Thanks to DP for the idea for this talk.
(Show Powerpoint slide 1)
Youtube Clip - www.youtube.com/watch?v=obnJzBC1Oqc
This 'Suspended Animation' trick from Magic Unlimited is the fastest illusion I've ever seen, it's amazing. Then just when you think it's done, another person appears from nowhere!
Story - The Kohinoor Diamond (or Koh-I-Noor)
(Show Powerpoint slide 2)
The Kohinoor diamond was a really huge diamond. It's not quite as big today because it was chopped by 42% on the orders of Prince Albert (the husband of Queen Victoria, a British Queen from 1837-1901) and made into the size the diamond it is today. It's still pretty big - at 105 carat (no, not carrot, carat is a weight for precious stones!)
One time it had to be moved to go on to display to Buckingham Palace. An armoured truck was dispatched with police escort and armed guard, with an armoured briefcase to put the diamond inside securely. The case was put inside the van, the doors were locked and the escort moved off to Buckingham Palace. When they got there, they opened the armoured truck doors, took out the armoured case, then opened the briefcase... But there was no diamond there!
In magic, there is a deception. The magician does things to throw us off what we should be looking at to distract so they can do their 'magic'. For example, we (guys!) often we look at the woman dancing around (as in the video), or sometimes the magician does or says something to distract us. But we're being misdirected away from what we should be looking at (the magician), which is where the actual cool stuff is happening!
With the Kohinoor diamond, they had never planned to send it in the armoured truck. Thinking that someone may steal this, they made a big show of transporting it by armoured car. Instead at 9am that morning, someone had carried out the diamond and put it into a bag and put it into first class post! The thinking was that no-one would think that this expensive diamond would be sent by post! It was a classic case of misdirection.
Often in our lives we're drawn to the exciting thing. Like in school when there's a fight. People shout 'fight' and everyone runs that way. Others just start running towards it, not even knowing what's really going on! Often we're drawn to the loud thing that we think is interesting. But it's often the quieter things that we often ignore that are actually the more interesting things!
Some of the most amazing people in history haven't looked that interesting. For example, if there was a line-up and we asked you to pick out the guy who invented the internet, could you do that? Could you even name the guy?
(Show Powerpoint slide 3 and get people to guess. Then reveal Powerpoint slide 4 for answer)
Jesus said - If you want to be the biggest, then first you have to be the smallest. Jesus made this clear after he told one of his stories (called a parable) in Matthew 20.16, "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
Jesus says to those people who have said yes to him - one day you'll have a kingdom, but first be humble. One day people will be happy, but they are the ones who often are the poorest, the ones who are seen as worst looking, the ones who don't do things because others might make fun of you... (we're all a bit like that!) Go to the Bible and look for Matthew 6.3-12 where Jesus makes all this clear.
We often put ourselves down. But God knows where he's put you. God likes to hang out with those people who don't see themselves as the biggest and the best, the ones who struggle and the ones who know they need God. Often we see the big stars in the media, even some Christians, have huge struggles with pride and fame. Being 'up front' is fine, but often it's in the quiet place where God really meets with us. It's great to do the 'big' stuff but don't think that the small stuff isn't important and don't be distracted by the 'big' things that just like the armoured truck, turn out to be empty...
No matter how you see yourself, God wants to hang out with you. He thinks you're awesome. He has an amazing plan for you. The Kohinoor diamond is an expensive diamond (worth around £82 million) but if you put this up against you, God would only have eyes for you. He would put you first above any thing, saying 'you are way more valuable' whether you feel like it or not.
Today, ask Jesus to show you how much you mean to him. Ask God that if he's real, he would show himself to you. A member of staff at school once told me that her son was going for an interview. I said I'd pray - he got the job. She then told me he may be offered the chance to keep the job. Again I said I'd pray, which I did and her son was offered a permanent job. I wanted this member of staff to know that God cares for her and her son. So ask God to reveal himself to you. If you already believe in God, then ask him the same thing - show how much he loves you, cares for you - today!
Talk added 21.07.11