1 Samuel 2:30b, “…for those who honor Me I will honor.”
Have you ever heard of Eric Liddel? Many of us have seen his life-story on the big (or smaller) screen, as told in the Oscar winning film, “Chariots of Fire.”
In the 1924 Olympics in Paris, Eric was the favorite to win the gold medal in the 100-meter race, but under deep conviction, he withdrew his name, refusing to run on a Sunday, the day he had always given completely to the Lord.
Eric was criticized and pressured by many to run on Sunday, but he refused to compromise his deep convictions. As an alternative, Liddell registered to run in the 400-meter race, but he wasn’t expected to win. Just moments before the race, an American handed him a piece of paper on which was written this passage from 1 Samuel 2:30, “Those who honor Me I will honor.” Liddell ran the race with the verse in his hand and ended up winning Olympic Gold and setting a new world record with a time of 47.6 seconds!
Here’s the part that really got to me – when Eric described his strategy for the race, he said, “The secret of my success over the 400 meters is that I run the first 200 meters as fast as I can. Then, for the second 200 meters, with God’s help, I run faster.”
I’ve always loved that quote as a strategy to win my race and to finish well. In a day and age where many are compromising, falling away, and giving in to the criticism and pressures of the world, Eric Liddel is one of those guys in the Christian Hall of Faith, set there as an example for us to learn from.
My brothers and sisters, I beg you to hold to your Christian convictions without compromise, no matter what it costs, and regardless of the criticism and pressures of the world. By God’s grace – as time goes on – run harder, and stronger, and faster, in order that you might win the race and finish well. And last but not least, honor the Lord with all of your heart – if you do, as we’ve seen modeled through the lives of Eric Liddell and so many others, the Lord will honor you – yes, I promise you, you will be rewarded with that “Gold-Medal” given to you on that day, by God Himself.
In His love, your brother in Christ,