By Greg Laurie
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
As Johnny’s career started to really take off, he sought out Sonny James for advice about how to handle the demands of the entertainment industry—the bright lights, the fan adulation, and temptation—and still live a Christian life.
“John, the way I do it is by being the way I am,” James told him. “I am not just an entertainer who became a Christian. I am a Christian who chose to be an entertainer. I am first a Christian. Remember that what you are and the life you live sings louder than any song. And don’t forget to pray.”
At times Johnny would follow that sage advice. And other times he wouldn’t.
The Christian life is, in many ways, like a race. Some start well, only to never finish. Some start late in life and finish well.
Johnny would stumble and fall many times as a Christian, but he would dust himself off and get up again . . . and again. In the end, Johnny’s faith would reach its zenith.
One Sunday, driving after a show, Johnny noted cars turning into the parking lots of churches along the highway and dolefully said, “That’s why I feel so low this morning. I ought to be in church.” But there wasn’t time. Later, Cash would look back on that as a pivotal event in his life, the day he put his career ahead of God.
The closer we are to God, the closer we’ll want to be to His people. The further we are from God, the more we’ll want to distance ourselves from His people. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable around Christians, then maybe there’s something wrong with you spiritually.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1–2 NKJV)
Have you stumbled and fallen in your race of faith? Are you determined to always get back up and finish well?
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1 NKJV)
Do you find yourself wanting to be in the presence of other believers? Or, do you shy away from their interaction? What does that say about your spiritual state?
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV)
Does your career complement or contradict your faith?
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