Carey Lewis Devotions
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Show Me The Money (Part 2)
Teachers And Preachers
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
James 3:1 (NKJV)
Then He taught, saying to them, 'Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it a den of thieves.'
Mark 11:17 (NKJV)
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
In millennia past, Christians learned at the feet of local pastors and traveling evangelists. They read and re-read one Book: the Bible.

But today, thousands of teachers and preachers present themselves to us through media--like Joyce Meyer; she has authored more than 70 books, sold over 20,000,000 copies and spoken to hundreds of millions of people on screens and stages.*

Media has multiplied and magnified our teachers--turning the most-watched into millionaires and celebrities. Preachers are rock stars--selling out stadiums and arenas. Fans scream, cry, cheer and faint for God's anointed messengers. They even have biblical precedent for these reactions:

Consider John in Revelation: 'Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things' (Revelation 22:8).

Or the fan praise for Paul and Barnabas: 'The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!' (Acts 14:11).

Even excited followers of Jesus, the Man, who 'Were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king' (John 6:15). This King's reaction to worldly fame set the standard for Christian celebrities when He refused our crowns. Instead, 'He withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.'

But He actually announced His decision on the subject of fame before it even started:

'The devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, 'All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.' Then Jesus said to him, 'Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve' ' (Matthew 4:8-10).

The Bible illustrates that Jesus, Paul, Barnabas and Revelation's angel refused to be worshipped as idols. They also refused earthly riches.

If each Christ follower on earth is being transformed into the image of the Lord, even more should our preachers and teachers 'Be imitators of Christ' (Ephesians 5:1). Celebrity may chase them down, but I encourage them to run faster and hide deeper in the Lord--to avoid its entrapments.

In addition, I encourage all followers of Christ 'To examine everything {and everyone} carefully; hold fast to that which is good' (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Good looks and good books are helpful only if they constantly and consistently reflect Him.

Therefore, measure every teacher and preacher you meet by how much he looks, acts and talks like Jesus, the Man. The only way you can do that is to become intimately familiar with Him in His four Gospels.

To Be Continued...

*Joyce Meyer's book, Battlefield of the Mind, was a turning point for me in finding Christ. I applaud her work. Nevertheless, every writer, teacher, preacher and speaker for Christ (including me--though I am not famous) must beware of celebrity entrapments. As Jesus avoided them, so must we.

P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Show Me The Money series.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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