Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the Name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed--always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
Consider today's Scriptures in light of today's Christians, especially those in Iraq, North Korea and China. Even so, yesterday's Christians wrote them. Peter and Paul suffered greatly, as was evidenced by their deaths.
But in this age of tolerance for all types of people, can 21st-century Christians suffer fates like imprisonment, beheading or crucifixion? Yes, even among the iPhone generation, because end times are upon us.
While we talk about gadgets and shows, while we lobby for causes and cash, while we complain about service and lines, while we shop for houses and cars, while we hang in churches and small groups, other believers hang from stakes and crosses.
End times are upon them... and us.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: you have a job to do. You must witness Jesus in media, and it isn't easy. Because hate, lust and corruption are applauded by earth's highest and lowest circles.
But you do have precedent. Consider the performance of early Christians in Roman amphitheaters. Hate, lust and corruption were applauded by earth's highest and lowest circles. They cheered when Christians were martyred.
Christ's first believers didn't have a better choice. Nor do His last believers, because neither group will deny Christ. Instead, they affirm Him, in the hardest possible circumstance.
American Christians: Do you have a better choice? Can you refuse to go into the mission field of entertainment on their behalf, and on His? If the thought of entering this upside down industry intimidates you, consider how little God asks of you in comparison.
He has given you this time and place in history. He has given you talents, and media's capitol cities in your nation. What do you have to lose? Your comfort? Let it go. Your security? It's in God. Your witness? Bring it on.
## Practice Makes Perfect: Pressure From Without (Part 5)
NOTE: This series is a republished edit of a 2014 series called, 'Practice Makes Perfect.' In these devotions, you may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' I have not changed this designation. Because in a greater sense, every disciple of Christ acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents, from which God expects a profit.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Practice Makes Perfect series.