The Olympics are well underway! Have you been watching your favorite events? Wouldn’t it be great if you had an Olympics-themed Bible study for your small group? You can even prepare cookies shaped like the Olympic rings! Well, snacks aside, we’ve got just the thing for you…
Olympics Bible Study (with Discussion Questions)
Read the following passage with your small group–
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. –1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Reflection & Application Questions:
Answer the following questions in your small group. Or if you’re doing this on your own as a devotion, grab a pen and piece of paper to answer these questions with:
- Paul uses the analogy of athletes training to compete in the Greek games, much like the Olympic athletes of today. These athletes strive for “mastery” — have you ever spent a lot of time training or studying for something? What was it and what challenges did you have to overcome?
- Olympic athletes weight train, condition, and even have specific diets to make sure their bodies and minds are at peak performance. They take every advantage they can to improve their personal records. What habits can you start to practically strive for “mastery” in our faith?
- At the Olympics, winners were given boughs of trees or laurels to wear. These “crowns” were quick to wither and fade. What is the “incorruptible” crown that we as believers seek to win?
- What does it mean for a person to be running uncertainly or beating at the air? What might be some signs that a person is “beating the air” spiritually?
- In what ways can we bring our own bodies into “subjection?” (Did anyone consider fasting?) How does this help us spiritually?
- What ways do you personally plan on training spiritually? Consider setting “training goals” to last the duration of the Olympics and keeping each other accountable. Plan to meet afterwards to see what results these goals have produced!
BONUS QUESTION: Read all of 1 Corinthians 9. Paul seems to be answering challenges to his ministry and then ends the chapter with the above passage. What, according to Paul, makes all the trials and challenges worth it? How does this apply in your life?
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