Second part in our look at lessons we can learn from the World Cup:
#3 – Support
Hebrews 12:13-3: “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 honour beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” In football supporters help keep the team going, giving them encouragement that they believe they can win, shouting supportive chants at them, inspiring them on. And the Bible says that we have a huge crowd of witnesses (other translations say saints) watching us from heaven, urging us on. And we also need to make sure we are surrounded by Christian friends who can support us and encourage us when we are feeling down, when we think we are about to lose.
Also, in football people tend to support a team for one of two reasons – it is their local team, or they think they are going to win. Jesus supports us because He knows we will win if we rely on Him.
#4 – I belong to Jesus
In 2002 Brazil won their 5th world cup. And when they did something pretty class happened. Several of the players took off their shirts to reveal slogans giving glory to God – for example striker Kaka had a t-shirt on that said “I Belong to Jesus”. And then the team got down on the pitch united in pray and praise to God.
In Colossians 3:17 Paul instructs us that “whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” God has given each of us unique talents and abilities. It is up to us to make sure that when we use them we do so as representatives of Jesus, letting the praise go to Him like the Brazil team did, rather than keeping the glory for ourselves. For anything we achieve is only possible because of the abilities God has given us.