Quote of the Day

Our Lord would have been the despair of any modern publicity agent. The first thirty years of His life are hidden in almost complete silence. Often, when He performed a miracle, He requested that it not be publicized. The private instruction of His disciples was largely in the mystery teaching of parables-not heavenly stories with an earth meaning, as they are often described, but a form of teaching designed to hide the truth from those for whom it was not intended while revealing it to those for whom it was meant. Our Lord=s brothers wanted Him to go up to Jerusalem where He would be noticed, but He want up secretly. The transfiguration was not revealed to a crowd and the Last Supper was hidden from the public. What a time the high-pressure image-makers would have had getting my Lord into the spotlight!

And what shall we say of the greatest event of all, the resurrection? That would have made the greatest publicity extravaganza of all time. Why didn’t the risen Saviour appear before Herod and Caiaphas and Pilate and preach in Jerusalem? Josephus could have written it up. It would have accomplished in an instant what we have labored for centuries to prove-and the world doesn=t believe it yet. But He appeared only to His Disciples. Nobody but believers saw Him. This world never had a glimpse of Him. To this day true Christians are a secret order in a blatant, noisy world. The greatest secret of all time has been confided to use. We have paganized Easter as though anybody could crash in on the resurrection. And yet it is not a secret to be hidden, but a story to be heralded. We can enter into the experience of it, live in the power of it, anticipate the complete fulfillment of it, and in the meantime spread the good news of it. Festus described Paul=s ministry as being concerned with “one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive” (Acts 25:19). That is it! A secret to possess, a story to proclaim, and above all, Someone to present. For He is the Resurrection and the Life.

Devotion of the Day

Give God The Macedonian

The churches of Macedonia….first gave their own selves to the Lord.
II Corinthians 8:1, 5

We have money in the church today but not many Macedonians. People give their substance but not their selves. Fine churches are built, workers are employed, and the members show up on Sunday morning, but never dream of living for God seven days a week. Actually, every Christian is meant to be in full-time Christian service, whether he draws a salary for it or not. Jesus paid it all and all to Him we owe.

Silver and gold we have a plenty, but we are not saying to a crippled world, “Rise and walk.”

Expensive edifices built with “vain oblation”-gifts without the givers-cannot substitute for giving God the temples of our bodies and hearts. Modern Macedonians give money, but the early Macedonians first gave God the Macedonians! The Early Church was all lay witnesses. Too often now it is big business run by a salaried staff paid to do church work, while the rest of us work for ourselves. But we are all on the staff, and no matter how faithfully salaried helpers may work, they cannot do our job nor can we do ours merely by paying them. God wants the Macedonian first.