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Olympics For Christ

Posted 2/27/2018

Did you enjoy the winter Olympics?  As a big sports fan, I sure did.  It was a pleasure to watch Canada set a new national record for the most medals won in the winter Olympics.  The elation of the medalists and the joy of their proud teammates, coaches, and loved ones showed that the Olympics was not only about the various sports and competitions among the best athletes, but  the results of hard work and support behind the scenes.


 We often congratulate the medalists and question about sub par or failed performances, but all athletes train and compete hard just to qualify for the Olympics.  They dedicated themselves to prepare for the best performance of their lives so that their hard work would pay off at the biggest stage before global audience and fans, and so that they would achieve their dreams of finishing first.


The Olympians are admirable.  They make sacrifices and overcome obstacles to achieve their goal.  Even if their goals aren't met, they are content as long as they have given their all, for there are only three medals in each event, and only one can be the gold medalist or champion.


As Christians, we also have an Olympic-like competition of our own.  No, not to compete against fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, but to run a glorious marathon for God. 


In First Corinthians chapter nine, Apostle Paul talked about how he endured and laboured for the gospel.  In verses 24-27, he emphasized his point of what we should strive for using the example of runners in a race.  He encouraged us to run the race for God as if you're a runner to win the race, as only the winner receives the prize.  


 Similar as runners or athletes, we need to have an aim so we won't run aimlessly.  Paul went on to remind us about our aim, that we are striving for an imperishable prize--the crown from God at the stage of Christ, along the glory and blessing from Him, as opposed to winning awards that are perishable, like a medal, a trophy, or prize money in races or sports.


To win in any race, we need to be trained.  Likewise if we are to finish the race to achieve God's will gloriously.  As in athletic training, spiritual training calls for discipline and self-control, aside from being familiar with the biblical teachings.  We need to train with discipline and self-control so we won't be disqualified, even though God will never disqualify anyone.  It is up to you to keep yourself in the race.


1 Timothy 4:6-8 mentioned about training for godliness, as we are created in God's image and we have the potential to be like Jesus.  We need to have good faith and follow the sound doctrine, as the value of godliness will benefit us not only in this life for for eternity, as opposed to bodily training that only benefits us physically in this life.


Philippians 2:16 is a great encouragement from Paul:  "Hold fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run or labour in vain."  We like to do things that yield positive results, so likewise in our journey with God.  It would be pointless if we do things that are in vain.  So precious that labouring for God is never in vain!


We all want to be glorious in God.  So if we train our godliness daily with discipline and self-control, we will reach the same conclusion as Paul did at the end of his life, as mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, as Paul knew the end of his life was near:  "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith..  There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness..."  


May we train hard everyday and win the race for the Lord!

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