Saturday, July 6th, 2013
Success Strategies (Part 2)
A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' But they all with one accord began to make excuses.
Luke 14:16-18 (NKJV)*
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.
Matthew 22:2-3 (NKJV)*
If media is a party that covers the Earth, if actors, models and talent for Christ are invited to the party by God, then willingness to go is essential.
But some of those called might say, 'I'm busy. I've got my own work for the Lord. Besides, media is filled with sinful people I'd rather not meet. It's scary. I'm not willing to risk everything I've done or got to go there...'
Now consider the Great Commission: 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature' (Mark 16:15). Every creature? Even prodigals? Especially prodigals. 'I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance' (Luke 5:32). 'For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost' (Luke 19:10). If we remain a cozy clan in church, how can we seek and save that which was lost?
From an earthly point of view, following Jesus is risky business. We might be persecuted--or lose all we've got for a time. But not taking the risk is worse. We might lose all we've got for all time.
Consider The Parable of the Talents.* The play-it-safe servant (the one who buried his master's talent rather than invest it in the world) faced a dire punishment. 'Cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth' (Matthew 25:30).
Consider The Parable of the Wedding Feast. Those who made light of the lord's call and went about their own business faced death alongside evil murderers: 'He sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city' (Matthew 22:7).
Consider The Parable of the Great Supper: Those who declined the lord's call with personal and professional excuses were barred from his presence: 'For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper' (Luke 14:24).
That Master and Lord is Jesus. 'You are not willing to come to Me that you may have life' (John 5:40).
On the other hand, God promotes people of willingness. 'If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land' (Isaiah 1:19). Therein, willingness is a success strategy.
To Be Continued...
*See The Parable of the Great Supper: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2014:15-24&version=NKJV
See The Parable of the Wedding Feast: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=MAtthew%2022:1-14&version=NKJV
See The Parable of the Talents: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2025:14-30&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Success Strategies (2013) series.