Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Practice Makes Perfect (Part 17)
When we are persecuted, we endure.
1 Corinthians 4:12 (NASB)
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Hebrews 10:36 (NASB)
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance...
James 1:3 (NASB)
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross...
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB)
Endurance is 'the ability or strength to continue' (Random House Dictionary)--no matter what. We don't need to finish first (Jesus already did that), but we need to finish well: 'The one who endures to the end, he will be saved' (Matthew 24:13).
Today, for Christians in over 50 nations, end times are here. Our brethren suffer 'In tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness' (2 Corinthians 6:4-5). Many are jobless, homeless and hungry--pressured to renounce their faith. But they endure. 'Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven' (Matthew 5:10).
Today, for Christians in America, end times seem far away. Many live on Easy Street: 'Wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry' (2 Timothy 4:3-5).
Because you are actors, models and talent for Christ: God's 21st century messengers. He called you from Easy Street to Sunset Boulevard, where 'Thick darkness is over the peoples' (Isaiah 60:2). You're like clean fish in a dirty pond, trying to avoid the muck.
You're like small fishermen between luxury liners, trying to avoid the squeeze. You're like tour guides of the Narrow Path on Broadway, trying to avoid the cabs.
But remember: you're not called to the stage of endearing adoration, but to the cross of enduring persecution. No, you don't face imprisonment or beheading, but you do face prejudice and temptations. Surely, if Christians can endure in Iraq, you can endure in entertainment.
This is your duty to further the witness of Christ.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Practice Makes Perfect series.