"How Well You Ride"

Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9

I was reminded today of a Billy Graham film I once saw entitle The Ride. In this film, a burned-out rodeo star, is placed in a home for wayward boys to teach a young boy named Danny how to ride bull (all of this is because of community service he is forced to give because of his own ill-doing). Instead of being the great teacher, he becomes the student as Danny teaches him about life. In spite of his leukemia, and in spite of having no family, Danny is a Christian. While the rodeo star is all about winning and making a name for himself, Danny puts it all into perspective with his words and with his life as he says, “It’s not in how long your on…it’s how well you ride.” Danny eventually is overcome with his disease, but leaves a lasting impression on his teacher, who gives his life to Christ. As short as his life was, this young boy named Danny rode the ride of life well.

Such is the case with John the Baptist. A cousin to Jesus and only about 6 months older, John the Baptist’s life is cut short by the selfish, egotistical dealings of Herod, Herodias, and her daughter. What may initially seem like such a tragedy is in reality an incredible statement by a man who never forgot the ride of life.

  • John the Baptist never backed down or compromised his message or his relationship with God.

Even in the face of prison and death, John the Baptist was relentless in telling the truth—even to kings and officials. When Herod disobeyed God and took his brother Philip’s wife, John was back-boned enough to tell him about it. Even though this was a gutsy act, God used it to bring the message even to Herod. While in prison, Herod called several times (Mark’s account tells us) to listen to him.

Some would say that this attitude didn’t serve John well, but that is only on the surface. As we dig deeper into this story of this great prophet, one will see that He “got to” Herod when no one else did.

  • Even though John’s life was short—he “rode well.”

Even though John’s life was snuffed out by a grudge-nursed Queen named Herodias, John lived his life well. He carried out the mission that God gave him to prepare the way for the Messiah. Even when Christ’s ministry launched and He became more noticed and talked about then John, John continued to minister and he “decreased” as Christ “increased.” As the sun set on John’s life, even Herod respected John because he knew “him to be a righteous and holy man.”

In our lives, it isn’t what we accomplish; it isn’t what name we make for ourselves; it isn’t even how many souls we win, or how successful we are by the world’s standards. What matters is how we took the life that God gave us and used it to bring glory and honor back to Him. It isn’t how long we stay on the bucking bronco of life…it’s how well we ride for our King. And John rode well.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Hi Bro. Charles! I’m working my way through the Assembly of God Blog ring, and giving friendly reminders to those who need to update their code. (Your code is missing the Assembly of God black/white/gold banner and the gold join button.) Please go to my site and click on “Assembly of God Blogs” in the blue linkbar under my header. You’ll find the code you need there, and instructions on how to add the code, should you need them. (Please don’t use the code from RingSurf- it’s missing the banner and button.) Thanks!