Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
Do-Gooders (Part 18)
Keep Their Word
Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Matthew 5:33-37 (NKJV)
Who may worship in Your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter Your Presence on Your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right...
And keep their promises even when it hurts.
Psalm 15:1-2, 4 (NLT)
Faithlessness is a modern religion. Could it be a spinoff of atheism? That tag might not be fair to atheists. Because many of them show great virtue, and some famous atheists found Christ.* Their bare honesty became fertile soil.
Maybe today's practice of faithlessness is a biblical spinoff from Judges, where each 'Did what was right in his own eyes' (Judges 21:25), where morality became relative, where right and wrong became negotiable, where truth became a slogan in a con.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Do-gooders are a minority, a small remnant who do what they say. When they promise to come, they'll be there. When they sign a contract, they'll keep it. When they agree to work, they don't quit. When the job starts to hurt, they don't stop. When they become a friend, they don't turn. When they commit to Christ, they don't faint.
When an AMTC staff member got really sick before a big job, he showed up to do it anyway. He constructed three photo backdrops over two days with flu-like symptoms. His wife smiled and said, 'I can't stop John. He had perfect attendance in school.' When John Maze says 'Yes,' 'Yes' it will be.**
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you're faithful in a faithless world, (not just faithful to the Lord you serve, but also faithful in commitments), Hollywood and your fans will notice. Because loyalty is very rare, it's cross-culturally attractive.
To Be Continued...
* Regarding atheism, Solzhenitsyn declared:
'Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.' Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.' '
* Interesting article: Five atheists (including C.S. Lewis) who lost faith in atheism; http://www.christiantoday.com/article/five.atheists.who.lost.faith.in.atheism/61784.htm
* In Christ's Revelation Letter to the Lukewarm church, He says: 'I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My Mouth' (Revelation 3:15-16). Could 'cold people' include atheists? People who refuse to practice phony religion and are honest enough to say it?
** John Maze is AMTC's Director of Human Resources, but he's also a skilled artist. He is a man of integrity, who keeps his word, even when it hurts. His wife, Janice, heads AMTC's SHINE Prep Program.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.