Eyes On The Prize Tract
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  • CategoriesOutreachTracts
  • Format: Bundle of 100
  • SKU: EOTP
  • AUTHOR: Iain Jamieson

Eyes On The Prize Tract

Iain Jamieson
New tract for summer 2024. This summer the Olympics will be taking place in Paris with millions of people watching from all over the world.  This new tract gives a clear gospel message relating to the life of Eric Liddell who won gold in the 400 meter Olympic race in Paris 100 years ago.
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Description

New tract for summer 2024.

This summer the Olympics will be taking place in Paris with millions of people watching from all over the world. 

This new tract gives a clear gospel message relating to the life of Eric Liddell who won gold in the 400 meter olympic race in Paris 100 years ago.

Wording:

“The summer of 2024 marks 100 years since famous - Scottish athlete Eric Liddell won gold at the Paris Olympics. His inspiring story of courage and victory was told in the well-known film 'Chariots of Fire' and has been an inspiration to many. On the 16th of January 1902, Eric Liddell was born in Tianjin, China. His parents were missionaries from Scotland who had dedicated their lives to bringing the message of Jesus Christ to the people of China.

An intelligent young man, Eric Liddell left home in 1920 to study Pure Science at Edinburgh University. At university he developed his talent for sport and athletics. Although he enjoyed rugby and cricket, it was running where Liddell really excelled. His talent for short distance running began to be recognised and in 1923 he set a new British record for the 100 yard sprint. From that point on, Eric Liddell became a favourite for the Paris Olympics of 1924. Any successful athlete has to keep their 'eyes on the prize' and Liddell devoted himself to training for the 100m race in Paris.

However, Eric Liddell never did run in the race he had trained so hard for. As the Paris Olympics drew closer he discovered that the heats for the 100m race were going to be held on a Sunday. As a young man, Eric had come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ and believed that Sunday was a special day set aside for worshipping God. He was not prepared to compromise his principles. To the shock and disbelief of the Olympic community, Liddell withdrew from the 100m event and instead entered himself in the 400m race. His faith in Christ meant that Eric Liddell had his eyes on a greater prize than Olympic gold:

'I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.' (Philippians 3:14)

The 400m was an event that he had not trained for, requiring much more stamina and a different strategy. On the morning of the race on the 11th July 1924, one of the Olympic staff from the American team slipped Liddell a piece of paper which contained a verse from the Bible: 'Them that honour me I will honour' (1 Samuel 2:30). That proved to be true when he shocked the world by winning gold in the 400m. He ran it in 47.6 seconds, setting a new Olympic record time. When asked about his victory he said:

'The secret of my success over the 400m is that I run the first 200m as fast as I can. Then, for the second 200m, with God's help I run faster.'

Eric Liddell knew, as every athlete does, the importance of competing according to the rules. However, as a believer in Jesus Christ, he also knew that we have all disobeyed the rules of God. The Bible tells us that 'all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23). The penalty that has to be paid for sin is death (Romans 6:23). However, God provided a way that anyone can be forgiven of their sin by sending His Son, Jesus Christ into this world.

Just as Eric Liddell had his eyes on the prize in athletics, so Jesus Christ had one great purpose; to die on the cross to pay the penalty due for our sin: 'who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross' (Hebrews 12:2). He died in our place, but that is not the end of the story. Three days later, Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is alive today. He is inviting you to turn from your sin and believe that He paid the price for you on the cross and rose again. Accept Him as your Lord and Saviour and you will gain a much greater prize than Olympic Gold; you will be forgiven of all of your sin, given a new life and promised a place in Heaven for eternity.

After his 1924 victory, Eric Liddell could have enjoyed his fame and pursued more Olympic medals. Instead he returned to China as a missionary, dedicating his life to telling others about this message of Jesus Christ. He had his eyes on a greater prize. What about you?

lain Jamieson

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