Saturday, June 1st, 2013
Character Development (Part 3)
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Isaiah 53:3 (NKJV)
Save me, O God,
For the waters have threatened my life.
I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me.
I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
Psalm 69:1-4 (NAS)
Job lost his children, home, fortune and friends. He endured sores all over his body. Abraham left a comfortable life to live for decades in tents. Sarah was barren until she was 90. As a child, Isaac almost died by the hand of his father. Jacob worked more than 20 years for a dishonest uncle.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and sent to prison by his master. Moses left a palace to live as a shepherd for 40 years. Esther lost her home, name and identity. David went from a war hero to a refugee in hiding. Abigail was trapped in a bad marriage. Samson fell victim to a treacherous love affair.
Mary Magdalene was possessed by seven demons. Paul was beaten, whipped, stoned, shipwrecked and imprisoned. Subsequent followers of Christ suffered greatly by the hands of government, other religions and non-believers.
Jesus knew at 12 He had to be about His Father's business, but He waited an additional 18 years to begin His ministry--only to be doubted by His family, hated by the Council, betrayed by His disciple and hung upon a cross. Character development doesn't come easy--not even for Jesus, the Man.
God's stars have a destiny to share and a cross to bear. To bear a cross requires Holy Spirit muscle, which comes from character development. Actors, models and talent for Christ must work it out. How? 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself' (Luke 10:27).
How do you show such mighty love? 'I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me... inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me' (Matthew 25:35-36,40).
Where do you find those who are hungry, thirsty, lonely, naked, sick and imprisoned? In a poor country? To some degree. But in a poor country, you also find great faith.
You find despairing masses in a culture of corruption. Your find them in media. You find them with screens in their hands: billions of eyes searching for good news, and you carry it. Therefore your training camp is the entertainment industry.
Outside the walls of a comfortable life is the character development God's stars must face. It doesn't come easy.
To Be Continued...
Why pain and suffering? Additional study links:
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Character Development series.