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‘You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent’ (Psalm 30:11-12).
‘I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You’ (Psalm 138:1).
‘But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light’ (1 Peter 2:9).
Praise is a theme of the Bible and a focus of the Psalms. For Christians, praise is the public profession of worship, an adoring reverence of God. Praise moves us closer to God and Him closer to us: He is ‘Enthroned in the praises’ of His people (Psalm 22:3).
Praise carries power beyond man’s ability to understand, and beyond the enemy’s ability to fight. Because praise invites God’s presence—and where God is, Satan is not.
When Joshua’s men blew their horns and shouted before a great wall, the great wall fell from the praise. When young David played music before a mad king, the king’s madness fled from the praise. When King Jehoshaphat’s worship team sang before an unbeatable army, the army was beaten from the praise—and God’s force that followed.
Praising God is your joy, your duty and your defense!
As your joy, praise is a calling card for God. When you show joy, especially in un-joyful situations, people will ask ‘The Reason for the hope that you have’ (1 Peter 3:15).
As your duty, praise is publicity for God. When God relieved David’s suffering, David embraced his duty to share how God helped him: ‘To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent’ (Psalm 30:12).
As your defense, praise forces the enemy to flee. To him, your professions of God’s greatness are more irritating than fingernails on a chalkboard, more frightening than a legion of lions, because God will come to you in praise. Imagine a bully facing the strongest Hero: ‘It is a terrifying thing to fall into the Hand of the Living God’ (Hebrews 10:31).
As King David praised God throughout his life, even in times of trouble, even in times of waiting—and certainly in times of victory, so must you.
NOTE This devotion is #38 in a series, “Valiant Like David” intended for actors, models and talent for Christ. To subscribe to AMTC Daily Devotions, please see the link on our home page.
‘To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God’ (Revelation 2:7).
‘Be faithful until death, and I will give you the Crown of Life… He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death’ (Revelation 2:10-11).
‘To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it’ (Revelation 2:17).
‘He who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations… as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star’ (Revelation 2:26-28).
‘He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels’ (Revelation 3:5).
‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name’ (Revelation 3:12).
‘To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 3:21-22).
You face challenges. They look like giants and mountains. Should you run toward a giant bully? David did, and he was just a kid. Should you fight your way up a mountain? Caleb did, and he was already old.
Consider some additional questions:
1) Do you have an easier way than His call to overcome? He says, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’ (John 14:6). He also says, ‘Difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it’ (Matthew 7:14). Bottom line: Playing it safe is not the best option.
2) Should you wait on a better time to answer His call? Jesus says, ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock’ (Revelation 3:20). He also says repeatedly: to be unprepared or unwilling to answer His call can be fatal. Even more: ‘Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap’ (Ecclesiastes 11:4). Bottom line: How can you wait for a better time when tomorrow is not guaranteed?
3) Should you look the other way? ‘To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin’ (James 4:17). Christians are persecuted in over 50 nations. In the others, countless children fall victim to peer pressure. To follow the habits of their favorite stars, they lose their innocence and even their lives. Bottom line: You’ve been called to be a better example.
According to God, the real risk is not the mission field: It’s staying home. Because if you go, He goes with you. What’s the worst that can happen? Failure? If your witness was the key for one sad secretary to meet Jesus, and subsequently, she becomes a witness for her boss, and subsequently, he became the witness for hundreds more… Is that failure? Certainly not.
In the process of your obedience to His call, God will surprise you with the desires of your heart… if you don’t give up.
Remember: your goal is not fame, but witness. God determines the size of your audience, and it will be perfect for you. Your hurdle is not earthly, but spiritual: The weaker you are, the stronger God moves. All He asks of you is to follow and to continue in His call to overcome.
So continue. God will do the rest. From His perspective, you’ll see the giant was only a grasshopper, and the mountain no more than a molehill. To overcome them, step down hard and hold on tight.** You’re destined to win and the Grand Prize awaits. His Name is Jesus, and the rest? It’s just gravy.
‘He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son’ (Revelation 21:7).
NOTE This devotion is #20 (The Conclusion) in a series, “The Call To Overcome” intended for actors, models and talent for Christ. To subscribe to AMTC Daily Devotions, please see the link on our home page.
Part of AMTC’s Development Program for God’s rising stars includes LAUNCH training weekends in our Hubs of NY/NJ, L.A., Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Seattle and Orlando. They are intensive coaching sessions by industry professionals to prepare performers by God’s standard (first) and man’s standard (second). It’s like a marriage of God’s SHINE to New York polish—because both are necessary for media missionaries. They teach His performers how to succeed in this world, but not to become of it.
Following are two letters: one from a dad and mom in the L.A. Hub—and one from an adult performer in Atlanta.
“We just wanted to say a BIG thank you for all you did to make our daughter’s first LAUNCH such an amazing experience. It was so much more than we expected. Every class was loaded with incredibly valuable instruction balanced with humor and a whole lot of fun.
She made friends and learned a lot about the industry. The coaches are AMAZING and truly care about investing in you being your best. The Scripture-based foundation of every aspect of the AMTC experience was profound and encouraging. Meeting successful people in the industry and hearing their testimonies was inspiring.
As each mentor spoke, we were reminded that God must be first in everything. He has called us and He will equip us. The encouragement to trust Him with your career and to surrender to His will/timing meant a lot. Overcoming fear and not allowing the enemy to rob or make one feel inadequate, building each other up in the Lord and being truthful (real) was a running theme our daughter needed to hear.
As Cambria showed interest in the industry, we as parents were concerned about her survival as a Christian. Being part of the AMTC family has given her the support she needs and the accountability to remain steadfast.
Blessings to you,
Ron & Jennifer Martinsen”
“I trust this email finds you happy, healthy and filled with the Holy Spirit! Because that is how I’m feeling after attending an unbelievably inspiring, and spiritually uplifting LAUNCH in Atlanta. Your team ROCKED!
Glory was given to God every second of each day with motivational teaching, inspirational coaching, constructive feedback from places of joy and love, and oceans of praise layered with wonderful words of wisdom and encouragement.
It was also moving and heart warming to watch all of the performers embrace and support each others journey. Everyone felt SAFE and understood that the goal was to help everyone SHINE and go on this journey TOGETHER!
Arrogance and jealousy have no place in the Kingdom so we should have no place for it here. I’m your brother and you are my sister! I love you and I’ve got your back. And if you fall, I will be here not only to catch you, but to make sure you get right back up and continue to try! What an incredible first day.
Our Sunday started with the most amazing devotional I think I’ve ever seen delivered by a young adult. On both days, the coaches were clear, concise, direct but most importantly, compassionate, loving and just tons of fun.
The AMTC Photo Shoot Season has begun for performers heading to Summer SHINE 2014. AMTC Shoots are a collaboration of gifted photographers, producers, art directors, makeup artists, hair and wardrobe stylists. Our photo sessions are kind of like America’s Next Top Model: Christian version. Our goal is to photograph God’s performers by the highest possible standard.
Consider why: when we apply for jobs In the business world, we are judged by our resume: where we went to school, job certifications and experience. When we apply for jobs in the talent world, we are judged by our pictures: as professional, amateur or ignorant.
Check out a couple of emails received regarding the photo shoot: one from a parent and one from an adult performer:
“Just sitting here, waiting for Madi to finish up her photo shoot….and I am overwhelmed… with feelings of BLESSING! I hope and pray that ALL OF AMTC FAMILY KNOWS HOW MUCH WE APPRECIATE THEM!
So many people worked so hard this weekend to give my daughter this amazing gift—wings to SHINE for Him and all of His! Just had to share with someone because I actually do not own a plane to write it across the Atlanta sky!
May God bless all of you…..if we get nothing else beyond this point—it is already WAY MORE THAN WORTH ANY PETTY SACRIFICE! What else can we do to show our gratitude and appreciation?
Love you all!
“What an amazing day we had at the SHINE Photo Shoot today. We opened the day in prayer, supported each other tremendously and witnessed all that God is doing with each and every person involved.
Your staff of stylists, make up artists, photographers, coordinators were all simply extraordinary! So helpful, knowledgable, caring and patient with each performer. I witnessed countless number of private prayer groups happening throughout the day. One of your photographers, Leo and I spoke for 30 minutes (during our shoot) about the Love of Christ. Where else in the professional world does this happen? Today was just gave me more fruit to show me that AMTC is what I’ve been waiting for. Thank you!
Thank You, Lord! You are the ultimate Artist. Thank You for giving so abundantly to Your performers!
‘For the kingdom of Heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.’ (Matthew 25:14-19)
Consider these definitions of shy: ‘Easily frightened away, timid; distrustful; wary; deficient’ (Random House Dictionary). Applied to the Parable of the Talents, it might read like this:
Once upon a time, a wealthy lord planned a long trip. Before he left, he entrusted three servants with his wealth—expecting them to handle it wisely. When the lord returned, he looked upon his estate. Two of the servants doubled their lord’s talents, and he commended each one:
‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord’ (v.21,23).
But the third servant was shy (timid). Instead of investing his lord’s talents in the world to multiply them, he was shy (frightened) about losing them. He was shy (distrustful, wary) of strangers, and preferred to stay comfortably at home. So he buried his lord’s talent in the backyard. Therefore, when the lord returned, this servant was shy (deficient) of a return on his lord’s investment.
The lord’s words? ‘You wicked and lazy servant… Take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents’ (v.26,28). The shy servant’s outcome? ‘Cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (v.30).
In Matthew 25, The Parable of the Talents is the final story told by our Lord before His crucifixion and subsequent departure from earth. In Body (as opposed to Spirit), He’s on a long trip. But He’s returning soon. In the mean time, His servants have been entrusted with His property. We are those servants.
Is today’s talent industry the world’s big bank of investment? Does it offer the greatest return? Surely in this mission field called media, we have been given an unprecedented opportunity to multiply His talents.
Actors, models and talent for Christ, make no mistake about it. The talents you hold are not yours, but His—and with them, you are not shy. Because fear has no place within you. Neither does timidity, distrust or deficiency. Shyness has no vote in the decisions you make. Because if you allow it to influence your present, it can ruin your future.
To Be Continued….
This devotion is #3 in a series called “Deny Shy” intended for actors, models and talent for Christ. To subscribe to AMTC Daily Devotions, please see the link on our home page.
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