To watch a talk on this topic head to the bottom of this study.
For many of us, we struggle to stand out consistently for Jesus Christ in our sports club. Sometimes we lose sight of the spiritual/eternal implications of knowing Jesus. Being reminded of these motivates us to cross the changing room and encourage others to seek Jesus out, too.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
This is the last of three parables in Matthew 25 in which Jesus urges those listening to live in light of the eternal realities that face them. There are consequences both for not living for Him, and for living with Him.
As we train and compete it is easy to forget the reality that Jesus is coming again and when He comes it will have implications for ALL people including our sports friends. How we respond to Him now matters.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
We are ‘righteous’ because of faith in Jesus Christ. Our new state as God’s adopted children is revealed in how we live it out. This change of identity causes a change of life.
Our gratitude for what Jesus has done and our new identity as adopted children motivates us to love those around us, not just in emotions but in action. What does this look like in your sports club?
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
It is hard to accept that our sports friends face a very serious and eternal consequence if they reject Jesus. How does this motivate you to run your race of faith this week?
The final verse, 46, makes it crystal clear that there are two eternal realities and yet we so easily forget and live our lives as if this isn’t true. How can you live in light of these realities this week and encourage each other to do so?
Pray that you will have courage this week to point others to Jesus; thank Him for saving you.
All Bible quotations are taken with permission from the NIV:
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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