James Sample


Live Ball, Dead Ball

James 2:15-17, John 13:35

What is a “live ball”? What is a “dead ball”? The ball becomes “live” when all players are ready and the umpire calls “play”. The ball becomes “dead” when the umpire calls “time” or one of several actions on the field occur such as a balk, overthrow, interference, home run, or other fair ball hit out of the playing field. When the ball is “dead”, no runner can advance or be put out. (MLB Rule 5.02)

Austin went outside to mow the lawn Saturday afternoon. He noticed the U-Haul truck parked across the street. He guessed the new neighbors were moving in today. He fired up the mower and started his chore. Several minutes later he noticed what was probably the husband and his wife struggling to move a heavy dresser off the truck. They had to stop every few feet to set it down and rest. “It’s going to take them forever to unload the truck at that pace,” thought Austin. His thoughts quickly shifted to getting his chore done so he could go hang out with his buddy, Ryan. When he finished mowing and trimming the lawn, he looked across the street again. There sat the dresser.


Suppose a brother or sister has no clothes or food. Suppose one of you says to them, “Go. I hope everything turns out fine for you. Keep warm. Eat well.” And you do nothing about what they really need. Then what good have you done? It is the same with faith. If it doesn’t cause us to do something, it’s dead.

James 2:15-17


What need do the new neighbors across the street have? (they need help moving the heavy dresser) James asks us to imagine someone who is hungry. What do they they need? (food) James asks us to imagine someone who is cold. What do they need? (warm clothes) People who believe in Jesus should want to help when they recognize someone has a need. When they do this, we can see their faith is alive, like a “live ball” in play—active and moving. If we don’t see a Christian caring for others, we might think their faith is dead, like a “dead ball”—out of play and without advancement.


How do we show our faith is alive, active, and moving? Jesus said, “If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.” John 13:35  We show our love for Jesus by showing love to others. People should be able to see God’s love working through us. What should Austin do? (offer to help the neighbors) What good things can you do for others to show your faith is alive?




Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us and moving to meet our needs. Help us to love like you.
Help us notice needs that people have and do whatever we can to meet them. We pray that others
will see our faith is active, alive and growing by the good things we do. Amen.

Why Use Team Sports Devotions?


Engage players with a relatable story or question.
Encourage them to ponder the Bible verse and what it would look like on the court/field or in their daily life.
Challenge players to take action demonstrating their faith in real ways.
Use the prayer suggestion, your own prayer, or ask for a volunteer to pray to close the devotion.



Dear Team Sports Devotions,

I coach middle school basketball and cannot begin to thank you enough for these devotions. They are very well done. You have the right mix of current basketball players and history that draws the boys into the discussion from the beginning, and then you make it very relatable to the scriptures. READ MORE

Don't just take our word for it,
See what coaches have to say...

Please follow & like us :)