It Is Written

Running to Win

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: John Bradshaw


Series Code: IIW

Program Code: IIW001304

00:01 [Music]
00:06 It has stood the test of time.
00:11 God's book.
00:14 The Bible.
00:16 Still relevant in today's complex world.
00:22 It is written sharing hope around the globe.
00:36 Thanks for joining me today.
00:37 I4m John Bradshaw and this is It Is Written.
00:41 You know, every four years the whole world forgets
00:44 momentarily about its quarrels and problems
00:47 and focuses for two weeks on something that seems to be
00:50 a fascination for just about everybody---
00:52 the Olympic Games.
00:53 You can't get away from it.
00:55 Around the world warnings were given to people about
00:58 the problems of coming in to work in the morning tired
01:00 and the effect that this might have on their health.
01:03 But of course record numbers of people watched the games
01:06 in spite of the warnings of the health professionals.
01:09 Before the London Olympics in 2012 there were reports
01:11 about some of the issues that were plaguing
01:14 the games: there were structures --buildings--that may not be
01:16 ready on time; it was thought there might not
01:19 be enough security people to make sure the organization
01:22 ran smoothly throughout the actual games.
01:24 Once the games started all those concerns
01:26 were forgotten.
01:27 The minds of people were turned to their nation's
01:29 competitors and the question of whether or not they would
01:31 win medals - with gold being metal of the preferred kind.
01:36 One country that entered the London Olympic Games
01:38 with stellar expectations was Australia.
01:42 Over the years the Aussies have always punched well above
01:44 their weight in the Olympic Games and at London
01:47 they were expecting to do the same thing - especially
01:50 in the swimming pool.
01:50 [Triumphant Music under] They had assembled a strong
01:52 team of swimmers, many of whom had been successful at
01:55 the Beijing Olympics four years earlier, as well as at
01:58 the world championships.
02:00 So when the Australian swimmers took to the pool
02:02 there was an expectation in Australia that they'd do
02:04 well and to bring back a significant number of medals
02:07 back to Australia.
02:08 And one of their mostly highly favored swimmers was
02:10 a man named James Magnussen.
02:13 Now James Magnusson was the reigning world champion in
02:15 the 100 meters freestyle -- that4s one of swimming's
02:18 glamour events.
02:19 At the 2011 world championships in Shanghai,
02:22 China, Magnussen became the first Australian to win
02:25 the gold medal in that event.
02:27 He was a national hero in Australia.
02:29 Aussies nicknamed him "the missile".
02:32 Understandably he placed great expectations on
02:35 himself.
02:36 In fact, he said he thought he would win in London.
02:38 He was now the best in the world and he had swum the
02:40 fastest time in history over 100 meters for any swimmer
02:44 wearing a conventional swimsuit.
02:46 Now, that4s in contrast to those high tech swimsuits
02:49 that were worn a few years ago but then banned from
02:51 competition.
02:52 No one was able to match James Magnussen in his
02:55 favored event.
02:56 So when the London Olympics arrived James Magnussen was
02:59 expected to win gold for Australia.
03:02 Before the men's 100 meters was the men's 4 x 100m relay
03:06 and Australia was expected to dominate that race as
03:08 well.
03:09 They won their heat comfortably and all
03:12 the country thought that they would win the final
03:14 in a canter.
03:15 Magnusson swam first in the final and went out hard.
03:18 In his second lap Australia waited for the missile
03:20 to fire, but it didn't happen.
03:22 When Magnussen finished his leg of the relay Australia
03:25 was placed third --and they ended winning bronze.
03:29 In many countries Third in the world would be cause
03:31 for celebration.
03:32 But for Australia there was real disappointment.
03:35 Magnussen himself was dejected.
03:37 The weight of a nation was on him.
03:39 He felt like he had let his country down.
03:41 At the post race interview he couldn't find words to
03:43 speak and he faded into the background.
03:46 There was no real explanation.
03:48 The game plan simply hadn't worked.
03:50 Now the whole of Australia began to worry about how
03:53 James would do in the 100 metre race itself.
03:56 After some soul searching and time with his coach
03:58 Magnussen lined up in the 100 meter heat.
04:01 He swam well and came second.
04:03 He won his semi-final quite convincingly.
04:05 It seemed like the missile was back.
04:08 The whole of Australia was there with him, it seemed.
04:10 In his home town of Port Macquarie - a beautiful
04:12 seaside city on the coast of New South Wales -- almost
04:16 the whole town got up in the early hours of the morning
04:18 to watch the final.
04:19 There was a big screen in the town centre.
04:22 Many people went down there to watch.
04:23 [Sports Music] The big screen event started
04:25 at 4:30 am.
04:26 James' race would start at 5:15.
04:29 All sorts of of people from Port Macquarie showed up to
04:33 watch their home town hero.
04:36 The result of the final is now in the history books.
04:38 James Magnussen competed.
04:40 He swam incredibly well.
04:42 When the race ended many Australians thought their
04:44 man had carried the day.
04:45 But the cruel truth for Australia was that James
04:48 Magnussen had been beaten by Nathan Adrian from
04:51 Bremerton, Washington by the smallest measurable margin
04:54 in swimming: 1 100th of a second.
04:58 This much.
05:00 Magnussen was gracious in defeat, but the smiles were
05:03 forced and everyone in Australia was feeling what
05:06 he felt.
05:07 The disappointment of being so near and yet so far.
05:12 And then Australia began the post mortem.
05:15 For the first time since Montreal 1976 Australia
05:20 hadn't won an individual swimming medal.
05:22 Instead, they had "only" won a single gold (in a relay),
05:26 six silvers and three bronze.
05:29 Only five countries won more swimming medals than
05:32 Australia.
05:33 Yet one Olympic champion swimmer from Australia said
05:35 that the swimmers didn't try hard enough.
05:37 Coaches were blamed for not adequately preparing
05:39 the athletes, and the coaches themselves said that they
05:42 didn't have enough resources which were being diverted to
05:45 other programs...
05:46 and on it went.
05:47 Now contrast that with another Australian Olympian.
05:52 Jessica fox raced in the final of the K1 canoe
05:55 slalom.
05:57 She wasn't expected to do very well but Jessica made
05:59 the final.
06:00 Now her mother had won a bronze in the same event
06:03 at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
06:05 After her final run Jessica found herself with the fastest
06:08 time of all of the competitors and she held on to that
06:10 top spot until until a French paddler
06:13 paddled her final run.
06:15 Jessica was ultimately beaten by just six tenths
06:18 of a second.
06:19 The Eighteen years old and a silver medalist.
06:21 So how did Jessica react?
06:25 She was ecstatic and when being interviewed she said
06:29 that she was still 'in the clouds'.
06:31 What a contrast between Jessica and James Magnusson.
06:35 They both competed.
06:36 They both came second.
06:38 Neither of them won.
06:39 They both walked away with a silver medal.
06:42 They both felt very differently about it.
06:44 But let4s shift this just a little bit.
06:46 What is it do you think that God most wants from our
06:49 lives?
06:50 Is God sitting on the edge of His throne during
06:53 the Olympics - waiting to see who will win gold?
06:55 Is he cheering competitors on?
06:58 The truth is God wants every one of us to win something
07:01 golden - but His sights are set on far more than simply
07:05 a gold medal.
07:06 I'll have more in just a moment.
07:11 In Matthew 4:4 the word of God says, "It is written,
07:14 'Man shall not live bread alone but by every word
07:18 that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" Every Word is a one
07:21 minute Bible-based daily devotional presented
07:24 by pastor John Bradshaw and designed especially for busy
07:27 people like you.
07:29 Look for Every Word on selected networks or watch
07:32 it on-line everyday on our website,
07:35 Receive a daily spiritual boost.
07:38 Watch Every Word.
07:39 You'll be glad you did.
07:41 Here's a sample.
07:52 I get asked every now and then about this.
07:54 We're saved by grace through faith.
07:56 Right.
07:57 But then Revelation 22:12 says, "And, behold, I come
08:00 quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man
08:03 according as his work shall be."
08:06 It sounds to some people as though this is saying we're
08:08 not saved by God's grace, but by our works.
08:10 Now lets look at this carefully.
08:12 John writes that we are JUDGED by our works,
08:14 not SAVED by our works.
08:16 The point is that our works - how we live our lives -
08:19 demonstrates or gives evidence regarding
08:21 the reality of our profession.
08:24 Anyone at all can claim to be a follower of Jesus,
08:27 but it isn't what you say that really matters.
08:30 It's how you live.
08:31 That's where the evidence really is.
08:33 In the judgment, it isn't just a profession
08:35 God is looking for, he's looking for
08:37 the real thing.
08:39 I'm John Bradshaw for It Is Written.
08:41 Let's live today by Every Word.
08:47 Planning for your financial future is a vital aspect
08:49 of Christian stewardship.
08:51 For this reason, It Is Written is pleased to offer free
08:53 planned giving and estate services.
08:56 For information on how we can help you, please call
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09:32 address
09:41 This is It Is Written.
09:42 Thanks for joining me today.
09:43 You know in the book of Mark chapter 10 and verse 45,
09:47 the Bible says this, "For the Son of man also has not
09:51 come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as
09:55 redemption for many".
09:57 When I look closely at the words of Jesus I find
10:00 it hard to think that Jesus is going crazy over
10:02 the Olympics, that he is setting his clock so that he does
10:05 not miss any of the events.
10:07 That Jesus entered into the sorrow that James Magnusson
10:10 experienced at his loss.
10:11 I don't think that Jesus is going to be spending
10:14 his days planning for that great Olympics in the sky when he
10:17 will assemble the greatest athletes ever to fight for
10:19 the title of swimmer of the galaxy.
10:22 I don't think it's going to happen that way.
10:23 I don't think that when Jesus is taking his people
10:25 into his kingdom he will be lining them up according to
10:28 the amount of Olympic gold medals they have won.
10:30 Or even by our professions so that the brightest
10:32 scholars all line up first.
10:35 No - God will be lining us up according to our
10:37 characters.
10:38 Now am I saying that God is not interested in what you
10:40 or I are doing or what athletes are doing?
10:43 Oh, no I don't mean that.
10:44 In fact the apostle Paul speaks at some length about
10:48 the athletes of his day.
10:50 The beginning of organized games began with Alexander
10:52 the Great after he had conquered the world.
10:55 He had organized games for Greece and for his soldiers.
10:58 Sports were introduced into Palestine and a gymnasium
11:00 was erected in Jerusalem.
11:01 During the time of the apostle Paul the games were well
11:04 established and by then everyone had heard of the Greek
11:07 Olympic Games.
11:08 The Gentiles loved the games but they were repugnant to
11:12 the pious Jews because they were of a demoralizing
11:15 character.
11:16 And there was good reason for the Jews to be put off.
11:20 Those who took part in the contests competed naked.
11:24 The Olympic games were held every four years in Olympia
11:26 in honor of the god Zeus.
11:29 They had a variety of games including leaping,
11:31 and racing, and quoits, spear throwing, and wrestling.
11:34 They had chariot racing, boxing, running in armor.
11:38 Now you just didn't turn up on the day and compete.
11:40 The competitors usually went on a special diet
11:42 and preparation, they stayed under supervision at one
11:45 place, they exercised their bodies regularly and when
11:48 they competed, they had to obey all the rules.
11:51 Very much like today.
11:52 Paul was aware of this when he wrote to the Corinthians.
11:55 He wrote to the Corinthians and said these words,
11:59 "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate
12:01 in all things.
12:02 Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown;
12:04 but we an incorruptible" (That's I Corinthians 9:25).
12:10 And to his young friend Timothy he wrote
12:12 these words, he said, "And if a man also strive for
12:17 masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive
12:21 lawfully" (II Timothy 2:5).
12:24 When an athletic event was completed, a herald
12:27 proclaimed aloud the name of the victor and the city from
12:30 which he came.
12:31 He was presented with a palm branch by the judges,
12:34 and the prizes were given out on the last day of the games.
12:36 There was only one winner per event, crowned with an
12:39 olive wreath made of wild-olive leaves from
12:42 a sacred tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia.
12:45 This was a matter of honor for the competitors.
12:48 But nevertheless Paul says that their reward was
12:50 something that they strove after even though there was
12:54 only one reward per event.
12:57 But then Paul contrasts the reward that the athlete
13:00 received with the reward that the Christian receives.
13:03 He said these words, "so run to win!
13:08 They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we
13:11 do it for an eternal prize.
13:14 (1 Cor 9 24-25).
13:16 So we are called on to "run to win".
13:21 Peter had the same thought in mind when he wrote this
13:24 in 1 Peter 5:4, the Bible says this, "you will receive
13:31 the crown of glory that does not fade away"
13:35 (1 Peter 5:4).
13:36 James Magnusson was clearly disappointed when he lost
13:38 and yet he was only reaching for something that WOULD
13:40 fade away.
13:41 According to he Bible it's a whole lot better to be
13:43 a nobody and yet be striving for the crown that God will
13:46 give to those that love Him.
13:48 God wants to give us something that we can have
13:50 for all eternity -- not simply a prize we have
13:52 for just a short time before the memory of it becomes
13:55 consigned to the history books.
13:57 Do you remember the name Johnny Weissmuller?
13:59 Johnny Weissmuller won two gold medals for swimming
14:02 during the 1920s.
14:03 You might remember that he went on to become
14:06 the "Tarzan" of his era.
14:07 But I can't think of any other Olympian from that time.
14:11 They have faded from the mind of mankind and now
14:13 the only memory of them is held online or in the library.
14:16 And even it I read about them I doubt if I would have
14:19 heard of any of them.
14:20 Paul said "They do it to obtain a corruptible crown;
14:24 but we an incorruptible" (1 Corinthians 9:25).
14:27 This will be placed on our heads by Jesus' own hand.
14:31 What a day that will be!
14:32 For each of God's children there'll be a crown of
14:34 victory.
14:35 Each of us will receive the victor's palm
14:37 and the shining harp.
14:39 Then we will live with God for all eternity.
14:42 In a moment - the apostle Paul compares himself to an
14:45 Olympic athlete.
14:47 I'll be right back.
14:50 [Music]
15:06 Time For today's bible question and thanks for submitting
15:09 bible questions to us here at It Is Written
15:11 How can a person really believe the Bible
15:14 is true?
15:16 It was written years ago, it has been copied so many
15:19 times, it was written by a lot of different people
15:21 and those people wrote different parts of the Bible
15:23 at different times.
15:25 Help me believe the Bible is believable.
15:28 Great question.
15:30 Thank you.
15:31 I'll do my best.
15:32 You know what's funny?
15:34 There are historical books that not many people
15:37 question when it comes to authenticity.
15:40 An historian named Tacitus wrote The Annals
15:44 of Imperial Rome.
15:46 Few people question its accuracy or its veracity,
15:48 even though what is available today comes from
15:50 a copy and doesn't NEARLY date back to the original.
15:55 Now I'm not knocking Tacitus and the Annals
15:58 of Imperial Rome.
15:59 I'm just pointing out that there's a bit of a double
16:01 standard when it comes to considering the accuracy
16:04 of the Bible.
16:05 Now there are several reasons you can trust
16:07 the Bible.
16:08 I'll name just a few.
16:09 Historically it stands up.
16:11 Luke, who wrote Luke and the Book of Acts, is a very
16:13 accurate historian, and the historical details found
16:17 in what he wrote stand the test of thorough scrutiny.
16:21 Archaeology has validated the Bible again and again.
16:25 On numerous occasions it has been said that portions
16:27 of the Bible couldn't be trusted because they
16:29 couldn't be validated by the archaeological record.
16:33 But again and again archaeologists have found
16:36 records of cities or other evidences that show
16:41 the Bible record was accurate after all.
16:44 It's happened many, many times.
16:47 Then there are the manuscripts.
16:48 There are hundreds of old manuscripts or portions
16:51 of manuscripts that show us that what has come down
16:54 to us today is consistent with what was written hundreds
16:57 and hundreds of years ago.
16:59 The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in the late 1940s
17:02 and early 1950s are compelling evidence that the Bible
17:06 is legitimate.
17:08 They date back as far as before the time of Christ,
17:10 and they show us that the Bible we read today
17:13 is fundamentally the same as what was written
17:17 way back then.
17:18 Now the 'differences' that exist in manuscripts
17:20 are generally so small that they're just irrelevant.
17:23 You don't find a manuscript where Jesus says He is not
17:26 the Son of God, or where the Christ is teaching something
17:29 bizarre.
17:31 And consider prophecy.
17:32 Many prophecies of the Bible that have been fulfilled
17:36 and this demonstrates, I think, conclusively that the Bible
17:38 can be trusted.
17:39 When you've got predictions made that name a king before
17:43 he is born or that name an certain invader or conquerer
17:47 before he is born and then these things come to pass...
17:51 When you have got all those prophecies about Jesus
17:53 coming to the world, one saying He would be
17:56 crucified, another saying not a bone would be broken,
17:58 another saying He would be born in Bethlehem, another
18:01 saying He would die in dishonor, another saying He would
18:03 be rejected by the ones He came to save, and on and on...
18:07 You've got a real problem if you want to argue against
18:10 the inspiration of the Bible.
18:12 What are you going to do with all that evidence?
18:16 But you know what?
18:17 At the end of the day we accept the Bible by faith.
18:21 The Bible's critics do raise fair questions at times -
18:23 sometimes questions that aren't easy to answer,
18:26 especially to everyone's satisfaction.
18:29 But there is enough clear - what I would call -
18:32 "evidence" for us to know the Bible really is the word
18:35 of God.
18:36 You can accept it by faith.
18:38 Not blind faith, but reasonable, studied faith.
18:42 There are many, many good reasons to trust the Bible.
18:45 So many that I'm not sure how somebody can really
18:49 be confident in rejecting the Bible.
18:52 If there's a question you'd like answered, please send
18:54 it to me at
18:56 I'll do my very best to get your Bible question
18:59 answered.
19:00 [Music]
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20:17 Call 1.800.253.3000 or write to Box O, Thousand Oaks,
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20:31 Thanks for joining me today on It Is Written
20:33 The Apostle Paul compared himself to an Olympic racer
20:36 when he wrote these words: I press toward the mark for
20:39 the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus"
20:43 (Philippians 3:14).
20:45 And he says in 2 Timothy 4:7:
20:47 "I have finished my course".
20:49 kThe writer to the Hebrews sees the Christian's race
20:52 as being run with endurance before a great crowd
20:55 of spectators.
20:56 We read this in Hebrews 12:1.
21:00 "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great
21:03 a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and
21:07 the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run
21:10 with endurance the race that is set before us" And that
21:15 advice belongs to us today.
21:17 Paul refers to this when he talks about wrestling,
21:20 a modern day sport for sure.
21:22 The contest with Satan he likens to a wrestling match.
21:26 In those wrestling bounds in the ancient olympic games,
21:29 the winner was the wrestler who succeeded in first
21:31 throwing down, and then holding down his opponent
21:34 with his hand upon his neck.
21:35 When Paul wrote to the Romans: "Strive together
21:38 with me in your prayers" (Romans 15:30), he was
21:41 wanting them to put the same energy into their prayers as
21:44 a wrestler would put into his efforts to win his
21:47 contest.
21:48 In writing to the Corinthians Paul also refers to boxing.
21:51 Here is what he says, he writes: "Thus I fight: not
21:57 as one who beats the air.
21:59 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection" (I
22:02 Corinthians 9:26-27).
22:03 He is thinking of keeping his body under control lest
22:08 if he fails to do so he be disqualified as an effective
22:11 Christian worker.
22:13 And what applies to Paul in that situation certainly
22:16 applies to us.
22:17 As we can see the Apostle Paul was fond of making use
22:20 of popular sporting events to illustrate truth.
22:22 To the Philippians he spoke of "striving together for
22:26 the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27).
22:29 The words "striving together" actually mean
22:32 "acting as athletes in concert."
22:35 In the language of modern athletics, he was thinking
22:36 of the importance of what we call "team spirit" in the
22:39 church.
22:41 When Jude urged his readers to "earnestly contend for
22:44 the faith which was once delivered unto the saints"
22:46 (you read that in Jude 3), he was using another
22:49 athletic word.
22:50 One of the chief forms of amusement among the Romans
22:53 -- the early Christian era -- was to condemn criminals,
22:56 and especially Christians, to fight with lions, bears,
22:58 elephants, or tigers in the amphitheatres of the empire
23:01 before huge crowds of spectators.
23:05 The crowds would urge on the beast by throwing darts or
23:07 by shouting in sort of a maddening spirit.
23:11 Then they'd watch the poor victim be torn to pieces by
23:14 the animal.
23:15 Paul referred to this practice when he said,
23:18 "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts
23:21 at Ephesus" (I Corinthians 15:32).
23:25 So what is God's counsel us to do today?
23:27 Most of us will never have to prepare for an Olympic
23:29 games.
23:30 But we do have a far greater prize to reach for.
23:33 Not a medal that will eventually be forgotten
23:35 about but a life that we will live for all of
23:38 eternity with Jesus.
23:40 That is a wonderful thing to strive for.
23:42 We can explore the universe with Jesus as our guide.
23:45 There are some simple things that Jesus advises us to do.
23:47 In the book of Joshua (24:15) Joshua said 'choose
23:52 you this day whom you will serve...
23:55 but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord".
24:00 What good advice.
24:01 You can wake up each morning and put the day into God's
24:04 hand.
24:05 The first thing we can do every day is to reach out to
24:09 God and say "Lord I dedicate this day to you, please use
24:12 me in your service that I might serve you and give
24:14 honour to you during this day.
24:17 In Luke 13:24 Jesus tells us to "strive to enter through
24:22 the narrow gate" Like an athlete that is striving for
24:26 a gold medal, God wants us to strive.
24:29 In the days of Paul there was only one winner.
24:32 Everyone else was a loser.
24:33 With God we can all winners.
24:35 He doesn't line us up according to what we have
24:38 won or achieved in this life.
24:40 If that were the case only the fortunate, or well off,
24:42 or well educated would reach his kingdom.
24:45 God looks upon us according to our characters - and the
24:48 good news is that He will give us His righteousness
24:51 and live His life in us.
24:53 You can't be a loser - and you'll always be a winner -
24:58 when you choose Jesus as your own.
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26:01 hand.
26:02 For immediate access, you can download a free,
26:05 electronic version of this book, God's Promises, from
26:08 our website
26:09 It Is Written is a faith-based ministry made
26:12 possible by viewers like you.
26:15 I want to say Thank you to you for your support of It
26:17 Is Written.
26:18 To support the world-wide outreach of It Is Written,
26:20 to make it possible for people to continue receiving
26:22 this broadcast, your tax deductible gift may be sent
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26:30 Thank you for your continued support.
26:32 Our toll-free number is 1.800.253.3000 and our web
26:35 address is
26:41 Let's pray together.
26:43 Our Father in heaven, we thank you today for the
26:46 certainty that we can win through Jesus and salvation
26:50 never has to be for us a loss or even a matter of
26:53 coming in second.
26:54 I thank you that you encourage us to strive, that
26:56 is, to strive to yield, to strive to surrender, to put
27:00 the important things first, and to press towards
27:05 the mark.
27:05 Bless us this day because soon we know Jesus is coming
27:08 back.
27:10 On that wonderful day we will receive as Paul said,
27:12 not a gold metal, but a golden crown, a crown of gold
27:17 that will never fade away.
27:20 I ask that that day will come soon.
27:23 In Jesus' name, amen.
27:48 Thanks for joining me today.
27:50 I look forward to seeing you next time.
27:52 Until then, remember it Is Written: man shall not
27:55 live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds
27:58 from the mouth of God.


Revised 2015-02-06