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Soccer Sorcery! Lessons From World Cup Football, Part 1

by | Jun 16, 2018 | Soccer Sorcery! Lessons From World Cup Football (A Mini-Series)

Have you caught football fever yet? Well, I must admit that once the quadrennial football fever contagion “breaks out” once every four years, consider me gladly “infected.” I can assure you of the fact that one can never truly “get sick” of the “kick” of football’s “sorcery.” (The only beneficial kind of sorcery!) Amongst other things, have you ever wondered what makes the game of football so special? Unlike other games, like tennis, cricket, and hockey; which require their players to use and wear special equipment, the game of football simply requires just one air-filled leather ball to dance along with your juggling feet. Captivating chemistry, eh?

While football can fascinate and entertain us for a brief season, God’s word enchants and enriches us for all eternity. “It is sweeter than honey,” declared the Psalmist (119:103). Oh, it is such a wonderous joy to read and absorb the Scriptural truths! In this four-part series, I will be drawing from a number of spiritual lessons from scripture and will reflect them onto the vast and exciting world of football.

Emigration…


Have you ever heard of Luis Monti? Well if not, he has the rare distinction of being the only player to have ever played in two World Cup finals for two different teams! In 1930, Luis was a player on the losing Argentine side during that year’s finals, four years later, after he had immigrated to Italy and their team, he played a pivotal role in achieving victory during the 1934 World Cup.

In a way, every Christian can, more or less, identify with Luis Monti’s circumstances. For starters, we all lived within a “country of sin;” playing on the losing side of Satan (Eph 2:1). Our lives were encompassed by one big spiritual defeat, as the following Scripture portion so amply testifies.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient; we were misled by others and became slaves to many evil pleasures and wicked desires. Our lives were full of resentment and envy. We hated others and they hated us…”(Titus 3:3 TLB)

However, thanks to the Good News with a capital “G” and His everlasting mercy and grace, those of us who have accepted him into our lives have, in a sense, “emigrated” to God’s Kingdom, and are now playing on a new and victorious team.

But when the time came for the kindness and love of God our Savior to appear, then he saved us–not because we were good enough to be saved but because of his kindness and pity–by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit…” (Titus 3:4-5 TLB)

Hey, we are on the winning side! But then again, what about the author of this epistle, from which these Scripture portions have been excerpt from? When Saul of Tarsus set out to Damascus to persecute and kill the Christians who were living there, he was unknowingly playing for Satan’s team. But thanks to God’s everlasting grace, he was “wrung out” of the Devil’s player roster and was then “grafted” onto the winning side of Christ (Acts 9:1-20) as an apostle. Take a look at his touching testimony in regard to his transformation.

“For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.” (I Corinthians 15:9-10)

By the way, do you truly know “whose team” you are playing for? In the spiritual realm, one cannot be neutral. If you are not for the “Calvary cavaliers” (Jesus’ team), remember that either willingly or unwillingly, you are playing for the “Hell dwellers” (Satan’s team)!

Is your conscience troubling you with the sins of past, whether committed publicly or secretly, during your time on “Satan’s team”? Do not stand silently hanging your head in shame. Christ is willing to accept you into his team as you are. Just as he forgave a repentant Saul of Tarsus, giving him a new start (Acts 9:1-20), he would forgive you too. Say this prayer:” Heavenly Father, I accept I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. I accept that Jesus died an atoning death for me on the Cross as per the scriptures and rose again. Cleanse me with his blood and grant me a new life, a new heart, and a new start. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.” Even as his divine joy and peace fill your heart this very moment (which is proof of his forgiveness), start attending a church near your home to further strengthen your new-found faith in Christ, or you can contact me at this number: 984-900-9104 (India) for further guidance.

If you have had this “emigration experience”, you will better appreciate and take more out of what follows in this series…

Prayer: Father, I praise and thank thee for making me a “heavenly citizen”. I pray that you would inspire all those who are reading this devotional to surrender their lives into your hands to experience the “ethereal emigration”. In Jesus’ name.


Suresh Manoharan
Hyderabad-India
J and SM Ministries

(To access the entire “Soccer Sorcery! Lessons From World Cup Football” mini-series, please click here.)

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