Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The King Of Love My Shepherd Is"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 9:25 – Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (NIV)
I admit it! I love to watch the Olympics! Call me an Olympic junkie. Today, watching the opening ceremonies, I am soaking it all in. I wonder what it is about the Olympics — summer or winter — that draws me in. From an early age, I have been drawn to the games. As I watch and ponder this, I remember that I never did like history in school, but the Olympic opening ceremonies were like a history lesson, sharing so much in such a short time of the host country's history. The Olympics bring people and countries together for one common goal, not only at the games, but also in general conversations that we will have with each other over the days and weeks to come. I know that there will be opportunities for Christians to share the Word and the love of Christ, and I know that Christian athletes and families are participating. We can do our part, as well, by holding these games, athletes, families, and the host country, Russia, in our prayers.
Historical records indicate that the games began in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece, and that during the celebration of the games, an Olympic truce was enacted so that athletes could travel from their countries to the games in safety. The prizes for the victors were olive leaf wreaths or crowns.
Although the Olympic Games bring people and nations together, with them also come controversy, security concerns, boycotting, and disputes among nations. Let us take time each day to pray for the nations and the leaders of all the nations for unity.
Matthew 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to pray and to share Your love with one another in conversations that we will be having about the Olympics. We pray that commentaries and stories shared by the media will be honouring and glorifying to You. Give a boldness to all the Christians participating to give glory to You as they take part. As we watch these games, may Your eyes continue to be upon us all. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.