Sermon Illustrations

Story: In 1981 the film, Chariots of Fire, won an Oscar - the Academy Award for Best Picture.

It tells the true story of two atheletes:

Harold Abrahams - a man of the world and Eric Liddell - a committed Christian.

Eric Liddell was one of the favourites to win the gold medal for the 100 m in the Paris Olympics in 1924.

However the quarter finals for the 100 m were scheduled to be run on a Sunday.

And Liddell made it a principle never to run on Sunday, the Lord’s day.

So he pulled out.

His coach, and some other including the Prince of Wales, try to convince him to change his mind.

But he would not participate in the semifinals, because they were being held on Sunday.

Liddell believed that to run on Sunday violated the 4th keep the Sabbath day holy.

However God honoured Liddell’s stand to make Sunday a special day for God. Liddell got his gold medal in a totally unexpected way

After turning down the chance to run in the 100m semifinals, Liddell was surprisingly given a place in the 400 m finals.

But it was a race that he had never run before.

And against all the odd, Liddell won the race.

Just before the race, one of the Great Britain team masseurs sent him a note that said:

“In the old book it says: He that honours me, I will honour” (referring to 1 Samuel 2:30)

Liddell won the 400 m finals with a world record and that day transformed the 400

Many race commentators said he ran like a man inspired. His sister Florence later commented:

Eric always said that the great thing for him was when he stood by his principles and refused to run in the 100 m, he found that the 400 m was really his race.

He would never have dreamt of trying the 400 m at the Olympics.

For Liddell Sunday was a special day for God and so he would not run on Sunday.