The Christian Olympic Sport

          Although I am not an athlete, I enjoy watching the summer Olympics. Recent standout performances in my mind include:

  • Michael Phelps’ amazing medal collection amassed in the 2008 and 2012 Games
  • the history-making fete of Gabrielle Douglas, the flying squirrel, as the first African-American to win gold in both the individual and all-around gymnastics competition in the 2012 Games, and
  • the women’s 4 X 100 relay team’s world record shattering win (40.82) in the 2012 Games. Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight, and anchor Carmelita Jeter broke the previous world record which had been held by East Germany for 27 years.

          The way I root for these athletes, you would think I’m related to them or that I’m at least a close friend. Neither is true; however, I appreciate the excitement of watching them compete. I also smile at the television set as their medals are hung around their necks, and I feel my heart swell with pride for my country as they stand atop the medal platform. I’m even emotionally moved as I witness tears streaming from the eyes of many of those fine athletes as we all respectfully listen to our national anthem heralding them as the best in the world at what they have just done.

         Nevertheless, despite all the hoopla, it is not lost on me that each and every one of those athletes spent many years and countless hours, sometimes even lonely hours, training and honing their skills. They sacrificed the lifestyle others enjoyed for the possibility of reaching a prize—winning a gold medal in the Olympics—against which the odds are probably astounding. Just think of all the swimmers, gymnasts, and sprinters in all the world who set that same goal?

         Can we believers afford to be any less dedicated to the goal of successfully running this Christian race? We should start thinking of our earthly life as the new Christian Olympic sport. The Apostle Paul sets up the guidelines for this “sport.” He tells Timothy, “If anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules” Second Timothy 2:5 (NKJ). Paul also tells the Corinthian believers, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training” First Corinthians 9:24-25a (NIV).

           Let’s stop haphazardly drifting through our Christian life. It’s time for “strict training” and competing “according to the rules.” We want the Lord Jesus to be at least as proud of us as we are of the Olympic athletes. We want His heart to swell with pride as we win victories over the battles we face. We want Him smiling at us as we clear the hurdles the enemy puts in our path. We want to stand before Him to receive His medal on which is inscribed: Well done thou good and faithful servant.

           Go for the gold!

 ________________________

©2012 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!

 

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~ by sanewriter on October 30, 2012.

3 Responses to “The Christian Olympic Sport”

  1. I praise God for using you to bring this powerful word to me. I truly needed this encouragement today. Thank you Sharon for sharing. I pray God’s richest blessings and protection on your life.

  2. Sharon you always, like my Pastor, call me to come up higher. Thank you. I long to hear those words Well Done, good and faithful servant.

  3. Fantastic article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

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