Grow Deep - The Playbook Edition - Week 3

Week 3: November 17-23

The Mighty Movers

Memory Verse: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

The Olympics are always amazing. Bold and confident athletes from all over the world compete as individuals and as teams representing their countries in awesome events. These athletes imbue the Olympic motto achieving feats beyond limitations to go faster, higher and stronger. It is easy to admire all the proud moments on the winner’s platform, with hands over hearts. Such are the scenes that inspire future generations. But I would suggest that there are shining examples of God’s Mighty Movers in the Olympics that transcend all the pageantry, anthems and medals.

One such event happened in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The second preliminary heat in the women’s 5,000 meter was underway. As 16 Olympians raced around the track, Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand tripped, bringing U.S. runner Abbey D’Agostino tumbling down with her. What happened next captivated the world. D’Agostino stayed and helped Hamblin up, speaking words of encouragement and eliminating any possibility of winning a medal. A short time later, the roles were reversed, and Hamblin helped D’Agostino off the ground. Both runners finished the race way behind the others, but they were met with praise and notoriety.

That experience was a demonstration of faith in action. In interviews following the race, D’Agostino could not wait to speak about her faith in God. Many articles have been written since, highlighting her prayers with believers in Olympic Village and the fact that she had a portion of Ephesians 3:20 (“Now to Him Who is able”) written on her hand during the race. On that day and beyond, she was and is God’s Mighty Mover.

As we read and reflect on the daily readings this week, let us pray for opportunities to become His Mighty Movers by putting our faith into action. Pray to be His lights in the world.

Sunday, November 17

Read: Matthew 7:24-28
We are to conform to Jesus by putting into practice in our lives the wisdom of what He has taught us in His Word. Then our house, our lives and our hearts will be built on a firm foundation.
Reflect: How will you put Jesus’ words into action today? How will you strengthen your foundation? How does that include serving others?

Monday, November 18
Read: Deuteronomy 4:39-40
Moses reminds his people of the wonders of God and that He has given them a great land as their inheritance. They are to acknowledge the Lord and be obedient to His laws and statutes.
Reflect: The Lord has blessed us bountifully as well. Take time to reflect on those blessings. Pray and give God your thanks and praise today. How does the practice of praise advance the work of God?

Tuesday, November 19

Read: Romans 10:14-17
Paul wonders why the Jewish people have not accepted the truth of the Gospel. First, it must be proclaimed by those sent to proclaim it. Second, it must be received. Those who hear must listen and believe.
Reflect: Pray for the Lord’s direction and for opportunities to share the Gospel through word and deed.

Wednesday, November 20
Read: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Paul encourages his readers to persevere with all of their strength and be disciplined in training so as to win the race of faith.
Reflect: Our daily activities are like a race for which we must be prepared. What ways could you train yourself to prepare in the race of faith? How could you help others do the same? How can we lift each other up in the race?

Thursday, November 21

Read: James 5:13-19
James encourages his readers to pray with faith. Every circumstance of life is a call to pray. Prayer draws on the power of our infinite and powerful God. Even those who are far from God can be saved. Salvation is offered to all who believe.
Reflect: To whom could you reach out today? For whom could you pray? Set aside time this week to pray for that person daily.

Friday, November 22

Read: Psalm 96:1-10
The Lord is worthy; share His message in all the world and among all the people. Be bold and confident.
Reflect: The Lord reigns above all. Give thanks to Him. Pray a victorious prayer of praise today as one who believes. Call or email one person today to engage in a spiritual conversation.

Saturday, November 23

Read: Philippians 2:1-11
Paul exhorts his readers to act for the benefit of others. He encourages them to be compassionate and to act on that compassion by serving their neighbors in need. He calls them to act in unity, humility and love toward others in the same way Jesus did.
Reflect: Who could you serve today? Which of your neighbors is in need? Specifically, how can you serve him or her? Don’t just think about it … do it today!