Religion in Sports

     Most likely, you are a sports fan like us. You have your favorite team(s) and those that you dislike. I am a Miami Dolphins fan to the core...thank you for your sympathy. I also love the Miami Marlins and the Orlando Magic...really I am okay. All of my teams are currently hard to watch due to their management decisions and loss records BUT even in game losing situations, these players stand on a HUGE platform. A platform that can be used to show the Love and Strength of our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. 

     January 8, 2009...Florida Gators vs Oklahoma Sooners in the BCS National Championship game. 26.8 million people watched this game live. Talk about a huge platform that can be used for God! Highly popular Gators Quarterback Tim Tebow puts on eye black (the black strip under the eyes to help reduce glare) with one of the greatest messages. The right eye was the name "John" and under the left eye was "3:16". One athlete used his platform to tell the world that God sent his son Jesus to save us which prompted 94 million internet searches. 94 million! 

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

     Do you know, a year later the NCAA passed a rule, banning all messages on eye blacks which became known as the "Tim Tebow Rule"? Luckily, Tebow found other ways to display God to the world using his sports platform.

     Another popular athlete who is not afraid to display his religion is NBA star Steph Curry. Curry uses his platform by  writing his favorite bible verse on his shoes. When asked about the 4:13 stamp on his shoes, this is what Curry had to say:
“It represents a Bible verse I wear on my shoe. Philippians 4:13. It says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ It’s also my mantra, how I get up for games and why I play the way I do." Steph Curry
     Steph Curry spreads this message on game day AND when ever someone purchases his Under Armor shoes. Whenever you purchase his shoes, this bible verse can be found on the inside tongue of the shoe
     One of my favorite players, Dwight Howard, once used his platform at the Slam Dunk Contest to promote God to the world. The former Orlando Magic Center performed a one handed dunk while slapping a sticker to the backboard at the same time. The sticker had a picture of him laughing, his initials, and the best part, the phrase "All things through Christ." Howard used this moment to tell the world that:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
     There are thousands of stories of coaches and players using bible verses to empower one another in their game speeches, strengthening them on the road and practices. Stories where players leaned on prayer to make it through a situation like NBA star Kyle Korver. Korver worried he would not get drafted into the NBA and decided to lean on God using Proverbs 3:5-6.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
     Kyle Korver stated he prayed this verse 20 times a day to God. He was eventually drafted into the NBA and became  one of the best long distance shooters in the game.
     I really wish that our media would cover stories more like this each day. I have read a lot of stories within the bible app about the struggles players' have faced and how God helped them through, but we never hear a word of it on the major networks.
     When I witness or read about player's using their stage to display God's Love and Strength, it makes me appreciate them more as a person. Now, me and you might not share the same size platform as these athletes, but nonetheless, we need to use our platform to promote God and Jesus. Be that symbol that shows the world that Jesus is the Christ who died for our sins. Let God's light shine bright in you so that the world can see. You won't be able to help everyone discover Jesus, BUT feel good knowing that for each person you do help, you are helping them find Jesus and that provides them everlasting life in Heaven!
     What are some ways you can use your platform to promote God and to spread His Word? Share in the comments below or on instagram @christianpalsblog. We would love to hear back from our readers!

Ken is a blogger at Christian Pals Blog. He enjoys anything creative and playing golf.
Proud father, husband, and servant of God.

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