Monday, December 8th, 2014
Images (Part 9)
You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath... You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God...
Exodus 20:4-5 (NASB)
They served their idols, which became a snare to them.
Psalm 106:36 (NKJV)
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol.
Psalm 24:3-4 (NKJV)
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Oh, what a hard thing is asked of you: to work in a land of idols, but not to regard them, not to want them, and not to become one. Surely, the entertainment industry is filled with idols.
Understandably, many Christians are appalled by idols. So churches became caves, and men hid themselves. They did not 'Go, therefore...' (Matthew 28:19). But even more Christians are excited by idols. So churches became splendid, and pastors became idols. But can any man 'Serve two masters' (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13)?
To my cloistered brethren: In no uncertain terms, Jesus told us not to cover up: 'No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden' (Luke 11:33).
'But we invite people to our church,' you may argue. That's nice, but it's not enough. To 'Go into all the world' is our Great Commission.** If Jesus is the Great Deliverer, then media is our tool of greatest delivery... perhaps created 'For such a time as this' (Esther 4:14).
To my compromising brethren: At the beginning of the Book of Revelation, Jesus speaks to seven churches. Many Bible scholars believe these Letters not only address the state of our faith individually, but also the state of our faith collectively: a timeline of church development. If so, compromise leads to corruption, which leads to spiritual death, which ends with lukewarm worship. Are we there yet? ***
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As God said to Joshua no fewer than six times when he was about the enter the Promised Land, a land of kings and giants:
'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go' (Joshua 1:9).****
By Him, you can 'Go, there...' By Him, you can stand up for Jesus. By Him, you can raise His standard. By Him, you can work among idols, but not worship them. By Him, you can become famous, but not become an idol...
Because Jesus, the Man, gave all glory to God. So will you.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotions on American Idols:
** The Great Commission of Jesus is found in His concluding Words in all four Gospels:
** 'And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age' ' (Matthew 28:18-20).
** 'And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel unto (to) every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned' ' (Mark 16:15-16).
** 'Then He said to them, 'Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things' ' (Luke 24:46-48).
** 'So Jesus said to them again, 'Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you' ' (John 20:21).
*** Revelation 2-3: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+2-3&version=NKJV
*** Previous AMTC Devotion Series, 'Which Church Are You?' http://amtcdevotions.org/which-church-are-you-part-1
**** Deuteronomy 31:6,7,23; Joshua 1:6,9,18: https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?search=good+courage&version=NKJV&searchtype=phrase&resultspp=500 (This search contains a few other instances of 'good courage'.)
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Images series.