Everyone has been exposed the Olympics during the past week. Its on all the TV channels and every newscast has something about it!!! So, when I saw this picture, it reminded me of the American flag; something I have seen a lot of at the Olympics. Its nice to see America get credit for something; even if it is only something as fleeting as a race. However, I believe its proper to give credit where it is deserved; every one of those Olympic contestants deserves to be there... they all represent their COUNTRIES!!! Every one has trained for this, most of them for years!!! These games may be a glorious spectacle, but more magnificent will be the time we spend in heaven because we exercised spiritual discipline in the here and now. Here are a couple of passages that relate...
2 Timothy, Chapter 4
8 For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come.
1 Corinthians, Chapter 9
24 Don’t you know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run like that, that you may win. 25 Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore run like that, as not uncertainly. I fight like that, as not beating the air, 27 but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.
2 Timothy, Chapter 4
6 For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. 8 From now on, there is stored up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day; and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his appearing.
The Olympic games are not a modern invention; athletes have been competing for over 2000 years. Now, instead of just one nation competing within itself for a "crown " of honor, we have many nations vying for a gold medal worth about $25,000. Imagine how much it must mean to win one of those gold "wonders"? Shift gears for a moment and consider the spiritual "games" we are in. We have to endure the temptations and trials of sin and often ridicule and disapproval from unbelievers. But, it will all be worth it when we receive the crown of righteousness when we enter heaven. As beautiful as the American flag is, it is nothing compared to spending eternity with God in heaven. Humm, I wonder if there will be a flag waving over our eternal home????