TITLE: Escape Or Success
DATE: July 18, 2019
TEXT: - 1 Peter 3:15 - ESV - but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.
Lutherans are very proud of Brother Martin’s resounding, ‘HERE I STAND.’
Most of us like to believe, or have tried to convince ourselves that give them same situation, the same set of circumstances, we would do the same thing.
The truth is, given a choice between life and death, most folks will opt for safety and not success. If you are looking for an example, not so distant Russian history will provide it.
Go back in time to when Premier Nikita Khrushchev was speaking before the Supreme Soviet. At that time, the late Premier, Josef Stalin, had fallen from grace, and his successor was being severely critical of his old boss.
While Khrushchev was still speaking, someone from the audience sent up an anonymous note which read, "And what were you doing when Stalin committed all these atrocities?"
Khrushchev stopped, gave a scowl and then shouted, “I demand to know, who is the person who has sent up this note?" Not a single person stirred. Khrushchev continued, "I'll give the author one minute to stand up!" The seconds ticked off. Still no one moved.
Only after the minute had ticked off did the Premier say, "I'll tell you what I was doing. I was doing exactly what the writer of this note was doing--exactly nothing! I was afraid to be counted!"
Each day of His life, our Savior stood up to be counted.
Jesus was counted when the devil tempted Him in the wilderness. He was counted when He rejected the crown the crowd wished to give Him. He was counted when the sins of the entire world were laid upon His shoulders in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was counted when He remained on the cross rather than coming down as the mockers had encouraged.
Every time Jesus had a choice between escape or success, He chose success.
It was, of course, not His success about which He was concerned. Everything He did was accomplished so that His Father might be glorified. Every difficult deed was accomplished so we might be successfully forgiven of our sins and successfully enter into heaven.
Now, having seen His example, I know what to do. When a difficult choice arises in my life; when the Savior says to me, “What will it be escape or success?”, I will reply, “Father, let me glorify Your Name.”
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, there have been many times in my life when I have chosen the path of escape rather than success. Grant me courage and trust to know that You will be by my side in a life of witness. Let me glorify the Father’s Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html