February 28, 2022
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As I was "remoting" my way across our TV channels, I came to a quick stop when I saw that one particular movie was on - "Chariots of Fire." You know, years ago, it won the Oscar for "Best Movie," but that's not why I stopped to watch it. It was because of how that movie impacted me the first time I saw it. It's the story of Eric Liddell, a famous Scottish Olympic runner. He had reached his dream of representing the United Kingdom as a 100-meter runner in the 1924 Olympics. Then, en route to the Games, he learned his event would be on Sunday - the day that Eric Liddell believed was reserved for God; a day on which his deep convictions would not allow him to participate.
The movie portrays the pressure placed on Eric Liddell to run that Sunday; pressure that came even from the future King of England. Liddell actually puts God first and stands his ground. Then he accepts the suggestion that he run later in an event that was not his event - the 400-meter race. And there is this memorable moment in the movie when another runner slips Eric Liddell a note just before his race. It reads, "The old Book says, 'He that honors Me I will honor.'" That day Eric Liddell won the gold ... and, as the movie points out at the end, went on to become a missionary to China who died for the Lord in a prison camp. And as the movie says, "All Scotland mourned."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Only One Choice."
Eric Liddell realized that when there's a choice between compromising and your convictions, there's really only one choice - taking your stand, no matter what it may cost. And God did honor this man who honored him. And 60 years after this man's integrity made Olympic headlines, a Hollywood producer told that story to the world in the year's best movie, which leads us to our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 4:5. It's only eight words. This is a good memory verse for you, and you should. These eight words will give you a compass to guide you through thousands of decisions in your life ... big and small. Here we go: "Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord."
Your mission remains unchanged, whether you're at work, at school, at home, in your relationships, on line - always do the right thing. Always tell the truth, always do the honest thing, always take the high road, always say no to temptation, always forgive, always put the other person first, always give God the glory, and when there's a question, always err on the side of integrity. Your job is just to do the right thing even when it costs. That's what the word "sacrifices" tells us - "offer right sacrifices."
But often all your righteous efforts will not be nearly enough to make it happen. That's where the second part of the verse comes in. After you've done the right thing, "trust in the Lord" to do what you could never do. You do your best; God does the rest. But He does it in response to you doing the right thing. Your commitment to the right thing isn't what will bring about the result you need. It's the trigger that causes God to show up and do amazing things.
Just in case you're afraid of the consequences of making the right choice, doing the right thing, you might let those consequences stop you. Well, remember all of the "yeah, buts" and all of the consequences of doing God's will; they're God's problem. You "trust in the Lord" after you've made the right sacrifice.
Life is so much less confusing when you've already decided your bottom line, "I will always do what's right. I will always do what God can honor." "Offer right sacrifices" then, "trust in the Lord." Before you run each day's race, let God hand you His note that says, "He that honors Me I will honor" (1 Samuel 2:30).