Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;' whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...
The kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come... they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.
Young Jesus said, 'I must be about My Father's business' (Luke 2:49).
No doubt about it. This same priority applies to us today. But isn't it hard to resist the lifestyles of the world around us? Even within His self-professed church: 'Take these things away! Do not make My Father's House a house of merchandise!' (John 2:16).
Because the Words of James, Paul and Jesus in today's key Scriptures are warnings to the brethren--not to the world. Because the world doesn't profess to be among us. Nor do many within it want to be among us--because of how we represent Christ.
Consider it: Even within His self-professed church, we advertise big houses, cool cars, best-selling books and professional degrees. We look fancy, talk fancy and act fancy--all while maintaining a smug air of superiority: 'I am saved and you are not. Come, follow me. I will make you fishers of men.'
But this type of fishing is like throwing a line down from the top of a cruise ship--while seated in a captain's chair. At the same time, we snack on crackers and drink fake wine from a communion cup. It just doesn't make sense to outsiders.
Many prodigals, atheists and agnostics want tokens and titles, too--but they're open about it. They're not implying that God has given them favor. For some Christians, maybe He has, but for others--I don't think so.
Because many of the leaders in today's church are doing man's business, not God's--and that makes them hypocrites. The world hates phonies. God calls them false prophets, because they advertise false profits. It's a 'win-today' but 'lose-forever' economy. What could seem better but be worse?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: keep your priorities straight. Yes, you are in the business of show business--and nothing could be a better use for the talents God gave you. Yes, your job is to draw in people like a magnet with your gifts.
Once done, do something new: show your fans something they've never seen before in a leader. Show them love and humility by service and sacrifice. Show them the Face and purpose of Christ. Because within you is the Heart of the King. Show off Jesus. Act like Jesus. He is your first Priority.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Priorities series.