Saturday, December 31st, 2016
Do-Gooders (Part 46)
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
Matthew 10:16 (NASB)
For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
Matthew 25:14-19 (NKJV)*
Many of God's stars mastered worldliness. They learned to survive and thrive in their worlds, while serving first their Primary Master. Abraham outfought and outwitted kings. Joseph became Egypt's #2 man. Moses was raised in the house of Pharaoh. Deborah ruled in a world that favored men. David was a savvy politician. Daniel and friends governed in Babylon. Esther served as Persia's favorite queen. Jesus defeated the god of this world in the greatest victory of all time.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Jesus gave His first missionaries pivotal instructions for success: to be wise in the ways of the world, while they were guided by His Spirit.
Later, among His final Teachings, He re-emphasized this Key Order in the Parable of Talents and His Prayer for His disciples:
1) 'I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one' (John 17:15).** Jesus told us to work in the world: to be His messengers in the world; to be His light and bring God glory.
'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven' (Matthew 5:16). We're not to cover or isolate ourselves in closed communities, but... to be out and about His business.
2) To achieve prominence in this world, we must study and master its rules. No famous sports or media stars can succeed without field mastery. The worldly status of Bible stars brought enormous profit to the Lord by the salvation of countless lives.
'You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised' (Hebrews 10:36).
3) In the Parable of the Talents, the servants God called 'Good and faithful' invested His talents in the world. They understood His Great Commission. They understood His talents weren't theirs. They understood that burying them was a useless and criminal waste.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Don't follow brethren who've retreated from the world through fear or laziness. Instead, master worldliness through God and beat the devil at his own games.
To Be Continued...
* The Parable of the Talents: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+25%3A14-30&version=NKJV
** The final Prayer of Jesus the Man for His disciples and followers: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+17&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.