Skip to main content

Going for the Gold

Evidence of victory - the Gold Medal of an Olympian victory.  I haven't caught much of the Winter Games so far, but I know the Canadians won against the Swedes in hockey because my Canadian relatives posted the win!  It amazes me to see an 18-year hold slalom down the hillside at rocket speed and come across in gold medal timing.  The games are tough, the competition among the best of the best, and the changes of winning only tenths of a second away from losing.  As the games draw to a close, the winners head for the winner's circle - taking their place on the first, second and third place platforms.  The Gold Medal is the prized and most coveted of all - one which holds the greatest honor and reward.  Yet, so few actually achieve such a huge honor - though many will have worked with unceasing dedication to their sport.  One evidence of victory display is the prized medal - another evidence of victory display is the transformation of a life by the sacrificial effort of another. The one medal is placed in a trophy case for display and reflection.  The other "medal" is placed into a life for it to continually display and to give a renewable reflection of the one at work within.

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.  (I Peter 1:6-7 MSG)

It is our faith which becomes a sign of the work within.  As it grows, we stand more confident - not self-assured because we have trained well, but "Christ-assured" because he has made us strong on every side.  Over the weekend, our pastor began a new series in which the first topic of exploration was this idea of being in the world, but not really of it.  He used an awesome illustration which has spoken to me over and over so far this week.  Here it is: We can either be thermostats or thermometers.  Thermometers adjust to the environment they are within - just becoming hot or cold to whatever they are influenced the most by.  Thermostats, on the other hand, adjust the environment to where they are.  They make the environment change - rather than being changed by the environment.

I think this is important as we study this idea of our faith being proven - coming out strong and standing solid.  Why?  Simply put - our faith is on display for others to see - it is there to act as a thermostat - not as a thermometer.  We effect others by what is on display in our lives - Christ puts much on display in our live circumstances and our responses to these.  As we respond, the way we respond is registered and becomes a means of validating the work we are engaged in alongside Christ.  

Medal adorn the man - but are short lived.  When the next person breaks the record in the next four years, the medal will all but be talked about as in past tense.  The "gold refined in fire" God desires for our lives will adorn our lives with a permanence of beauty and an enduring quality of Christ-like character.

Not sure what "medals" you might be pursuing today - suffice it to say I think most are pursuing the gold.  But it isn't the metal of the medal which makes the man, but the fiber within (the character we put on display in pursuit of the medal).  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Gateway closed, ears open, heart ready

We can certainly hear a lot of voices today - each representing some "cause" or "purpose" we are supposed to get our lives behind. Some are reasonable and seem to catch our attention simply because what they present seems both logical and straight-forward. Other voices are not as forth-coming in their motives, oftentimes not very logical and definitely not telling you the whole story. They simply use a technique that manipulates the crowds until they have them to the place we might call "biting on the bait". Our mailboxes are inundated with this request for "charitable contribution" one right after another; get this product now; attend this seminar to get rich quick; and get these veneers put on your teeth to change the way people perceive you. Lots of voices demanding our attention, but do we recognize its source? Jesus was most concerned with the repetitive 'voices' and 'demands' our world puts out there over and over again - vo