“Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life” – JesusREADEphesians 2:8-10REFLECTI will never forget the large tattoo across the back of a young player I coached years ago – “SELF-MADE.” Knowing the heart of this young man, I do not believe he truly understood the claim of this physical stamp on his body. To be self-made is relying on the works of one’s life as the only hope of significance. God has called us to a much greater way of life. He invites us to live by words, not works.When we enter the field of competition, what empowers us to be our best? If we are waiting to produce the works which hold promise of approval, then our confidence merely lies in our works. We are seeking to be made by these works. The apostle Paul says this is a terminal path leading only to comparison and judgment. But, when we hear words of affirmation prior to the battle, we are seeking to be made by words. Building life on the foundation of words leads to life, but seeking to build on the flimsy foundation of works results in eventual catastrophe. (Matthew 7:24-27)What are these foundational words? What is the common need among all of human beings, no matter the race, gender, class, or occupation? Whether we are an elite competitor or average fitness enthisiast, what are the words that have power to create new life?“But God…loved us.” These four words hold the key to transformation. On the heels of a description of our sinfulness, Paul says Christ’s sacrifice proves God still loves us. This love made it possible to create new life, and His intention is to produce the life of works designed from the beginning of time.“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10RESPOND1- What makes it difficult for you to believe an all-powerful, perfect God could love you?2- How does your life fail to reflect this love?3- How has a misunderstanding of God’s love for you affected your athletic performance?4- How have you attempted to be made by your own works?5- Have you accepted these words for your life? If not, why not?