Summer 2024

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Wednesday, August 5

“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.” — Genesis 1:31-2:1

The Beautiful Game

The sun glistens off the colorful jerseys of the boys and girls as they follow the ball gleefully up and down the grassy field. Coaches voice their encouragement from the sidelines. A young goalie quivers in his cleats as the black and white sphere whistles toward him from the toe of his classmate on the other team. The ball is headed for the corner of the goal, but at the last instant the goalie gets his fingertips on it to send it harmlessly out of bounds. The gangly forward grimaces, while the dad of the goalkeeper beams with pride. The thrill of victory for one side is only rivaled by the excitement of the juicy postgame orange slices.

In another country miles away, a squad of robust athletes prepares for the World Cup. Fans flock to the destination city to see their country’s heroes battle for notoriety and national pride. Another scene soon unfolds on the field — a seasoned striker swings her sidewinding foot into the ball and rifles it to the goal. The ball curves in midair and baffles the capable goalie, who has waited four years for her chance to swat this important shot. Flashbulbs burst as the goal is true, and adults and children alike dance and sing with banners waving in the stadium and around the world in front of televisions, computers and smartphones.

The sport of soccer, or football in most locations outside the United States, was given the moniker “The Beautiful Game” years ago. This competition gives fans thrills and chills all over our world today. Though various nations and people groups claim some credit for inventing the game we now enjoy, it is evident the sport has impacted countless cultures. The rules are simple, yet the best players spend years perfecting their craft. Boys and girls from all backgrounds create their own World Cup drama in their backyard or on a city street with whatever round object they can find.

As sports captivate our attention, no matter our origins, so the God of the universe is responsible for the beauty all around us. The world as we know it has a Creator, who spoke everything into existence in Genesis 1 and 2. The land, water and sky are gifts to us. All animals, fish and even insects reflect the beautiful mind and heart of God. The sun and the moon had a beginning, as did each planet visible and invisible in outer space. No matter the climate or terrain we see and experience, we all marvel at the detailed design on display.

In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, God outlined for us how He created all things in the first recorded week of history. He saved the best for last, as Adam and Eve entered the scene. As humans, we are the pinnacle of God’s plan for His creation. Our minds, hearts and bodies are like nothing else made in those first six days.

Let’s remember this important truth when we are tempted to dismiss God’s eternal power and sovereignty. Rather than looking to temporal people, positions or pleasure to find fulfillment, let’s seek the God who made us.

— Allen Kent

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