Do you love Jesus more than you love football?…

An image that presents both the World Cup and the politics fever in Lebanon

We’re in the World Cup season, and some people have World Cup fever, and others have World Cup headache… In all cases, football seems to have an important impact on people’s lives and on their “health”, for both “fever” and “headache” can have very dangerous outcomes if not treated… Actually, the world always has some stuff to keep people busy with high fever and strong headaches so that they may not turn their eyes to that which remains, and that they keep seeking what perishes, and thus to perish with what they seek… So when we talk about football, it’s not with the purpose of attacking football as such, but our purpose is to seek that which remains versus all other things that perish, whether they be football or politics or wars or any other stuff that the world presents… I mean, those who have politics fever or headache in the politics “season”, for example, should use the same treatment that we are presenting in this article…

The World Cup fever has many things in common with the fever of love and passion… Those who have this fever may do many strange things that show a readiness for great sacrifices for the sake of football. For instance, on the above linked page about World Cup fever, we read one of them commenting: “My husband wake me up at 4 o’clock in the morning and I never missed any game since it started. Too bad I should have arrange my family to our summer trip in Cape town and feel the real FIFA fever.Next time we are coming….” So this love of football is so great that it makes you put some discipline in your life in order to be up to date in all what is related to it… In addition to self-discipline, this love makes you spend an important amount of your saved money in order to be on the site of the event, whether it be by an expensive trip or through expensive subscriptions to encrypted satellite channels… Actually, this World Cup fever could be better called a football or a World Cup slavery, as those who have this fever are practically serving a master called “football”, and they are ready to do all kinds of sacrifices in the service of football… As the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and will love the other, or he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” In the same passage, He explained how your heart will be wherever your treasure is, and He also explained how people practically care for what they consider to be their real treasure: those who serve money, or their appetite as Philippians 3:19 says, or football, or whatever they serve, will care to have money, or what satisfies their appetite, or football, or whatever they serve; and those who serve God will care for His Kingdom and for His Righteousness (cf. Matthew 6:33).

Do you serve God? Do you belong to Christ? Where is your treasure? What do you seek more than anything? Jesus said: “He who loves father or mother above me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter above me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. He that finds his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39) If we love anything or anyone more than Christ, then we don’t really serve Him, but we serve that which we love more than Him. The Apostle Paul says: “If therefore ye have been raised with the Christ, seek the things [which are] above, where the Christ is, sitting at [the] right hand of God: have your mind on the things [that are] above, not on the things [that are] on the earth; for ye have died, and your life is hid with the Christ in God. When the Christ is manifested who [is] our life, then shall ye also be manifested with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4) Is your mind set on the things above and not on the earthly things? If Christ returns today, will you be disappointed for not being able to watch the finals of the World Cup and that you will not know who will win at the end?… When was the last time your husband woke you up at 4 o’clock in the morning so that you may pass some time with God and with His Word?… (This is just an example; of course, not everyone needs to wake up at 4 o’clock…) Do you really care about not missing those important moments with the Lord? Do you care not to miss times of fellowship with the children of God? If the time of a football game is at the same time of the prayer meeting, which one do you choose?… If the Lord wants it, are you ready to spend a lot of money to make a trip to a place where people need to hear the Gospel, and to preach to them the Word even at the expense of your life, and not only of your money and of your time?… Which one is more important for you: the spiritual condition of your heart and of your neighbor’s heart, or the next World Cup game’s result or scores?… If it is your and your neighbor’s spiritual condition, then that should appear in the way you deal with that care that you have for your neighbor and for your heart’s condition…

Brief, do you love Jesus more than you love football? If you examine yourself, and you find out that you don’t love Jesus even as much as football, then follow the following treatment:

1. Admit that you don’t have the love of God our Father in you and that you don’t really care about the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. You should realize that this is a sinful condition of enmity with God, and that you should be really sad for being in this condition. If a patient does not realize that he is sick and if he doesn’t take a stand against his illness, then he will not take the treatment… In the same way, if you don’t admit that you’re in a sinful condition and if you don’t take a stand against your own sinfulness, then you will not even agree that there is a treatment for that condition. When you really think that your condition is a sinful condition, you should want to leave it.

2. Leave that sinful condition by putting your trust on the Lord Jesus Christ who alone can save you from that sinful condition, because He is the only one who overcame sin by nailing it to the cross (cf. Colossians 2:13-15). He rose from the dead, overcoming sin and death. As He is alive, then you can ask Him to save you from your sins, and He will do it, because He promised not to cast you out if you come to Him; He said: “All that the Father gives me shall come to me, and him that comes to me I will not at all cast out.” (John 6:37)

The Lord Jesus will give you a new heart that loves to serve God and that seeks only what pleases Him, as He will make His abode in you through His Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:23, Romans 8:9). You will thus become a new creature, and old things will pass away, and all will become new (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17). You will love the Word of God; you will seek to do His Will; you will want to do that which pleases Him; you will flee from whatever hinders your relation with Him; you will love righteousness; you will hate sin… Your bread and water will be to do God’s Will (cf. John 4:32-34)! Yes, indeed! Just as people seek food, you will be seeking to do God’s Will, and to work to His Glory; you will go to wherever that food is: in your inner room, you will prayerfully seek the Will of God as you read His Word and rejoice as you hear the voice of your Shepherd, Jesus Christ; in your relations with people, you will rejoice to serve them to the Glory of Him who loved you so much that He died for you; you will witness to people around you about that amazing love; if needed, you will wake up early in the morning to seek God’s Will, and you will do many sacrifices to reach people with the Good News. His Will will be your food! You will be happy from your heart when you see something that glorifies Him; you will cry from your heart when you see something dishonoring Him; you will rejoice to see people getting saved from sin in the same way by which you were saved. His Will will flow in your veins; His heart will beat in your breast…

It is only then that you will seek that which remains and you will not be attached to that which perishes. When you will seek the Will of God as your food, then you will know what football really is…

Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ

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