Team Sport

With the world’s focus on the Olympics in England, as well as high school, college, and NFL football about to start across the country, sports, specifically team sports, are a mainstay in our culture’s entertainment. Everyone knows, whether it’s a two-person team or eleven on the field, offense and defense are both equally crucial aspects of the game. A team can have an amazing offense, but a weak defense and lose the game. And vice versa. The strongest teams score points on offense and stop points on defense.
God, through His Word, has given us thousands of life principles to live by. Both offense and defense. Here’s some examples . . .

In the area of personal purity:

Offense—Psalm 51:10
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Defense—Psalm 119:37
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Do you see how asking God to create a clean heart and renew your spirit is an offensive move? Taking action. Moving down the field toward the opposition.
Do you see how asking for strength to turn your eyes away from worthless things is a defensive move? Worthless things are in front of me, all around me, so I must turn away. That’s defense. Here’s some more . . .

In the area of relationships:

Offense—Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Defense—Ephesians 4:29a
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up.

In the area of worship:

Offense—Psalm 95:6
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Defense—Hebrews 10:25a
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.

In the area of spiritual growth:
Offense—Psalm 46:10a

"Be still, and know that I am God."
Defense—Ephesians 5:15–16
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

If you have never taught this concept to your students, try it on a Wednesday night or other discipleship meeting. You’ll accomplish two things. First, you’ll be encouraging and engaging them into Scripture. Second, you’ll be teaching them a life-long Bible study method to help them grow spiritually.
Give them a relevant topic to their lives, start a timer, and challenge them to find an offensive and defensive Scripture for that area. You can do this with each student finding his/her own or divide them into teams. When time is up, ask them to share what they found. Use this exercise/activity to be sure they understand the concept.
Isaiah 55:11 says, “That’s how it is with my words. They don’t return to me without doing everything I send them to do.”
God’s Word is alive and can work forever in the lives of your students. Teach them the incredible power available for both offensively growing in their faith and defensively defeating the opposition coming at them daily.