Thursday, October 07, 2010

Real Heroes Want God To Receive The Glory!

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.... Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, (Matthew 5:5-8)

     Do you recognize the person in the painting above? It is a young King David, who gained fame by slaying the giant Goliath, and history has recorded him as one of the greatest heroes ever known to mankind. Many other great people have been highlighted in the annals of time for their bravery and courage against insurmountable odds. Others who stand out include World War 11 hero Audie Murphy, the most highly decorated soldier in U.S. Military history, who also gained much fame as an actor during the 50’s.
     The word hero has lost much of its luster in the last four to five decades, where nowadays, we bestow the title of hero to movie stars, politicians and sports figures, those who hit grand slam home runs to win a World Series game, or that quarterback who threw an 85 yard touchdown pass in the last three seconds of the latest Super Bowl game.
     However, just yesterday there was a great news item about a 29 year old California grape picker by the name of Victor Perez who rescued an 8-year old girl who had been abducted outside of her Fresno, California home by a suspected kidnapper. Perez, a father of two who had decided not to go to work because of inclement weather, had heard the Amber Alert and spotted a suspect vehicle around 7 a.m. last Tuesday morning. According to CNN, Perez recounts his story:
     "I thought, that could be the truck," Perez told CNN.
     Perez did not initially see the girl inside the vehicle, but decided to pursue it and eventually saw the child stick her head up.
     "I kept telling him, 'That's not your little girl,'" Perez said. "We argued. We exchanged words."
     Perez said it took him several attempts to cut off the suspect vehicle, but when he finally managed to block it, the suspect, Gregorio Gonzalez, 24, pushed the child out of the vehicle.
     "I just felt like I was doing my part. ... .I just felt like everybody should step up in their own communities and when something like this happens, come together and try to do your part to help out," Perez said. "And, you know, I just thank God that I was put in the right situation to do what I did. Thank the man above for that."
     This great news item may appear to be an isolated incident, few realize that hundreds of stories like this one happen throughout the day in regions unbeknownst to the masses, especially here in the United States, by simple people whose hearts and souls just happen to be committed to Jesus Christ. Acts of charity, benevolence and bravery are committed daily that will never receive the attention the public pays to its version of heroes. Instead, we honor sports figures, Hollywood celebrities, politicians and people of great wealth simply for who they are, and not for what they do. While hitting game-winning home runs and throwing touchdown passes, posing half naked in movie magazines, starring in the latest hip movie or recording a chart-topping song, is not necessarily sinful, it does not represent much courage and commitment to the human family; but yet we too easily shower these folks with unwarranted praise.
     Sadly, we see so much of this adoration amid the church community as well. Star-studded radio and television evangelists, authors and preachers and the theological persona de jour, use their fame to fatten their coffers and gain the right to hob nob with the rich, powerful and famous. Some even gain access to top government officials and have influenced foreign policy.
     This is not what Jesus had in mind when He told us to preach the gospel to all mankind! Jesus did not envisage His disciples as mega- rich evangelists nor pastors with 20,000 member “churches”, driving the latest Mercedes and flying from one arena to the other in privately owned Lear jets, as do the renowned rock stars of today.
     No, Jesus’ true disciples are in the trenches in far off lands, tending to the poor, the infirm, the homeless and the hungry in their respective neighborhoods, villages and refugee camps, while daily facing persecution (and even death) for the glory of God! They feed and give water to those who are infested with one disease or another, who suffer from the latest tropical storm or devastating earthquake, and lo the many who are one second away from death.     
     You will never hear about these valiant soldiers of the cross, as we have heard about the courageous Victor Perez (thank God for that inspirational news item); however, you will see thousands of these nameless souls sitting next to Jesus when His kingdom is revealed on earth upon His final return.
     A.W. Tozer, one of my heroes (not for any specific act of physical courage other than his preaching boldness) addressed humanity’s failure to put our heroes in proper perspective, thusly:
     “We have but to become acquainted with, or even listen to, the big names of our times to discover how wretchedly inferior most of them are. Many appear to have arrived at their present eminence by pull, brass, nerve, gall and lucky accident. We turn away from them sick to our stomach and wonder for a discouraged moment if this is the best the human race can produce. But we gain our self-possession again by the simple expedient of recalling some of the plain men we know, who live unheralded and unsung, and who are made of stuff infinitely finer than the hoarse-voiced braggarts who occupy too many of the highest offices in the land. . . .
     . . . the church also suffers from this evil notion. Christians have fallen into the habit of accepting the noisiest and most notorious among them as the best and the greatest. They too have learned to equate popularity with excellence, and in open defiance of the Sermon on the Mount, they have given their approval not to the meek but to the self-assertive; not to the mourner but to the self-assured; not to the pure in heart who see God, but to the publicity hunter who seeks headlines, Man: The Dwelling Place of God, pp 96-97, by A.W. Tozer.”
     As we begin to pray for our usual self-interests, let us include (at least for 30 seconds or more) our special blessings on the thousands upon thousands of the meek and pure hearted people throughout the world, who place themselves and their lives on the line so that others may live; for they will inherit the earth and they will also see God!

For more information about this blog and the author’s two books The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation please click on Joe Ortiz.