Eric Liddel, renowned Olympics winner in the twenties, became a missionary to China, and eventually died for his faith. However, as he put it, ‘God also made me fast’. The following video montage is from the film based on Eric’s life, made in 1981, CHARIOTS OF FIRE. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and actually won four, including Best Picture.
The portrayal of a Christian literally running the race to win, for God’s pleasure, is captivating and challenging. It brings new focus and motivation to the bible verses relating to this:
1 Cor 9:24-27 (ANIV) 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Heb 12:1-3 (ANIV) 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
God has a crown in store for all those Christians who seek the eternal rewards of a life devoted to Him. Yes, we enter into salvation, into the Christian Faith by the grace of God, freely given, unmerited, unearned. Yet, having entered into Christ, and become part of the ‘Body of Christ’, the believers worldwide who comprise His body, his representation on earth, we can choose the degree of devotion we wish to give to Him.
Are you like an athlete who disciplines his own body in order to bring out the best in the race? Or like a soldier, avoiding civilian matters, or a Christian avoiding world affairs which distract?
2 Tim 2:1-5 (ANIV) 1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No-one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
How surrendered to Him, to His will for your life, are you? God will reward you in heaven according to your choices made in this life. Salvation may be unearned, but the responsibilities given you in heaven will be measured according to your commitment to Christ whilst here on earth. (See the Parable of the Ten Minas: Luke 19v11-26 esp. v17). 17 " 'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'
Are you persevering in the Faith? Are you pressing on to win the prize God wishes to bestow upon you?
James 1:12 (ANIV) 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Phil 3:12-14 (ANIV) 12......I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, 14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.
Remember, they that honour God, He will honour. Consider your ways today and come before the Lord. Allow Him to speak to you and to lead you into repentance and restoration, if that is your need.
1 Samuel 2v30......Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained.
Finally, a clip from the film, Chariots of Fire.
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