Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Daily Devotional: Friday, July 23 - Focus Your Faith

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” — Acts 20:24 

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are here, and so is the excitement. The running joke is that the summer sports are about how far, how fast and how long you can go, but the winter sports are all about how to survive that particular sport. Running, biking and swimming are all tremendous things in of themselves, but hurtling downhill over a ski jump or flying down an ice ramp on a sled no bigger than your compact car’s door are frightening, to say the least.

A clear goal — in the Olympic athlete’s mind, a gold medal — is worth it. All the early-morning practice hours, the cold water, the heat coming off the track, safety concerns, dehydration, sore muscles and exhaustion, they all play a role in trying to divert the athlete from their goal.

Keeping our eyes on the goal — knowing Jesus Christ and waiting for His return — should be our aim in this life.

We can all learn by watching the Olympics, especially the sports we only see occasionally, like fencing, rowing, table tennis or even the trampoline. The athlete’s focus as they compete to be the best in the world must be singular and laser sharp. One slip of concentration can mean the difference between gold and not qualifying for the next round.

So when it comes to the Olympics, what makes these athletes want to push the envelope, to press on faster, farther, longer? And sometimes with their lives at risk? In the Christian walk (or run/swim/jump/luge, etc.) of life, Paul summed it up when writing about his journey to the Philippians: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12). The goal of the athlete is to win, to be at the peak of their physical power. As Christians, we ask God to lead us, to show us the way, to give us strength to meet our challenges and to find victory in the end.

So what goal is God calling you to? How can you make your focus better? What do you need to have around you to make that happen? Rub your eyes, take deep breaths, hydrate yourself, feed yourself healthy food and then like an athlete on their starting block, spectacularly launch yourself into being the best Christian you can be for God. Let nothing stop you in reaching your finish line!

— Mary Nuckols

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