I am loving the 2018 Winter Olympics aren't you? ​Something about the night after night, day after day drama of watching the athletes compete at the highest level draws me in. Winter Olympic Games are incredible examples of what's possible. Ironically, these athletes do things I know are impossible! Have you seen what snowboarders are doing now? Have you watched these cross country skiers that shoot at targets and are able put together multiple bullseyes with just a few seconds to catch their breath? Incredible.

I love watching the olympics with my family. It is something that was modeled well for me. I remember sitting together in front of the old black and white tv, cheering on downhill skiers, and enduring more figure skating than any middle school boy should ever have to watch. Still, it was clearly and firmly set aside as family time.

Do not miss these moments. This could be the biggest opportunity of the year to teach children what it means to become and grow as a Christian. Demonstrating a tangible visual for your child what it means to "give all you've got." A true follower of Christ is repeatedly told in Scripture to leave everything behind for the sake of the Gospel. 

The Apostle Paul specifically used the earliest Olympic games as an illustration of the discipline it takes to be one who call themselves a Christian. When reading his words, you can imagine how motivated the participants would be to train their bodies and their minds for the highest possible level of performance.

24 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. 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. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

John MacArthur specifically uses this passage to inspire eight specific, practical ways in which a person can discipline himself or herself in a chapter called "How Not to be Disqualified." Isn't it heart-breaking when an athlete has a medal revoked because they knowingly or unknowingly failed to compete by the rules?

Here are 8 ways to teach your children how every person, athlete or not, can carry the torch, and do it in relentless pursuit of a crown that lasts forever.

1. Get organized
2. Use time wisely
3. Find ways to be edified rather than merely entertained
4. Pay attention to small things
5. Accept extra responsibility
6. Once you start something, finish it
7. Keep your commitments
8. Tell yourself "no" from time to time.

What kinds of disciplines are required in serving Christ? Do you follow those disciplines as faithfully as the olympic athlete? 

"On your marks", "get ready" "get set" ……."WAIT! 

By the way, we need to announce that the event you have been preparing for, the race you have entered into,was actually run yesterday.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

Jesus Paid it All! This is our own olympic victory song. These are the words to the anthem we sing!

Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow!

O Praise the One who paid our debt,
And raised this life up from the dead!
O Praise the One who paid our debt,
And raised this life up from the dead!

Yes, we will sing, both now and forever. I pray you will carry the torch well.

Pastor Milo
@milowilson