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Summary: What principals can we learn from the olympic athletes that show us how God desires His people to run and win the race of life.

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What we can learn from the London Olympics

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

2 Timothy 4:7

Introduction-

We have been in the series “Nuts and Bolts of life.”

We have been here 5 weeks and maybe there will be one more week.

This week I have been entrenched with the Olympics.

I must admit that I am addicted and my sleep has suffered for it the last two weeks.

I watch extremely talented athletes from all over the world compete at a level that I think is amazing.

I am a preacher of application and I am a visual kind of person.

I like to apply what I know and seeing it makes it easier for me to apply.

I think what is equally inspiring to these athletes abilities is when they tell their story about how they got to the Olympics and what they had to endure.

Young boy losing his parents to internal war in Africa. Literally running for his life to get out of the country, only to come back 8 years later to represent his country as a long distance runner.

(image of girls gym team)The Fav 5 , the USA women’s gymnastics team. Their fight to win a gold medal . It is first for them since 1996.

Men’s gymnastics team member John Orozco , who knew if he could just win big at the Olympics, he could provide for his family.

(image of runner)-My favorite, Oscar Pistorius, the South African runner who is a double amputee. Born with leg problems and had his legs removed at the knees at 11 months old. His parents raising him without babying his handicap and worked hard to get on the team. He finished last in the individual all around, but got a standing ovation from the crowd. The winner of the last race exchanged his name sign with him and acknowledged his spirit of determination.

Let’s face it, we all love to be around winners.

We love to hear success stories because it encourages us when we are down and need to be picked up.

We do not always realize that even in the winners, they have moments of trial and set backs.(image of Gabby Douglas falling and hanging unto balance beam)

Competition and the Olympic games is not new.

Apostle Paul in our text in 1 Corinthians 9 talks about running and competing in the Ancient Olympic games. The Ancient games date back over 700 years before Jesus and went over 300 years after Jesus. After that there was a period of 1500 years the games were silent. The Olympic games as we know them came back to Greece in 1896.

There was a reward for winning in the Olympics back then.

Your name was shouted out as a wreath was placed on your head.

Parade in your honor.

• 500 drachmas of money

Place of honor at all future Olympics for the rest of your life.

Children get a free education for life.

Exempt from military duty

No taxes for life.

Let’s see what Paul writes to the church about running the race.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (image of text)

Paul uses the Olympics as an illustration for life.

Things you must do to win! Anybody interested in what he’s got to say.

The first thing he says is:

I. You must have desire- (you must want to win)!

That sounds silly, but if you are in a race and you have no desire to win, it will affect how you run the race.


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