Even though “football fever” seems to be an ever-growing contagion, let us take the time to dive right into the penultimate part of this series, and thus, into a few more spiritual lessons we can learn from Soccer!
Does the name Gerd Muller ring any bells? With a national record of 68 goals in 62 international appearances, this German footballer was appropriately nicknamed the ‘Bomber’. He is one of the very few players of 50 or more caps to score more goals than the games he has played in. What made him so effective? His uncanny ability to capitalize on even a small opportunity and swiftly turn them into goals!
Now when it comes to “Gospel action”. Always be on the lookout for an opportunity to share the Gospel. When a chance does indeed arise, it needs to be grabbed with both feet… er, hands!
“They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John. Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd.” (Acts 3:11-12)
“…Preach the Word of God urgently at all times, whenever you get the chance, in season and out, when it is convenient and when it is not…” (2 Tim 4:2 TLB)
Didn’t somebody once say that if we do not evangelize, we fossilize? If we realize this truth and work sincerely, we get the prize (See1 Thess 2:19 NKJV)!
Make winning souls one of your primary goals! Amen.
In football, defending your net is just as important of a job as scoring goals is! When old timers discuss up the topic of “world’s greatest goalkeeper,” you can “bank” on the notion that England’s Gordon Banks will be brought up. Old English football commentators often mention his sick leave right before a crucial quarter-final match against their old enemy Germany. England ended up losing the game, despite leading 2-0 at one time. Even in the present, they still claim that Banks’ presence could have made all the difference on that day. A good guardian of the goal can indeed spell the difference between the victor and the vanquished in a Football match. This can easily apply to the Church body as well, in that being “good guardians of biblical truths” is critical; or else the apostates and heretics might score a goal on Satan’s behalf (See Jude 1:3/1 Thess 5:21). With several erroneous doctrines and deceitful cultists on the prowl, how do we guard ourselves against their subtle machinations? The answer is to be well-grounded in the Scriptures, so we can immediately detect their wrong teachings.
A banker would say that the best way to detect a counterfeit currency is to know how well the original one looks. That goes the same for the Spiritual realm as well! Didn’t somebody once say that “You can recognize a crooked line, only when you know how a straight line looks”?
We may consider that a goalkeeper is merely just a ‘the last line of defence’ — with no hand in the more prestigious role of scoring. Nay! A shrewd guardian of the citadel is, in actuality, the ‘firstline of offence’ say Sports analysts. A crafty goalie doesn’t see a routine goal kick as some aimless punt into the middle of the field, but instead see it as an opportunity to pass the ball to their unguarded teammates to seize an opportunity in that moment.
How very similar to the Christian realm of things! In Christ’s kingdom, even though your actions may be unexpectedly used the least towards achieving great ‘goals’, do not underestimate your own capacity when it comes to be used by the good Lord. For instance, John 4:29 showcases the most unlikely ‘woman missionary’ in action; so much so, that our Lord remarked in the context of rewards on judgment day that there will be plenty of surprises.
“But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Matt 19:30 NKJV)
Not in the frontline? Dear brother/sister do not get discouraged. Make taking the ‘goal kick’ whole-heartedly and meaningfully for the Lord your goal (no pun intended) and if the Lord inspires you to come to the frontline, do it boldly.
Prayer: Father, we are encouraged by Your ordained Scriptures that nothing we do for you would ever be in vain. Inspire us to put our best foot forward in all areas of Christian Ministry, wherever You have put us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire “Soccer Sorcery! Lessons From World Cup Football” mini-series, please click here.)