I thought these Bible verses would be appropriate because the Super Bowl is drawing near as well as the Olympics. Tell me what you think of these verses and your thoughts on them. I loved to hear what you have to say.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 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. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize
Here is from the Message. You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out
Here is a little history of the Greek Stadiums during Paul’s time, the writer of this book. Now the Greek word for the chariot place where they raced horses was a hippodrome: a hippos, a horse; an adromos, a course; a hippodrome. And the Latin name for the same thing was a circus. Circus is a Latin word; hippodrome is the same thing in Greek. It was a large arena with tiers of seats all around and a little partition in the middle. And they drove those chariots in the races round and around that middle partition. And the people, being above, could see the course of the race.
Now a stadium was different from that. A stadium was a place where they had their games of physical prowess, and most of it racing, most of it running. A stadium was always built exactly the same. The course never varied. It was 600 Greek feet long, or 606 three-fourths of a foot, English feet.
Now there were two places in ancient Greece that were the most famous for those stadium games. One was at Olympia, the Olympic Games. They have taken that word Olympian and made it Olympic. The name refers to the big, international physical contests that are held every four years. This is one of the famous Greek stadiums, the one at Olympia. Now the other one was at Corinth, the Isthmian Games they call them there, from the little isthmus connecting between Peloponesis and Attica, at which place the city of Corinth was located.
Not only were those stadiums there in Greece, but they were everywhere. All over the Mediterranean world, wherever the Greek civilization, the Roman civilization went, there you would find the stadium and those games. So, when Paul uses the figure here, he was using a figure that everybody had witnessed and everybody shared in, “Know ye not that they which run in a stadium run all,” they all run, the contestants run together, “but one receiveth the prize? So run that you may win it, so run that you may obtain it.”
Now the way that the stadium games were held is this; they had a kerux, the Greek word for preaching, for heralding, not just quietly talking.
Now the kerux is a herald- the announcer. The herald comes forth, and he announces the contest is to be run. And then he leads all of the contestants around the course before all of those thousands of tiered spectators. He yells, “Is there anyone here can lay anything to the charge of any of these contestants?”
For ten months they had to go into rigorous training. Have they been faithful in their training? Have they been guilty of any crime or depravity in life or morals or manner? The herald leads them around and announces to the spectator, “Does any spectator know anything?”
Then when the time of the race comes, the kerux, the herald, the announcer, the master of ceremonies introduces each contestant by his name, by his country, and by his city. When the race is run, he stood at the end of the course with a garland of victory in his hands. In the case of the Olympian Games, wreaths was made out of wild olive leaves. In the case of the Corinthians, the Isthmian Games, it was made out of pine leaves.
And that honor was the most coveted honor in the ancient Greek world. To win this race brought honor to the country, dignity to the city and glory to the contestant. The victor was escorted to his home and escorted to his city with great pomp and ceremony.
And they didn’t deign to let him enter the city through the regular gate, but they made a breach in the wall. They tore down a section of the wall in the city in order the Greek victor of the games might ride triumphantly into the city. His name was immortalized in poetry and in song.
This was the most coveted honor in the ancient Greek world to win in these stadium contests.
And there is an interesting Greek word, agonizomai. We have the English word agonize. “Every man that strives for it, presses for it, agonizes for it, is temperate in all things.” This is a good translation of the word. He is self-disciplined, he is continent, he is abstinent, he practices self-control, he is getting ready for the race. “Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown.” How long would a crown of olive leaves or pine leaves last?
To me this is what these four verses but mighty in meaning say to me. We as Christians need to practice as the athletic. We need to read the Bible, pray, run and not walk on the path or righteousness, We need to keep our eyes on the goal. We are sent here for a purpose to use our individual talents God has given each of us to tell others about Christ. We need to become strong. Our desire is suppose to be centered on God’s wants. This is to tell others. We are to live a life which is pleasing to Him. All the time, realize our rewards are not going to occur on earth but in heaven. Yet, as the angels rejoice when a person is saved, so we too can dance like David and sing to the Lord in celebration of someone accepting Him into their hearts.
Like the sun which rises and sets so does our day of living end. We can know we fought the good fight. We did everything He wanted us to do and our just rewards are now waiting in heaven. What a wonderful knowledge to know our life doesn’t end at death, but our soul leaves our lifeless body to reign in heaven forever.
To all who do not know him. ACCEPT the gift of eternal life. REALIZE Jesus died on the cross for you and me. REPENT. CONFESS your sins. TELL someone you became saved. FIND a church which preaches and believes in the Bible from cover to cover. My next blog is going to be on Sunday, January 26, my normal blog. sle