Huddle Up for the Nations

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

God’s Heart for the Nations


Ready: 


“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” – Romans 10:13-15 NLT


Set:


In the past 11 years, God has allowed FCA to expand from the US to 106 countries around the world. This follows the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 of making disciples throughout the world: “Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”


It can be very easy, especially in the midst of a pandemic, to be inward-focused or to just think about our own community and team. But the reality that we see throughout the Bible is that God’s heart is for ALL the nations, for ALL people. In my role as an International Advancement Coordinator, I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to hear stories from our international teammates and then share them with our US staff, coaches and athletes.


In countries like the ones in Central Asia, it is forbidden to teach/preach the Gospel. A coach from Central Asia shared that he was born and raised in a Muslim family. Following Jesus would mean being kicked out of the family, cut off from his friends and society, or much worse. In a life-changing event, the coach was hit by a car while walking. The car was traveling at 30MPH and sent the coach flying through the air. Miraculously, the coach survived the accident. Upon recovery, a fellow coach told them about Jesus and invited them to visit their church. Soon after, the coach accepted Jesus and he was baptized! As I learned about this experience, the coach said something that really struck me: “Since my coach was attentive and obedient to God's Words, I heard the Gospel and believed in Jesus! Today, we are coaching together, raising up champions, and glorifying Jesus through it.” This solidifies the truth that God has a heart for ALL nations. And we have the opportunity to be part of His great, global plan!


We see in Romans 10:13-15 that God wants people to know Him and love Him. But that only happens as they are told about Him. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are sent to make disciples among the nations! As a coach and athlete, there’s a chance you’ve been in contact with athletes or coaches, maybe even on your same team, that call a different country their home. Maybe God has sent you to this team for the purpose of that relationship! It is God’s desire that the followers of Jesus would fill the Earth “Just as the waters fill up the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).


If God’s heart is for the nations, what does that look like on your team?  What is your role? As you think about your sphere of influence on your teams and communities, think about what the Apostle John wrote in Revelation 7:9: “After this, I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.”  What an incredible picture and goal for each of us!


As you compete today, I encourage you to be a person who has God’s heart for the nations! As a coach or athlete, you have an incredible opportunity to serve people around the world. Over these next few days, we hope this plan helps you grow your heart and provides you tips on practically getting involved in God’s global ministry. There are many ways that you can “Pray, Give and Go,” and you can have a lasting, eternal impact in your community, on your team, and around the world!


Go:  



  • What do you learn about God?    

  • What do you learn about people?    

  • By God’s grace, how will you obey God’s Word today?


Workout:


Habakkuk 2:14; Mark 16:15; Revelation 7:9


Overtime:


“God, I thank You for Your desire to know all people of the world. Give us Your heart for the nations. Open the doors around the world for coaches and athletes to step into Your Kingdom. Thank You for letting me play a part in this incredible story. Thank You that You sent Your Son to die for me so I could live for You.  I love You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.”


Todd Cramer


Todd is the International Advancement Coordinator for FCA’s Midwest Region.  In his role as IAC, Todd connects staff, coaches, and athletes in the Midwest with staff, coaches, and athletes in the global region of Eurasia.  He lives in Iowa City, Iowa with his wife (Beth) and five kids (Sammy, Jakey, Lukey, Laney, and Timmy).