Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne before the Lamb.” – Revelation 7:9

From Every Nation

Thursday marks the beginning of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as host Russia will take on Saudi Arabia. Although the United States will not field a team in the tournament this year, 32 other national teams from every corner of the world will take part in the greatest spectacle the sport of soccer has to offer.

For one month every four years, the best soccer players gather in one tournament with national pride on the line. The action inside Russia’s 12 World Cup venues will no doubt electrify and awe those fans fortunate enough to attend. But have you ever considered what the atmosphere outside a World Cup stadium must be like?

You’d see soccer fans from around the world expressing themselves and their cultures by what they eat, how they interact and how they cheer on their home countries. Yet despite their differences, all fans are brought to the World Cup by a shared passion for the Beautiful Game.

In Revelation 7, we find another large group of people gathered together. Only this time, they come not just from 32 countries but from “all tribes and peoples and languages.” And their reason for gathering is not to watch soccer matches but to sing praises to God for all eternity. This is what the Bible says Heaven is like.

So, what does that mean for us?

At the end of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. This is a calling explicitly given to every follower of Jesus, whether you’re a missionary halfway around the world, an employee or a teammate.

It can be scary to open up to someone about your faith. It can be intimidating. But Jesus promises that He will always be with us. Let’s love someone today and tell them about Jesus, the only One capable of salvation and the only One worthy to be praised.

Kevin Mercer

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