Living Holy Lives
"Living Holy Lives" | August 18, 2012 | Order Info
Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; Matthew 25:34-46; Genesis 39:9; John 13:34, 35.
The summer Games of the XXX Olympiad are now history. More than 10,000 athletes from 204 nations competed in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. London hosted the games for the third time and Great Britain was praised for an exceptional job which began with an opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle. There were 302 different competitions in 26 sports.
Thirty world records were set in the 2012 games in seven sports. The largest number of records were in swimming. The countries setting most of the records were China (5), Great Britain (5) and the United States (5). Gold medals handed out at the games by country were topped by the United States (46), followed by China (38) and Great Britain (29).
One of the issues about that continues to be raised at the Olympics is “doping”. What about the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes?
“It was announced prior to the Summer Games that half of all the competitors were tested for drugs, with 150 scientists set to take 6,000 samples between the start of the Games and the end of the Paralympic Games. In addition, every competitor who won a medal was also tested. The Olympic anti-doping laboratory tested up to 400 samples every day for more than 240 prohibited substances. Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku became the first athlete to be tested positive. Gymnast Luiza Galiulina and runner Tameka Williams were also suspended. Nadzeya Ostapchuk became the first athlete stripped of a medal when she tested positive for metenolone. Valerie Adams was therefore awarded the gold medal in shot put.”1
When we think of the strict and challenging preparations athletes of the Olympic Games undergo in order to compete, it reminds us of the call to holy living presented by Paul to the Thessalonian believers in this week’s Sabbath school lesson. Giving particular attention to the moral arena, Paul writes, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor” (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 4).
The phrase “possess his own vessel” is often translated, in the context of sexuality, as “acquire your own wife.” But it can also be read “control your own body.” In other words, Paul calls the believers to live within the strict boundaries of purity in marriage. Living a holy life in a culture of permissiveness protected homes, strengthened the witness of the church, and glorified God.
Some of the Olympic athletes fell beneath the high calling of controlling their choices and brought dishonor on their country. How much more should we seek to bring honor to the heavenly country that we represent before the universal games between good and evil?