Summer 2024

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Wednesday, July 8

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” — Hebrews 11:1-2

Heroes in Heaven

Every sports fan holds their favorite team and athletes in high esteem. High school teams who have success become hometown celebrities. Record-setting collegians excite young and old as they battle their archrivals. Professional competitors become as well-known in their city and region as presidents and movie stars. We consider these people heroes and seek to emulate their words, their moves and their accomplishments.

I heard David Pollack, an ESPN College Gameday analyst, speak in my hometown last summer. I’ll admit I had to pinch myself as he strolled onto the platform of a local church. I watched him, as a young boy, sack quarterbacks and seal victories for the University of Georgia. Earlier this year, he became a college football Hall of Famer. Now, he is slim and trim but still the gregarious personality I always admired. I still have his jersey stored carefully at home.

It was sensational to see Pollack in person. The game-changer was sharing his testimony of how he placed his faith in Jesus Christ as a high school student. This guarantees him to have a home in Heaven (Philippians 3:20).

As a high school student myself, I was led to be a stronger young man of faith by a man of God named Orion Peeples. Having come to faith in Christ at age 9, I still had room to grow as a believer in Jesus. Coach Peeples was instrumental in helping me do that. This man was an educator, coach and youth minister in my hometown in south Georgia for many years. He led our Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, coached tennis and physical education during my school years, and mentored youth like me to make right choices during important formative years of our lives. He embodied the fruit of the Spirit written about in Galatians 5:22-23. His faith in Jesus impacted our community.

Hebrews 11 honors God’s servants who lived to make Him known here on earth, and now who worship Him around His throne in Heaven. Men like Abraham, Moses and Joseph trusted in the Almighty to use their lives to glorify Him. Women like Sarah, Rahab and Ruth believed their Creator could do something in them beyond their dreams.

God, the hero of the Bible, makes ordinary men and women like you and me heroic when we trust Him as our Savior and Lord. Our faith is what He uses. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (Hebrews 11:1-2).

— Allen Kent

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