ODB: The Winning Goal

July 21, 2024

READ: Acts 11:19-30 

A great number of people were brought to the Lord. Acts 11:24

On February 5, 2023, Christian Atsu kicked the winning goal for his football (soccer) team in a match in Turkey. A star international player, he learned to play the sport as a kid running barefoot in his home country of Ghana. Christian was a believer in Christ: “Jesus is the best thing that ever happened in my life,” he said. Atsu posted Bible verses on social media, was outspoken about his faith, and put it into action by helping finance a school for orphans.

The day after his winning goal, a devastating earthquake shook the city of Antakya, once the biblical city of Antioch. Christian Atsu’s apartment building collapsed, and he went to be with his Savior.

Two thousand years ago, Antioch was the fountainhead of the early church: “the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). One apostle, Barnabas, said to be “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit” (v. 24), was instrumental in bringing people to Christ: “a great number of people were brought to the Lord” (v. 24).

We look to the life of Christian Atsu not to idolize him but to see in his example an opportunity. Whatever our circumstance in life, we don’t know when God will take us to be with Him. We do well to ask ourselves how we can be a Barnabas or a Christian Atsu in showing others the love of Christ. That, above all, is the winning goal.

— Kenneth Petersen

What does it mean to be a Barnabas to others? What opportunities do you have to talk about Jesus?

Dear God, I pray that You’ll give me opportunities to share my faith.

Source: Our Daily Bread