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In 1st Corinthians 9:24-27 Paul writes:

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

While the Olympic Games as we know them today were not practiced at during Paul’s time, in the ancient city of Corinth they did hold athletic competitions. Paul used these sports events to teach the Corinthians about God!

With the first Youth Olympic Games taking place in Singapore in less than 3 days, sporting events can once again be used to draw comparisons between athletics and sports and spiritual truths. As your youth are drawn to the sporting events of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, here are some spiritual truths that you can use for your youth meetings, youth cell groups, youth Bible Studies, or youth sermons:

Run for the heavenly prize

Just as the young Olympic Athletes must exert his or her greatest possible efforts to gain the prize. In the same way, as Christians, we must exert out greatest possible efforts to that to spread the Gospel, straining for the heavenly prize that lies ahead.

Avoid anything that might prevent us from achieving the goal

To achieve that goal and to receive the trophy, Olympic Athletes are forced to refrain from many things. These things are not necessarily bad, but they might hinder them in the pursuit of their goal. In the same way, as Christians, we must refrain from things that hinder us in one way or another one to being effective in the ministry of spreading the Gospel.

Work for an eternal glory

All effort of an Olympic Athlete is directed to receive a crown that will not last. This was especially true in the days of Paul, because athletes did not receive medals like today’s Olympians, but only a wreath of laurel. Only the champion received it and there were no awards for second or third place. The champion, received honor that lasted until another became a champion, and then it was forgotten little by little. While we do not work for our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), the Christian’s effort in the Gospel will be rewarded with an eternal glory in heaven.

Compete according to the rules

Another truth from the life of a young Olympic Athlete is mentioned by Paul when he said:

“Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. (2 Timothy 2:5)(NASB)?

There are rules in each Olympic competition, and anyone who violates them is disqualified. In the same way, as Christians, God has established rules that are written in the Bible. We fall short every time we break one of those rules. But through Christ we can all become more than victors.

Get "Go for the Gold" Youth Bible Study Series
Go for the Gold

Need an evangelistic Youth Camp/ Bible Study Series with an Olympic Theme?

What is salvation all about? What does it mean to be saved? This sports themed Bible Study / Camp Curriculum uses the Olympic Flag to introduce the concepts of sin (black circle), forgiveness (red circle), purity (white background), spiritual growth (green circle), heaven (Yellow Circle) and (Baptism) blue circle.
-> Tell me about “Go for the Gold”

Get "Destined to Win" Youth Bible Study Series
Destined to Win

Need a Youth Camp/ Bible Study Series on “Running the Christian Race”?

The race as a metaphor for the Christian life is used in several places in the Bible. This series is a great follow up for new Christians or to re-emphasize the basics of our spiritual Journey in the Faith. This Bible Study / Camp Curriculum has a sports theme and is great for athletes as well as a tie in to the youth Olympic Games.
->Tell me about “Destined to Win”

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