Philippians Sample


When Things Are Unfair: Fouls and Penalties

Philippians 1:12-13, 18, Romans 8:28

Name some basketball fouls. (blocking, charging, elbowing, holding, list others) Why is there a penalty for fouls? (to keep one player from getting an unfair advantage over another player, to keep the game fair.) The referee calls a foul when a player unfairly keeps another player from moving or scoring. The fouled player may be given the ball out of bounds or awarded 2 free throws. If a player gets more than 5 fouls, he or she is removed from the game. Paul knew what it is like to be treated unfairly. People tried to keep him from doing what God wanted him to do. Let’s see what Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians.


What has happened to me has really helped spread the good news.
One thing has become clear. I am being held by chains because of my stand for Christ

Philippians 1:12b-13a


Paul was in jail for telling people about Jesus. Was that fair? (No) People tried to keep Paul from sharing the good news of Jesus. But it didn’t work. It actually helped. God took something that was bad (Paul being in prison) and made it into something good. God used it to help spread the good news of Jesus. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Do you think Paul loved God? (yes) How do you know? (Because Paul wanted to tell everyone about God’s son, Jesus.) Paul also said, “Christ is being preached about. That makes me very glad.” Philippians 1:18b Spreading the good news of Jesus gave Paul joy, even if it meant he had to be in prison for a while.


What are some unfair things that happen to you? (a player fouls you on the court, someone cuts in front of you in line, your teacher forgets to check your homework, the snack machine is broken and takes your money without giving you a snack) How can you have joy when things are unfair? (Remember that even though things seem bad at the moment, you can be sure God is in control and everything is going to turn out alright. You can thank God that he is always with you.



Heavenly Father, you can use things that seem unfair for good.
Help us find joy in trusting you that everything will be alright. 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

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