Sermonette for Saturday

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Hundreds of the world’s best athletes show up every four years at the Olympic Summer and Winter Games to compete for the gold, silver, and bronze medals. Some of those athletes are there simply to compete and do their best, knowing they do not have a realistic chance for any of the medals. But others go with a gold medal in mind and with every expectation of arriving on the winners’ podium. As they make the trip to the Olympic venue, they would almost see the gold medal, could almost feel the lanyard for the medal being placed around their neck. For the very best of them, that medal actually does materialize. But for many, it fades in the agony of failure to win, place, or show in their competition. That’s because their vision of a medal depends on themselves, and they fail to measure up to the requirements. How different the prize and the glory that await the Christian! How much more sure is that for which we hope!

An athlete’s faith in achieving an Olympic medal is based on the athlete’s ability. But your hope, and my hope, of an eternal crown is not based on our abilities at all, but on the One in whom we place our faith. There are crowns for the Christian to earn in our life and service. But those crowns do not depend on our abilities, but on our faithfulness in using the abilities God gives us. Unlike an Olympic athlete, we don’t need to be the best in the whole world. We just need to obey.

An athlete’s faith in achieving a medal often ends in disappointment. The substance for which they hoped fades to nothingness. But the faithful child of God can never be disappointed. The substance for which we hope is eternal and will never fade.

The sinner can grasp only what he sees, and then for only a few brief moments. The saint can firmly grasp what he cannot see, and that forever. – Jim MacIntosh

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