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Leland was able to standardize Cadillac parts to precision standards. The development of these standards had such a profound impact that a member of the British Parliament, a wealthy lord named Sir Thomas Dewar, gave the company an award for standardization of parts. Having completely interchangeable parts revolutionized the industry. You could depend on Cadillac more than any other automobile of its time. This is where Cadillac gained its trademark, the Standard of the World.

When I was a child, currency was based on a precious metal standard. It was no longer a gold standard, where each piece of currency was backed by gold. The so-called gold standard had gone the way of William Jennings Bryan’s famous "Cross of Gold" speech and the yellow brick road of Oz (in the book, Dorothy’s slippers were SILVER, not ruby, and that’s because they represented a move to a silver standard). So, when I was a child, we still had Silver Certificates-—money backed by silver. Today, we have Federal Reserve Notes—-money backed by the mere promises of the U.S. Government—-promises that many U.S. politicians claim don’t mean anything when it comes to Social Security.

Today, Cadillac’s standards of excellence have been superseded by manufacturers in other nations, and the U.S. would spiral into an impossible depression if we returned to the gold standard. But we still speak of standards of excellence with regard to education and job performance. I’ve called this sermon, "The Gold Standard" because it is a standard that cannot be superseded—-a standard that should never cause us difficulty. That is because this standard is not based entirely upon our performance, but mostly upon God’s. In this text, we have someone expecting the standard monetary gift associated with nominal religious practice. As it turns out, what he gets is far beyond the gold standard. The man gets a life he never had. (Read Acts 3:1-16)

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