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(This is a devotional message from our Changed Through Faith App track series, entitled Donuts for Dads-Next Steps.  It is a 4-message devotional series that is a follow-up from our event, but anybody can join in!  Just download our app here and subscribe to the track under "My Tracks". This message series is intended to be done by parent and child together.)

Sacrificing for the Win

On Easter, we celebrate the greatest win that came from the greatest sacrifice of all time: victory over death itself! God gave up His only son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for us, so that we could have eternal life. Jesus obeyed His Father's plan and gave up His life for the forgiveness of our sins, so that we could have a winning relationship with God on earth and in heaven. Jesus died on the cross, but after three days He rose and defeated death. That is what we celebrate on Easter Sunday!

That is the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate win!

When you put others' needs ahead of your own needs, that is called sacrifice or service.

Jesus told his disciples,

"But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28 NLT)

Think about it this way, in a baseball game, you are up to bat in the last inning with no outs. The bases are loaded and the game is tied. Your coach asks you to bunt while the runner from third scores. In other words, the coach asks you to "sacrifice" your turn at bat so that your team can win! That is called a sacrifice bunt. You sacrifice the chance to get a hit for yourself. You sacrifice for the runner so he can move over on the base paths. You sacrifice to help the team win!

There are sacrifices in other sports too...

     -In football, a fullback blocks for the running back so he can get the touchdown.

     -In basketball, you may set a pick or take a charge and sacrifice your body for the good of the team.

     -In soccer, a goalie "lays out" to defend against someone charging at the goal with the ball.

All of these sacrifices put someone else ahead of us. The team becomes more important than me. Victory is the goal.

Off the sports field, God also wants us to sacrifice and serve others and tell them about Jesus. The greatest commandments, Jesus said, are to love God and love others:

"And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NLT)

In life, the ultimate goal is victory through Jesus! We want to live in heaven forever. On earth, we want to live a life that reflects a great relationship with God and Jesus. Help others to be on this winning team too! By serving, sacrificing, and putting others' needs ahead of your needs, you will be loving God and loving others.

Prayer Time: (Dads, you say a line and have your child repeat after you): "Thank you, God, for allowing your Son to die for us." "Thank you, Jesus, for being obedient and dying for us as a sacrifice for our sins." "Thank you Father, for raising Jesus from the dead so that we can live with You in heaven forever!" "Amen!"

Changed Through Faith Action Steps: 1) Identify a "sacrifice" or act of service this week that you see in sports or in life.   2) Do an act of "sacrifice" or act of service this week in sports or in life!

 

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