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Sports Bible Verses

What the Bible Tells Us About Athletics

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Coach Giving Speach to Football Players
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There are a number of sports bible verses that tell us about how to be good athletes, and the Christian traits that athletics can instill in each of us. Here are some sports bible verses that give us a proper sense of competition, preparation, winning, losing, and sportsmanship:

Competition

1 Timothy 6:11-12
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 9:25
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. (NIV)

Preparation

1 Peter 1:13-16
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (NIV)

Winning

2 Samuel 23:12
But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
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 a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (NIV)

2 Timothy 2:5
Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules. (NIV)

1 John 5:4b
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (NIV)

Losing

Mark 8:34-38
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (NIV)

Perseverance

Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (NIV)

Philippians 3:12-14
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, 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. (NIV)

Hebrews 12:1
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. (NIV)

Galations 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

Sportsmanship

Philippians 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (NIV)

Proverbs 25:27
It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor. (NIV)

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