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Time Out: Devotion from Peavy's story

"Not for Men"
by Janet Goreham

“We have this kind of confidence toward God through Christ: not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God. He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

In the first inning of the San Diego game against the Diamondbacks on August 27, 2007, pitcher Jake Peavy became the Padre’s career strikeout leader at age 26 with 1,037 strikeouts. Without a doubt, Jake Peavy, in his sixth season in the league, has the reputation of one of the top pitchers in MLB.

God has blessed hundreds of athletes like Peavy with outstanding talent. In Matthew 25, Jesus describes in a parable how God’s children should use the gifts He has given them. In this case, “talent” refers to a measure of money, but we can also apply the principle to the athletic talents God has given us.

In His description Jesus talks about a man who was about to go on a journey. The man gave his possessions to his servants for safekeeping. To one he gave five talents, to another he gave two talents, and to the third he gave one talent. The servant with the five talents put them to work and earned five more. The man with the two talents earned two more. But, the man with one talent hid it in a hole in the ground. When the man returned and saw what his servants had done with their talents he rejoiced over the two men who had multiplied their share; however, he became upset with the third because he had not invested his talent wisely.    

This scenario is similar to how God expects us to use our athletic talent for Him. Has God given us ability so that we can become consumed with our performance and hunger after glory? When God gives us success, is it so that we can be hoisted on to the shoulders of our fans and paraded around the court or field? The simple answer is no.

Like the man who gave his servants talents with the expectation that they would invest them wisely, God gives us talents expecting that we will invest them wisely. He expects us to invest in things of greater value than what can be seen and touched in this world. When we use our talents for our own glory and satisfaction, it is like burying them in the ground and covering them with dirt, like it says in the parable. God rejoices over an investment that is eternal, one that glorifies Him and shines His light for others to see.

1. What talents or gifts has God given you? How have you invested them?
2. What has earthly value? What has eternal value? Why are things of eternal value important to God?
3. Whether you’re a coach, athlete, student, brother, sister, etc. God has given you a platform. How do you use this platform for His glory?

Matthew 25:14-28
1 Corinthians 10:31
2 Corinthians 4:6

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