For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law, that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without Law, as without Law (... but under Law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without Law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the Gospel's sake...
The first disciples of Jesus became fishers of men: alluring communicators who cast Lines from Heaven with one overriding purpose, an overwhelmingly important message: salvation. As His fishermen, their job was to raise earth's people to freedom. Their means? A broadcast of Good News, a wondrous Word named Jesus.
As generations passed, some of His fisherman became prosperous. They didn't need to suffer in stormy seas looking for each day's catch. So they settled in communities and built grand boats: luxury liners filled with passengers. The Name of Christ was painted on each ship's hull.
Crosses flew like flags and sparkled on their necks. They attended captains' sermons, prayed before each meal, and enjoyed friendly moments. Occasionally, they disembarked to visit poor villagers. With their sympathy satisfied, they climbed back on board, and lived from comfort to comfort.
Like the Apostle Paul, they felt free from all men: free from gloom, doom and fates of destruction. Unlike Paul, they did not make themselves servants to all. Surely, Jesus didn't intend Paul's path for them. After all, they lifted His Name on high and gathered beneath His Cross.
But they didn't carry one.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As I write these words, I cry. My heart takes a necessary beating to admit how much I enjoy comfort. Who wouldn't trade paucity for prosperity, persecution for perks or a fishing pole for a padded pew? Jesus, for One. His disciples, for more.
'He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me' (Matthew 10:38). 'Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven' (Matthew 7:21).
God's will? 'This is My beloved Son... Hear Him' (Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Shall we abandon our high-powered Christian cruises to become fisherman again? Rowing small boats captained by Jesus? Braving the murky seas of media? It can be rocky ride, but the glow on our faces after a good day's catch is worth every effort.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Becoming series.