Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
Name Tags: You Are... (Part 26)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?'
Matthew 16:24-26 (NASB)
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Luke 14:27 (NASB)
Your cross is not a burden you carry, such as an overbearing relative, grinding job, wayward son or aching back. Instead, Christ says He will lighten your load.
'Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light' (Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV).
Your cross is your commission unto death. It's your duty on the war fields of earth: a duty to remember your Captain; a duty to carry out His Orders; a duty to see your comrades as kin; a duty to help naive civilians; a duty to uplift fellow soldiers; a duty to correct them when they're wrong...
A duty to engage the enemy; a duty to storm through the gates of hell; a duty to rescue fallen brethren; a duty to free hopeless prisoners; a duty to defend little children; a duty to mingle with outsiders; a duty to represent God's kingdom; a duty to give your life for His cause, no matter the cost, no matter the way.*
Actors, models and talent for Christ, I consider media a cross: a hard fought duty in a tough field, where you risk rejection and failure. You face scoffs from friends and family. You go where many dream of going, but few have the guts for the attempt.
Know this: success isn't what you think. It isn't seeing your name in lights (although if God wills it, then use it). It's being the light on a sound stage (even in the role of an extra). It's making friends in a waiting room. It's performing for a middle school.
It's multiplying your Lord's talents, which He both taught and demonstrated.** Your duty is between you and God. If your flesh is humbled by the cross, it's all to the good. So was your King's.
To Be Continued...
* Excellent short article: What did Jesus mean when He said, 'Take up your cross and follow Me'? https://www.gotquestions.org/take-up-your-cross.html
** The Parable of the Talents: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+25%3A14-30&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Name Tags: You Are... series.