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"Lord, I don't ask that I should win, but please, please don't let me finish behind Akabusi."

Innocent Egbunike's prayer at the 1988 Olympics


The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole household. Acts 16:34

This verse started me thinking about the nature of conversion. The context is that Paul and Silas were in prison when a divine earthquake released the prisoners and led to the jailer coming to faith in Christ. One consequence of his conversion was to invite some of the prisoners to dinner!

As Justo Gonzalez wrote on this passage, conversion is not just about intellectual acceptance of certain propositions, it must result in a radical change of life and in “the values by which we measure success in life”.

A question I like to ask when interviewing athletes is “What difference does it make having Jesus in your life?” If the answer is “None” – then Christianity has failed. Ask yourself that question today – “What difference does it make to me, having Jesus in my life?”

As you go to practice today, in what way are you different? Are your values different? Do you cope with frustrations better? Are you more tolerant? How do you deal with that annoying team mate or training partner?

If the jailer can invite his prisoners to dinner, surely you (and I) can be different for Jesus in the world of sport today.

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