“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.
This week I watched the 2022 Dove Awards. For those who don’t know, Dove Awards are awarded for the top Christian songs, albums, and artists in the past year. It’s a big event, attended by a large number of people.
I told my wife that in a way I’m jealous of the people in the Christian music industry that get together frequently to collaborate on writing and performing songs—a place where there’s some action and excitement related to Christianity.
Dee, my wife quickly brought me back down to earth saying that she dabbled in the music world in college, and most times it’s not as glamorous and exciting as it seems. She said that musicians are on the road many weeks a year, and if the musician is married with a family, the many weeks away from home are a hindrance to maintaining a healthy family. Not to mention the dog-eat-dog music world of trying to compete with others to come up with the latest and greatest sound and song.
Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. Last time we talked about the Cosmic Battle in which we are engaged. Most of us think of Christianity as being fairly humdrum. But the battles in the cosmos that Christians face make the Lord of the Rings movies pale in comparison.
I titled my post this time “Discipleship Point 7: An Exciting But Sometimes Dangerous Journey!” It’s about the fact that the enemies of Christianity sometimes attack Christians, and portray them as needy, pitiful creatures. They think that we're weaklings that depend on a book filled with fantasies to help us to cope with the difficulties of life.
Jesus told us in John 15 and 16 that people would hate us for our faith in Him. He said that people hated Him first, so we should expect nothing less than for them also to hate us, and even go so far as trying, and succeeding in some cases, to kill us.
You may ask me, "Arlen, where is the excitement in people hating us and even going so far as to plot to kill some of us?" All of us long to be liked by others, right? There's no harm in wanting to be liked. But what's better than being liked? I would venture to say it is to be respected for not backing down from our faith in the face of persecution.
People might be frenzied to spew hatred and disgust toward Christians, as in the case of Stephen in Acts. But you know at least one person that was changed dramatically after Stephen was stoned. We might think that Paul, whose name was then Saul, would have hesitated when called by Jesus to follow Him as one of Jesus' staunchest ambassadors. Paul, after all, saw firsthand what people did to Stephen, a lover of Jesus.
Paul, however, jumped in headfirst to follow Jesus after his encounter with Him on the road to Damascus. Nothing would dissuade Paul from the exciting—but sometimes dangerous journeys he was about to embark on. Yes, I said exciting! Don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise.
Last time we talked about a cosmic battle going on. I’m often amazed by people, sometimes famous, who jumped at the chance to go to war against Nazi Germany in the 1940s. Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart were two established actors, and Ted Williams and Bob Feller were two baseball greats. All four interrupted lucrative acting and sports careers to face possible death in wartime. Why did they do it? I can only speculate, but I think they were willing to go to battle for the good of others.
So, the bottom line is that I may never be involved in something as popular as a song awards show like the Dove Awards, But I CAN BE involved in the exciting—but sometimes dangerous journey of following Jesus' instructions in the Bible—of winning souls for Jesus.
So, until I see you next time, keep sharing the wonderful love of Jesus,