Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
Bad Ideas (Part 24)
Safety Comes First!
He said to His disciples, 'Let us go back to Judea.' 'But Rabbi,' they said, 'a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone You, and yet You are going back?'
John 11:7-8 (NIV)
Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also.
John 15:20 (NIV)
And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 10:38 (NKJV)
Too often I've heard Christian performers and parents express words to this effect: 'Clearly, entertainment is dangerous. It's filled with evil and bad examples. We (or our children) were born to perform, but how can we enter this risky field?'
So here's my question to question reply: Isn't the greater risk to avoid it? Did I miss the Verses where Jesus said earthly safety should be our first concern? Or the Ones promising us easy lives? Or where the Word of God says we're excused from His Order called The Great Commission, because we're afraid of where He'll lead us?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider the evangelist, Paul, certainly a great soldier of God. He set a brisk pace physically, reaching out to people everywhere. Even now, he's still circling the globe, by way of his wondrous Epistles.
But during Paul's faith walk with Jesus, he endured trials we hope not to face: stoning, beatings, shipwrecks and prison.* He lost everything, but gained far more:
'I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ' (Philippians 3:8).
If Jesus said carry our crosses, if Paul's was especially heavy, if yours is to enter media, if God is the Source of your safety, if He's taking the lead on this path, then your Safety has indeed come first. Just don't forget Safety's truest Name:
To Be Continued
* The suffering of Paul: 'Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure' (2 Corinthians 11:24-27).
* Paul's conclusion regarding suffering: 'And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong' (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
* Excellent Article: The Value of Suffering: https://bible.org/article/value-suffering
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Bad Ideas series.