March 29, 2018
Volume 22, Number 12
Darian Lipscomb is a 15-year-old who lives in Prospect, Virginia. His life was pretty average for a teenager until the truck showed up. Answering a knock at his door earlier this week, he looked out to see a large truck with his name on its side in bold letters. “Hey, Prospect,” the sign read; “Does anyone know Darian?” A photo of basketball hall-of-famer Shaquille O’Neal was beside the caption.
Carnival Cruise Lines was behind the search for Darian. It seems Darian had taken the SnapChat handle of @CarnivalCruise in 2012 after going on his first of four cruises with his family. The cruise line is about to launch its newest ship, Carnival Horizon, and wanted to barter with Darian for the handle.
What would this Fortune 500 company offer a small-town teenager for his handle? How about a free cruise aboard the Horizon for him and his family, valued at more than $5,000? They will be the first to board the new liner, and Darian will be given surprises at various points along the cruise. Darian didn’t hesitate; he knew a good thing when he saw it. (Now, of course, he’ll have to find a new handle for SnapChat.)
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus announced to His apostles and to the world that the confession Peter had just made of His divinity and messiahship would be the foundation of the church He would build. The word Jesus used, “church”, is from a Greek word which means “those who have been called out”.
Why would Jesus be calling people out? Will He offer us a cruise, or something else of value? Peter answers: “But [Christians, the church] are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). To be “a chosen race … a people for His own possession” is more than an honor. It means that God will provide for and protect us; we are now part of His family.
And what does God ask of us in return? He wants our “handle”. If we are to be “His own possession” we will naturally respond to His directions and requests. We will no longer call our own shots, but will be guided by Heavenly wisdom.
Paul told us what it means to be “the called out”: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Christ stands at our door knocking, hoping we’ll open (Revelation 3:20). Why is He calling us to come out? “… I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). We would be wise to answer His call.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.