Eric Liddell, Weixian Internment Camp Museum | Cover Image By Alexandquan

How Then Shall We Live?

Part 6

I am tempted to go into too much detail in a blog post…an occupational hazard. I taught seminary courses for years and my tendency is to add a lot of information that is true and maybe interesting to you but can also distract from the simple statements I wish to make in this message to you.

Please just read I Peter 1:10-end of the chapter.

Distilled to its essence, Peter is telling a group of people who are about to experience horrific persecution how they ought to prepare themselves.

1. In the Old Testament the prophets were talking about a salvation that was going to be revealed in this present circumstance.

2. “Therefore” he says

“Prepare your minds for action.”
“Be self-controlled”
“Set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus is revealed”
“Do not conform to the evil desires you had when lived in ignorance”
“Be holy for I am Holy”

My paraphrase of I Peter 1:13-16

Conduct your lives as Strangers here in reverent fear…for we were redeemed from an empty way of life with the precious blood of Christ. Peter then adds an important detail that we would do well to pay attention to. Jesus was revealed in these last times for your sake. He then reminds them of a stark reality;

All men are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field
The grass withers and the flowers fall but the Word of the Lord stands forever Isaiah 40:6-8

During the pandemic I have watched lots of war movies and documentaries. I was struck by how virtually every despot every dictator every tyrant was deluded into thinking that their dominance would outlive them. Hitler boasted of a Thousand Year Reich. Mao and Stalin slaughtered and starved millions assuming that the Communist Utopia would be the destiny of mankind.

The prophet Isaiah said “The nations are ‘a drop in the bucket’ Isaiah 40: 12-15

As the Bejing Olympics continue, maybe you will be encouraged as I was to revisit this scene from the movie Chariots of Fire. Eric Liddle a Scottish missionary who was born in China was slated to return to China with his sister. The Paris Olympic Games were about to begin and Liddle was contender for a Gold Medal.

A crisis of conscience made it impossible to run in the qualifying heat for the hundred yard dash which was to be run on the Sabbath. He declined despite pressure from his nation’s leaders and the Prince of Wales The following clip depicts a message that Liddle preached in Paris.

Eric Liddell Reads Isaiah – Chariots of Fire (1981)

Have you fallen? Get up

If your thinking is getting loose and sloppy? Gird up your minds for action.

Are you running to please yourself? To win accolades? or please others? Or are you running because it gives God pleasure?

Eric Liddle died in a Chinese prison camp. As he lay dying a request was made for some musicians to play the hymn Be Still my Soul. May it comfort us all.

Songwriters: Jean Sibelius, Katharina Von Schlegel, Keaggy Philip T (For non-commercial use only).

Be still, my soul
The Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently
The cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God
To order and provide
In every change
He faithful will remain
Be still, my soul
Thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways
Leads to a joyful end

Be still, my soul
Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future
As he has the past
Thy hope, thy confidence
Let nothing shake
All now mysterious
Shall be bright at last
Be still, my soul
The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled
Them while He dwelt below

Be still, my soul
The hour is hastening on
When we shall be
Forever with the Lord
When disappointment grief
And fear are gone
Sorrow forgot, love’s
Purest joys restored
Be still, my soul When change and tears are past
All safe and blessed
We shall meet at last