head coach said. “It would come into the house and track mud all over the place. My wife was very upset, to say the least. One day, I’d had enough. The dog had to go. But then I started thinking. I realized that I’d really not worked with or taught that puppy much of anything. The reason he was tracking mud in the house was because I had failed to do my job.”

The rest of the coaches listened as he told this story. And as the head coach finished, he related to puppy back to this young player. “Before we turn our backs on this young man, I want us to ask ourselves if we can honestly say that we’ve done everything we can to help him learn how to be a quality young man.”

In Luke 15:11-32, we read “The Parable of the Lost Son.” The lost son is just like the coach’s troubled player and his muddy dog. They all had dirty paws. But even with our filth and sin, Jesus chooses not to give up on us. He continues to love us no matter what we do or how far we fall. And, in life, we have the opportunity to extend the same enduring love to those around us. We don’t have to give up on people when they fall short. Christ will give us the strength and wisdom to know how to keep loving others just as He keeps loving us.

Today, when we see someone who is struggling—maybe a teammate of ours—may we not turn our backs on them just because they have dirty paws.

Tuesday, October 21
"Service before Self"

"The servant hurried to meet her and said, 'Please give me a little water from your jar.' 'Drink, my lord,' she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, 'I'll draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking.'" -Genesis 24:17-19

Becky was the best player on her team. Every one wanted to play like Becky. She was a hard worker, but there was more to her than what people could see. On a road trip, the last freshman selected for the team that year broke her foot during a practice before a game. When they arrived at the hotel that night, Becky carried her teammate's bags to her room and asked her to stay with her. For the rest of the trip, Becky helped this little freshman with everything she needed.

 Abraham was looking for the right woman for his son, Isaac. He sent a servant back to his homeland to find such a person. The servant prayed to find just the right woman and along came Rebekah. Not only did Rebekah give him a drink, but also she took care of his camels. Ten camels that could drink about 20 gallons apiece (about the average amount of Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper most students drink in a day) would take about two hours to satisfy. This was the answer to the servant's prayer. Rebekah was the right one. Rebekah went the extra mile for this servant out of kindness, not duty. The "Rebekah Principle" is simple: go the extra mile for someone today. Help someone who could use a hand.

 Becky continued to care for her young teammate all throughout the trip. Her other teammates could not understand why the top player would serve a freshman, but Becky did not mind. She understood that God calls us to serve, not to be served. Becky did not care what her teammates thought about what she was doing. She lived to serve God and knew that God would want her to help this teammate in need.

 Are you applying the Rebekah Principle in your life today? Or are you applying minimal effort for a maximum return? God wants our ALL for nothing in return. If you apply the Rebekah Principle in your life, the return for your investment will have an eternal

Tuesday, October 21
"For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart." - Matthew 12:34b

In 1998, the Ohio State Buckeyes beat Northwestern 36-10, but personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct tainted the win. OSU's coach at the time, John Cooper, made a point to his number-one ranked team, emphasizing that there is no place in football for trash talking and taunting and that it can be a distraction more than a help. Guard Rob Murphy said, "He got his point across."


Discussing the numerous flags that were thrown during the game, Cooper demanded that the trash-talk behavior stop. Again Murphy said, "I agree. We need to play more and talk less."


"You can have a good, tough, hard-nosed football game without all that stuff," Cooper continued. "I think college football would want to do more to prevent trash talking. It seems like we're more worried about a guy celebrating in the end zone after a touchdown than with what else is going on during the game."


Is there a place in sports for trash talking? I don't think so, and I agree with coach Cooper that it is a distraction.


Jesus said, "For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart" (Matt. 12:34). As Rob Murphy said, "Play more and talk less." Play with the character that's reflective of a heart surrendered to the Lord. It is not our accomplishments that influence others, but our character. Trash talking means we must belittle our opponents in order to build ourselves up as greater and better than them. That type of behavior is both unsportsmanlike and unworthy of a follower of Christ.

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