Saturday, July 28, 2012

Run That Race!

I'm an Olympics nut; what about you?  There are a few things about the eternal realm this event can remind us of.

First off, the Bible uses athletic competition as a frequent analogy for the Christian life.  Here are a few relevant Scriptures to keep in the forefront of our minds:

Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize?  So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training.  They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step.  I am not just shadowboxing.  I disicpline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.  Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT

Do you see what this means - all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on?  It means we'd better get on with it.  Strip down, start running - and never quit!  No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.  Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in.  Study how he did it.  Because he never lost sight of where he was headed - that exhilirating finish in and with God - he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.  And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.  When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through.  That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12:1-3 MSG

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8

Second, watching the Olympics often fosters a sense of community in countries.  Let this remind us of the critical need to act as a community with our fellow believers in Christ.  We are intended to follow God *together*.

Third, I don't know about you, but watching the Olympics reminds me how big the world is.  Let's let this remind us of how many souls there are in the world who do not know Jesus - and encourage us to share the Gospel more.

Here's a song to pump you up for your Christian workout - "Afterlife" by Switchfoot

What other spiritual lessons can we glean from the Olympics?  What are some songs that really pump you up to live for Christ?
And, just for fun, what Olympic sports are you looking forward to watching?

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