Daily readings to accompany Olympics
Daily readings will be released throughout the London Olympics this summer to encourage Christians in their own "race of faith".
Muscle man Samson, the shot-thrower David, and the inspirational 1924 Olympic winner Eric Liddell are just some of the figures who will crop up on the Run the Race website to provide inspiration during the Games.
Author Alastair Kirk says, "I am firstly passionate about God\'s Word and also really enjoy sport, so with the Olympics coming to the UK I was inspired to take this special opportunity to connect the two.
"My motivation in writing Run the Race was to embrace the excitement of the Olympics whilst encouraging Christians in their 'race of faith'."
Run the Race is a resource from More Than Gold, the umbrella group for church outreach during the Games.
In addition to athletes and biblical figures, the website will offer daily readings, a daily prayer and a summary of the events happening at the Games that day.
The first section of daily readings are centred on Hebrews 12:1-2 and motivate the reader to 'run with endurance' and 'look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith'.
"As our attention this summer turns to the excitement of the Games, I urge people to look unto Jesus Christ who has completed the race and wants us to obtain everything that He has promised us," said Kirk.
He believes there are important lessons that can be learned through the principles of physical exercise, whether people are sports lovers or not.
"The New Testament writers, especially the Apostle Paul, were very familiar with the Greek culture of the day and particularly its passion with athletics and keeping the physical body in pristine condition," he explains.
"Some words that the New Testament writers used and are now in our everyday vocabulary even had direct association with the ancient Olympics. The early believers would have easily related to the important messages that God was giving to them through His servants."
In his letters, the Apostle Paul refers to the life of a Christian as running a race, and speaks of the need for discipline and endurance.
"He wanted to urge every Believer to fulfil his or her potential regardless of the challenges because he understood the tremendous blessing in doing so," says Kirk.
"Yet the race that Paul and others wrote about wasn't a lonely struggle of self-effort – their inspired writings reveal an amazing God of love who has provided a way for us to complete the race with honour."
The readings will be available online at Run the Race Daily during the actual Games. All readings have also been produced as a book and are suitable for personal devotional reading or for ideas for church and youth groups.
On the web: www.runtheracedaily.com