Top 10 Bible Verses For Athletes
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Top 10 Bible Verses For Athletes

You may be under the impression that athletics began somewhere in Greece. However, the Bible speaks of athletes throughout its pages; to mention a few noted athletes throughout the Bible were: David, a sheepherder who became a King; God gave Samson great strength because of the promise of Sampson’s mother that she would never cut his hair. Elijah, a 9th-century prophet, in God’s eyes, was in the same ranks as Moses; Elijah also aided in maintaining Yahweh’s (Jesus’) newborn church; God also considered Paul, Peter, and Jesus Himself athletes because of all their workings with the teachings of these special people. Those mentioned here used their athletic abilities to overcome challenges in their paths and further God’s commands to them.

In ancient times the most prevalent athletics consisted of boxing, endurance running, and wrestling. The most important part of their training was to focus on what they were training for; the athlete must have a focused building of the body and muscle structure; they may not have been known as an “athlete” at the time, but nonetheless, they were competing against others to win the Crowns of God. These games began as fun fracas between brothers and friends; as time passed, they became a test of endurance and strength, then into games that were also meant for entertainment.    

Bible verses for athletes

10 Bible Verses For Athletes

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

Psalm 32:8

I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instruction; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life. 

Proverbs 4:11-13

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet, stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

Proverbs 4:25-27

I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

NOTE: Throughout these scriptures, you can see how God is teaching young men what it is to have strength, endurance, and stamina to go that extra mile. What they didn’t understand, God was not training them to be entertainers such as they are in today’s world; rather He was training them to become warriors in His precious Heavenly Army.

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

NOTE: The above scripture shows us that the actual “race” you are running is for that place in the everlasting life of Jesus. You are running for your life. That forever life was spent with Jesus in His heaven. That is the reason the scripture says: “They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step.

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Philippians 3:12-14

NOTE: “…focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules.  

2 Timothy 2:3-5

Therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured
From sinful people, then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. (Emphasis added)

Hebrews 12:1-4

NOTE: The emphasis was added to this scripture due to its profound meaning; first, it’s telling you to get rid of the sin you have carried around with you; give that sin to Jesus to forgive and never remember again; then you can begin living a life of honoring God, your Father and Jesus, your Holy Savior; or you can begin running the race for His forgiveness through His grace and mercy.

For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterword there will be a peaceful of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

Hebrews 12:10-13


As you can see, there have been athletes throughout the ages; the beginning was simple scuffling between brothers and friends; since the times of Jesus, athletics has become a multimillion-dollar business. Today’s athletes earn millions of dollars yearly, a far cry from the simple athletics of old. It seems that this earth has been steadily progressing toward a matter of money. It isn’t considered worthwhile if there isn’t an absorbent amount of money involved. I’m sure everyone understands that these games have a cost, but the entire industry is now based solely on money. How sad that athletics, from the time Jesus walked the earth until now, have gone from entertainment to a total money-oriented business.

When you find you want to give your life to Jesus, go to the Peace With God website.

Thank you for reading our list of Bible verses for athletes.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.