[Calvary Chapel] 2002-10-10 - Sign Up Here

2 Cor 11:23-27 Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if insane) I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. (NAS)

Now please, no pushing. The line for applications forms to the left. We have plenty of pens for anyone who needs one.

The above job description was written by the Apostle Paul. To be beaten with 39 lashes was more often than not fatal. After the stoning Paul lists says the towns people literally left him for dead. It is quite probable that God raised Paul from death that day. The Master still had work for Paul to do. And on the work continued.

If this job description is not enough there are others. There was Job who was allowed to be devastated financially, personally, emotionally and physically by the enemy and never once did he curse God. Even when his wife told him, "Curse God and die!" Job held fast and trusted his Lord. There was Moses who was convicted of Murder and sent into the desert with meager rations, and spent forty years as a Shepherd. To be a shepherd was to be disposed in Egypt. It was a complete breaking down and remolding of Moses that God performed over time. There was John the Apostle who was sent to a Roman island work camp for telling the world the wondrous news that God loved them. No escape possible, horrid food and living conditions with no consideration as a person.

As I watch the Major League Baseball playoffs and see today's heros and think of God's heros, the differences are striking. One group is rewarded here and now. Not that they don't work hard and play to the pinnacle of their calling. But the world is their oyster. Where God's heros pass up the pleasures of this world for the pure joy of the coming world. They are single parents who struggle to do right for their kids. They are Sunday School teachers with hearts to pour excitement for God into hearts that may be willing but are called at the same time by the enticements of this world. They are fellow Christians who help those struggle and stumble and are not helped but discarded by the church that should bind up their wounds, pray for them and help them to win in their struggles. They are the unseen who go into the bad neighborhoods to talk to street gangs and the homeless and tell them about Jesus Who died for them and has made a place in Heaven for them if they will come.

One hero lives in the limelight now. The other hero will be honored later with an imperishable reward.

Who are the real heros?

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com