Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
Paul's Powerful Priorities (Part 14)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for Doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)
Bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
1 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)
This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Titus 3:8 (NKJV)
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 16:26 (NKJV)
Paul was into profit. He wanted to finish the race and win the crown. But Paul's definition of profit changed on the road to Damascus. What the world desired, he despised. What the world despised, He defended with his life: the cause of Christ.
'I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ' (Philippians 3:8).
Because Jesus shared a new investment plan: 'Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven' (Matthew 6:19-20).
Paul added details to the plan: 'Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, Who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life' (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
The finish line for Paul's race was Heaven's entrance. The golden crown for Paul's head was Heaven's reward.*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: The entertainment industry casts glistening lines. Financial gain is its story line, bottom line and fishing line. Fictional stars lure us with big lifestyles. TV contests lure us with big payoffs. Advertisers lure us with big ideas. Cinderella lures us with big moves: an exchange of sackcloth and ashes for ball gowns and sashes.
But you are no longer fish to be lured into enemy lines. Instead, God made you to become 'Fishers of men' (Matthew 4:19).
As God's 21st century communicators, refuse the bait of shameful deception for shameless profit. To friends and fans, offer the invitation of blameless Truth for shameless joy: the only Profit that lasts.
To Be Continued...
* Crowns of Heaven (short article): http://www.gotquestions.org/heavenly-crowns.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Paul's Powerful Priorities series.