Sunday, June 4th, 2017
Self-Examination (Part 75)
Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.
Psalm 69:1 (NKJV)
The Lord spoke to me again:
'Because this people has rejected
The gently flowing waters of Shiloah...
Therefore the Lord is about to bring against them
The mighty floodwaters of the Euphrates--
The king of Assyria with all his pomp.
It will overflow all its channels,
Run over all its banks,
And sweep on into Judah, swirling over it,
Passing through it and reaching up to the neck..'
Isaiah 8:5-8 (NIV)
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life...
Romans 16:3 (NKJV)
Actors, models and talent for Christ: A threatened neck is a threatened life, and a lot of Christians are afraid.
1) They're afraid of Muslim extremists, so they hunker down behind four walls: 'The time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God' (John 16:2, NLT).
2) They're afraid of enemy nations, so they stay home, hate or ignore them: 'Love your enemies' (Matthew 5:44, NKJV). 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations' (Matthew 28:19, NKJV).
3) They're afraid of insufficiency, so they accumulate like hoarders: 'Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses' (Luke 12:15, NKJV).
4) They're afraid of public criticism, so they work to please people--not God: 'Am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?... If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ' (Galatians 1:10, NLT).
6) They're afraid of media's stigma, so they seclude themselves among kin: 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation' (Mark 16:15 NIV). 'I do not ask You to take them out of the world...' (John 17:15, NASB).
7) They're afraid of adventurous lives, so they ignore their callings from God: 'I heard the Voice of the Lord, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I said, 'Here am I. Send me!' ' (Isaiah 6:8, NASB).
Actors, models and talent for Christ, to list every fear would be useless, because just one fear should be heeded: fearing the Lord of heaven and earth:
'Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell' (Matthew 10:28, NASB).
Actors, models and talent for Christ, to note every risk would be pointless, because only one risk is deadly: refusing to follow your Savior:
'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it' (Matthew 16:24-25, NASB).*
To Be Continued...
* Like Jesus Who 'Steadfastly set His Face to go to Jerusalem' (Luke 9:51, NKJV), when He knew torture and death awaited Him, or like Paul before his final ordeal:
'And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God' (Acts 20:22-24, NKJV).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.