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Youth
Devotional Superbowl
Christians

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While you might not think of your


Christian life as a football game, the
Bible does use sports to teach about
spiritual truths. In Biblical times they
might not have had American
football games or superbowls but
they did have athletic competitions.
The sports may be different, but
you'll find some things in common
with American football if you read
the scriptures carefully. You'll find
running, a prize, winning and losing,
competition, training, goals, fighting
or struggle, opposition, spectators,
obstacles and hindrances, focus and
rules. Even so, there tons of lessons
we can learn from football.
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Its going to be Superbowl


Sunday this weekend and
were sure your youth are
excited to be watching the
game. Why not make it an
opportunity to share
something about how the
game relates to their spiritual
lives? Even if you dont watch
football, the lesson is
applicable to most sports. Have
a great weekend!

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An Illustration

While you might not think of your


Christian life as a football game,
the Bible does use sports to teach
about spiritual truths. In Biblical
times they might not have had
American football games or
superbowls but they did have
athletic competitions.

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In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul


writes, Do you not know that in a
race all the runners run, but only
one gets the prize? Run in such a
way as to get the prize. Everyone
who competes in the games goes
into strict training. They do it to get
a crown that will not last, but we do
it to get a crown that will last
forever. Therefore I do not run like
someone running aimlessly; I do not
fight like a boxer beating the air. No,
I strike a blow to my body and make
it my slave so that after I have
preached to others, I myself will not
be disqualified for the prize.

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In Hebrews 12:1-2 we read,


Therefore, since we are
surrounded by such a great cloud
of witnesses, let us throw off
everything that hinders and the
sin that so easily entangles. And
let us run with perseverance the
race marked out for us, fixing our
eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and
perfecter of faith. For the joy set
before him he endured the cross,
scorning its shame, and sat down
at the right hand of the throne of
God.

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In Philippians 3:12-14 Paul says,


Not that I have already obtained
all this, or have already arrived at
my goal, but I press on to take hold
of that for which Christ Jesus took
hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I
do not consider myself yet to have
taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and
straining toward what is ahead, I
press on toward the goal to win
the prize for which God has called
me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

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Similarly, if anyone competes as an


athlete, he does not receive the
victors crown unless he competes
according to the rules. 2 Timothy
2:5
The sports may be different, but
youll find some things in common
with American football if you read
the verses carefully. Youll find
running, a prize, winning and losing,
competition, training, goals, fighting
or struggle, opposition, spectators,
obstacles and hindrances, focus and
rules. Even so, there tons of lessons
we can learn from football.

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Take It to the Next Level


COMPETITION is part of the Game
By nature, sports are a competition.
But to compete you must be in the
game. Just as a coach chooses players
to be in the football game, God has
chosen us. Our competitor is focused
on our defeat (1 Peter 5:8). But we also
compete against ourselves. And it is
sad to say, but just like in real life
football games, most of the people in
the stadium sit in the stands. Then
there are those who are on the team,
but sit in the bench. Most of us would
prefer rest on the bench (or pew) and
observe the game both with
encouragement and more often with
criticism about how others are playing
on the field.
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But God doesnt call us to be


spectators, but participants. Our field
is the world (Mat. 13:38), and our
goal is to win it for Jesus Christ. Sure,
some will have a special call to play a
bigger role, but everyone is called
onto the field to play. Even if you may
not have a key role a particular play,
you must still be ready at a moments
notice to dash onto the field and play
your part when the coach calls your
number to be on the field. You must
clearly know your position, train, and
practice your plays to be best
prepared for that moment when you
might be called upon to make a
difference in the game (1 Peter 3:15,
2 Timothy 4:1-5).
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There are RULES to the Game


The football field is laid out in ten
yard increments, has boundaries,
and there are rules to the game.
The boundaries are there to keep
us in the game. The 10 yard
markers are there not as the
object, but as a point of reference
as we move toward the goal. If
they werent there, we wouldnt
know if we were heading in the
right direction or running to the
wrong goal. Gods laws and the 10
commandments function in much
the same way.

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They keep us in the game and


give us points of reference for
gaining or losing of ground.
Violating the rules results in
penalties and may even take us
out of the game for a while.
There are turnovers and
fumbles as well. Yet when we
compete according to the rules,
and are victorious in our efforts,
we will receive a prize (1
Corinthians 9:24-27).

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Our TIME on the field is limited


The clock is counting down. The
game of football is played in four
quarters with a set time limit. The
wise player, especially the
quarterback, will keep his eye on
the clock and make the most of
his time. The same is true for us
as Christians, but unlike the game
on the football field, we cant see
the clock. We dont know how
much time is left. This makes it
even more important for us to
value our time and make the most
of it.

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The Bible commands us to


redeem the time, to make the
most of every opportunity
(Ephesians 5:16) rather than
waste it. In fact, if you think about
the world today there is not much
time left on the clock. In fact, its
already the fourth quarter, down
to the two minute warning, and
now its up to us to play our part
win another one for the coach.
Things may seem dire. But in life,
just like in football, nothing is
impossible, everything can
happen. You should not slack or
give up until the referee blows his
whistle and declares the Victor.
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TRAINING is essential for Victory


In football there is an in season and an
off season. During the off season the
team works on the fundamentals to get
ready for the big games during football
season. They train for the big games
ahead. For physical training is of some
value, but godliness has value for all
things, holding promise for both the
present life and the life to come. 2
Timothy 4:8 Be ready in season and in
the off season 2 Timothy 4:2. There is
a season and a time to EVERY purpose
under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1-11.
There are times in our Christian walk
when we experience seasons of rest.
Theyre not for us to be idle, but to
prepare ourselves spiritually, to grow, to
draw closer to God.
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GEAR up for the Game


In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul gives the
team the pre-game pep talk and
reminds us to check our football
gear. Hes talking about gearing up
for battle, but football players also
gear up for the game. If hed been
thinking about football he might
have phrased it this way, Finally, be
strong in the Lord and in his mighty
power. Put on the uniform, so that
you can take your stand against the
opposing team Therefore put on
all of your gear so that when the
game day comes, you may be able
to stand your ground, and after you
have done everything, to stand.
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Stand firm then, with the belt of


truth buckled around your waist,
with the shoulder pads of
righteousness in place, and with
your feet fitted with the shoes of
readiness that comes from the
gospel of peace. In addition to all
this, take up the face mask of faith,
with which you can conquer all the
opponents plays. Take the helmet
of salvation and the sword of the
Spirit, your playbook, which is the
word of God. Lets all commit the
game to God as we kneel for a
locker room prayer, that we might
prove victorious in this game.

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We strive for the GOAL


It is not enough to simply be in the
game. It is not enough to simply
overcome the enemy. Out goal is to
score one for the team. And
another one. And another one.
Touchdown after Touchdown. In
life, the goal may seem at the far
end of the field. It can be difficult
to keep moving forward. It may
seem that every time you run a
play you get knocked down.
Sometimes you may even get
sacked. The solution is not to focus
on where you have come from, but
where you are going. Press on
toward the Goal.
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Philippians 3:14 And while


touchdowns are great, as Christians
our goal is to do more than simply
score, but to be the player the Head
Coach has chosen us to be. We must
be always moving forward, never
fumbling the ball, and always
gaining new ground. If we do
stumble and fumble, we are to
recover the ball quickly and press
onward. If we step out of bounds, or
get the wind knocked out of us, we
must get back in the game and focus
on the Coach. And even if you are
tackled for a loss, When you are
focused on Him, and run the plays
He calls, youll find yourself moving
toward the goal.
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We dont play alone, but play as


part of a TEAM
Football is a team sport. You dont
win it alone. When the team is
working in harmony under the
direction of the coach things will
happen. Theres are star players, but
the star players cannot function
without the core team. They need
blockers, the need linemen to open
up opportunities in the defenses.
There is an offensive team, a kickoff
team, a team of receivers, and a
defensive team and each are critical
to a win for the team. There is no
individual victory, only the victory of
the team.
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Only when all players, from the


starting quarterback, the receivers,
the linemen and the person playing
his part in even the smallest
position work together, does the
team run a successful play.
Likewise, every believer has a
unique role and a part to play in the
Kingdom of God (1 Cor 12:4-6; 1220)
The Victors receive a PRIZE.
Its not Super Bowl rings, but the
crown of eternal life Christ that we
seek. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

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Make it Practical
Are you in the game?
No one in the crowd ever gains a
yard on the field. No one in the
crowd ever adds a single point to the
scoreboard. The game is played and
won by the players on the field, and
not by anyone else. Are you in the
game or a spectator? Just being a
Christian isnt enough. You are called
to be on the playing field, not in the
stands or on the sidelines. Are you
on the field playing the game and
gaining ground for Jesus Christ or are
you merely watching the game? The
clock is ticking away, and time is
running out. Get in the game before
you lose your chance forever!
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Scripture References
Do you not know that in a race all
the runners run, but only one gets
the prize? Run in such a way as to
get the prize. Everyone who
competes in the games goes into
strict training. They do it to get a
crown that will not last, but we do it
to get a crown that will last forever.
Therefore I do not run like someone
running aimlessly; I do not fight like
a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a
blow to my body and make it my
slave so that after I have preached
to others, I myself will not be
disqualified for the prize.
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
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Therefore, since we are


surrounded by such a great cloud
of witnesses, let us throw off
everything that hinders and the
sin that so easily entangles. And
let us run with perseverance the
race marked out for us, fixing our
eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and
perfecter of faith. For the joy set
before him he endured the cross,
scorning its shame, and sat down
at the right hand of the throne of
God.
- Hebrews 12:1-2

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Not that I have already obtained


all this, or have already arrived at
my goal, but I press on to take
hold of that for which Christ Jesus
took hold of me. Brothers and
sisters, I do not consider myself
yet to have taken hold of it. But
one thing I do: Forgetting what is
behind and straining toward what
is ahead, I press on toward the
goal to win the prize for which
God has called me heavenward in
Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 3:12-14

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Similarly, anyone who


competes as an athlete does not
receive the victors crown except
by competing according to the
rules.
- 2 Timothy 2:5
Be alert and of sober mind.
Your enemy the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion looking
for someone to devour.
- 1 Peter 5:8

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But in your hearts revere Christ as


Lord. Always be prepared to give an
answer to everyone who asks you
to give the reason for the hope that
you have. But do this with
gentleness and respect.
- 1 Peter 3:15
The field is the world, and the
good seed stands for the people of
the kingdom. The weeds are the
people of the evil one.
- Matthew 13:38

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In the presence of God and of Christ


Jesus, who will judge the living and the
dead, and in view of his appearing and
his kingdom, I give you this charge:
Preach the word; be prepared in season
and out of season; correct, rebuke and
encouragewith great patience and
careful instruction. For the time will
come when people will not put up with
sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their
own desires, they will gather around
them a great number of teachers to say
what their itching ears want to hear.
They will turn their ears away from the
truth and turn aside to myths. But you,
keep your head in all situations, endure
hardship, do the work of an evangelist,
discharge all the duties of your ministry.
- 2 Timothy 4:1-5
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Making the most of every


opportunity, because the days are
evil.
- Ephesians 5:16
There is a time for everything, and a
season for every activity under the
heavens: a time to be born and a time
to die, a time to plant and a time to
uproot, a time to kill and a time to
heal, a time to tear down and a time
to build, a time to weep and a time to
laugh, a time to mourn and a time to
dance, a time to scatter stones and a
time to gather them, a time to
embrace and a time to refrain from
embracing, a time to search and a
time to give up, a time to keep and a
time to throw away
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a time to tear and a time to mend,


a time to be silent and a time to
speak, a time to love and a time to
hate, a time for war and a time for
peace. What do workers gain from
their toil? I have seen the burden
God has laid on the human race. He
has made everything beautiful in its
time. He has also set eternity in the
human heart; yet no one can
fathom what God has done from
beginning to end.
- Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

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Finally, be strong in the Lord and


in his mighty power. Put on the full
armor of God, so that you can take
your stand against the devils
schemes. For our struggle is not
against flesh and blood, but
against the rulers, against the
authorities, against the powers of
this dark world and against the
spiritual forces of evil in the
heavenly realms. Therefore put on
the full armor of God, so that
when the day of evil comes, you
may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done
everything, to stand.

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Stand firm then, with the belt of


truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of
righteousness in place, and with
your feet fitted with the readiness
that comes from the gospel of
peace. In addition to all this, take up
the shield of faith, with which you
can extinguish all the flaming arrows
of the evil one. Take the helmet of
salvation and the sword of the
Spirit, which is the word of God. And
pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and
requests. With this in mind, be alert
and always keep on praying for all
the Lords people.
- Ephesians 6:10-18
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I press on toward the goal to


win the prize for which God has
called me heavenward in Christ
Jesus.
- Philippians 3:14
There are different kinds of
gifts, but the same Spirit
distributes them. There are
different kinds of service, but the
same Lord. There are different
kinds of working, but in all of
them and in everyone it is the
same God at work.
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

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Just as a body, though one, has


many parts, but all its many parts
form one body, so it is with Christ.
For we were all baptized by[c] one
Spirit so as to form one body
whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or
freeand we were all given the
one Spirit to drink. Even so the
body is not made up of one part
but of many. Now if the foot
should say, Because I am not a
hand, I do not belong to the body,
it would not for that reason stop
being part of the body.

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And if the ear should say,


Because I am not an eye, I do not
belong to the body, it would not
for that reason stop being part of
the body. If the whole body were
an eye, where would the sense of
hearing be? If the whole body
were an ear, where would the
sense of smell be? But in fact God
has placed the parts in the body,
every one of them, just as he
wanted them to be. If they were
all one part, where would the
body be? As it is, there are many
parts, but one body.
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-20

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I have fought the good fight, I have


finished the race, I have kept the
faith. Now there is in store for me
the crown of righteousness, which
the Lord, the righteous Judge, will
award to me on that dayand not
only to me, but also to all who have
longed for his appearing.
- 2 Timothy 4:7-8

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Creative Object Lessons


MORE IDEAS? See Creative Object Lessons
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need to know when planning your very own
object lessons. It contains 90 fully developed
object lesson ideas and another 200 object
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and Names / Descriptions of God.
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