More Precious Than Gold
Friday/weekend, August 3, 2012
Olympics 2012. Welcome to HT, I’m CM sharing the Great Story that’s all about Jesus and a program called “More Precious than Gold”. Gold … through history, people want it. In India, where the electricity was off for much of the country earlier this week, gold is in high demand. The world gold market is driven by the Indian wedding season of late September to January. Brides wear thousands in gold. Family and friends offer bullion bars and coins to newly married couples. But this year with the economy in India, investors don’t see weddings as a safe golden bet. At the Olympics those gold medals athletes strive to collect are for the sake of winning, for being the best. But those gold medals come with another price – taxes – at least for Americans. Medals come with cash prizes, 10,000 bronze, 15,000 silver and 25,000 gold. If you’re an American winning a gold, the IRS wants just shy of 9,000 in taxes. But if you win a gold, no doubt you don’t mind paying Uncle Sam. The Bible says genuine faith in Christ is much more precious than gold. Believe in him and find inexpressible joy.
Craig Borlaise on the local church involvement
His life was fast as a runner, short as a human being who died as a missionary in a Japanese concentration camp in World War II, but rich because he not only won a gold medal at the Olympics, Eric Liddell was rich in Christ and his story is told in the best picture of 1981 … Chariots of Fire. Have you ever seen it? Has it been a long time? We have it and I want to send it to you as our gift to you as thanks for your gift to HAVEN. August is typically the month of the year when people send the fewest gifts. I can understand. People are gone, normal routines are broken. So could you help us? Would you partner with us? Call us after the program at 1-800-654-2836. That’s 1-800-65-HAVEN and make the best gift you can to help share Jesus with others and ask for a copy of the DVD Chariots of Fire. Or go online and watch the video we have from the movie, make your gift and asking for the movie when you visit haventoday.org. That’s haventoday.org.
Open- Magnificent Obsession- Steven Curtis Chapman- From his album “Declaration”.
Paul Kobylarz – Olympic Chaplain –
Why did you get into Chaplaincy for athletics in general? What is your passion for this important calling? [00:28-01:31]
Usually chaplains build long term relationships but at the Olympics you might only get two or three minutes with an athlete or team, how do you prepare for such a quick opportunity? [03:13-05:06]
Steve Slain – Olympic Chaplain –
How did you prepare for your chaplaincy in previous Olympics? [01:50-02:16]
Leah O’Brien-Amico – former Olympian women’s softball, 3 gold medals, now a women’s softball coach for the Florida Pride
Amanda Furrer – Shooting - 50 Meter 3 Position
How did you get into this sport? [00:42-03:03]
What internal struggles did you experience after you didn’t make it on the shooting team headed to Beijing in 2008? How has that influenced your role on the team to London this year? [03:36-06:41]
Gwen Jorgensen – Women’s Triathlon
What defines you first as an athlete in the Olympics? [01:10-02:33]
MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD
When we’re all engrossed in the Olympics it’s hard to imagine anything more precious than gold. Does it get any better than standing at the top of the podium and having – not the bronze, not the silver – but the gold medal hung around your neck? The gold is the coveted prize. But there are some things better than taking the gold. In fact there’s something that makes an Olympic gold medal look like nothing by comparison.
But since I’ve never won the gold, I better let someone who has do the talking.
Australia gave her the nickname ‘The Golden Girl’ after she turned out three gold-medal performances in track at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games at the age of 18. Her name is Betty Cuthburt and sports-crazy Australia went wild for her that year. She was injured and had to miss the 1960 Rome Olympics. But she came out of retirement to win the 400 m gold medal in the 1964 Tokyo Games in what she described as ‘the only perfect race I have ever run’. This year she was induced into the Hall of Fame of the International Association of Athletes.
Years later, when she was 47, Betty developed multiple sclerosis. MS is a hard disease for anyone to face but for an athlete, someone who’s experienced the heights of physical performance, it must have been a terrifying prospect. Someone told her, “Betty, go to this church and they’ll heal you.” She was ready to try it. She went but today, at the age of 70 . . . Betty’s MS has progressed to the point that she’s wheelchair bound. At the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, she took part in the opening ceremony and tens of thousands of spectators cheered her on as she carried the torch being pushed in a wheelchair.
Obviously, she wasn’t healed. But listen to what Betty has to say about it, “I wasn’t healed but I met the Healer. My life has never been the same since. My salvation was a free gift. I didn’t have to work for it and it’s better than any gold medal that I’ve ever won.”
What’s better than a gold medal? Take it from someone who’s got a few and knows – “salvation is better than any gold medal that I’ve ever won.” She worked hard for those gold medals but what Jesus gave her that day for free was infinitely more valuable -- more valuable than any healing, more valuable than any fame, more valuable than any achievement --- he gave her salvation.
He gave her something so wondrous that – according to the apostle Peter -- the angels long to look into it. Listen to how Peter talks about this gift of salvation:
1Pet. 1: 3-12
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.”
What a wondrous gift is our salvation.
It’s not just escape from the judgment and wrath that’s coming on the world – it’s that – but it’s much, much more. It’s an inheritance -imperishable, undefiled – reserved for us in heaven. It’s so huge and so glorious that the whole universe is waiting for it to be revealed on the last day. Even the angels are waiting with bated breath for God to pull back the curtain and reveal the full glory of our salvation – which Jesus won for us and gave us for free.
Salvation is worth more than all the gold medals in the world.
But Peter mentioned something else in these verses that’s worth more than gold. Did you catch that? He said that our faith is more precious than gold.
We go through trials, like Betty who’s going through her trial with MS, and out of those trials emerges a faith that’s been purified just like pure gold is purified by fire. Peter says trials “prove” our faith to be “genuine.” They remove the impurities and make it shine like pure gold. When the whole world and all the angels look at our lives and see that our faith stood the test it’ll result in praise, glory, and honor on the day Jesus is revealed. All the stories will be told and our faith will be the real gold, not the athletic achievements, not the glories the world heaps on us, but our faith.
Our faith has value to God. Our faith is real gold in the eyes of the Lord. He delights in it and he’s going to honor it on that great day. We can’t boast about our faith, we can’t take credit for it – after all, the bible says it’s “the gift of God”. But we can rejoice to know it pleases the Lord. We can rejoice to know it brings him glory.
Let me let one more Olympic gold medalist do the talking. Josh Davis was born in San Antonio, Texas, on September 1, 1972 — the same day swimmer Mark Spitz made Olympic history by winning his seven gold medals..
Josh was born to be a swimmer like Spitz. He had his moment of glory in the 1996 Olympic Games when he won his third gold medal and had the honor of being the only athlete in any sport to receive three gold medals that year.
Josh is also a believer. Here’s what he as to say about living a life of faith:
“There were nights when I wrestled in my mind about how I could get faster, stronger, and leaner. In those moments, God would remind me that what I’m doing is nothing more than a means to an end. My sport is my ticket to impacting an unreached population for Christ. All I have to do is love God and keep walking closer to Jesus.”
When he speaks to young people he tells them, “You were created for a specific purpose with a specific destination and a specific home. Even when you feel like you are in a desert, keep walking ... keep thirsting ... keep moving toward Jesus.”
Those are the words of Josh Davis. He says his Olympic gold medals are scratched and tarnished now. He says the glory of winning those gold medals only lasted about 5 hours – 5 hours for 10 years of intensive training. And he says that the real gold is Jesus – the only real gold to be had is Jesus -- so keep walking, keep thirsting, keep moving towards Jesus.
Close- More Precious Than Silver- Lynn DeShazo
"What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" No movie exemplifies this better than Chariots of Fire. The powerful story of two olympic runners both driven to win, but for entirely different reasons. Eric Liddell runs to glorify his Savior, and Harold Abrams running only for himself and his own glory. If you've seen it you know that it ends with a twist, they both win and yet one of them seems to have lost even in his victory.
I know of no other Academy Award winning movie with such a clear articulation of the Gospel. This is a movie that invigorates your Christian faith and commitment to Christ. There are few movies that can make that claim! I would love to send you Chariots of Fire on DVD as my thank you for your gift to help Haven Ministries point others to Christ.
Chariots of Fire
For a gift of any amount
Winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture! The inspiring true story of British athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics. Ben Cross and Ian Charleson head a sterling cast of newcomers and veterans. The story, told in flashback, of two young British sprinters competing for fame in the 1924 Olympics....
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