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Our DAILY GOSPEL DEVOTIONAL is the story of Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension. This is a chronology and harmony of the gospel accounts in which the ongoing narrative and doctrinal context are carefully considered. In one year we reflect on every passage of every gospel.
May God bless you as we follow the disciples on the journey through the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Performance Rider

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines… yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
(Habakkuk 3:17-18 – ESV)

In the world of entertainment, there is an item known as a performance rider. This is an artist (musician, actor, guest, etc.) giving a set of requests as criteria for performance. In other words, a performance rider is a list of accommodations that must be met in order for the talent to agree to perform at the venue. If the demands cannot be met, the artist will not perform, simple.

We might relate this to some professed believers and their attitude toward God, with regards to going to church or reading their Bible or praying regularly. What some are doing is serving the God of self. They are saying, in effect, “I’ll serve God as long as He serves me”. They go to church when it is “all good”; when God is giving them what they want, they give Him what they think He wants. Let me tell you, He wants none of that trash. You are not the “talent” in this scenario, God is the one who has performed in Christ on your behalf, and now it is your turn to meet His demands, not vice versa. His criterion is a repentant and humble heart.

In the world of sports, there is the phenomenon of “contract negotiation”, where a player bargains with a team for a fee for services to be rendered. The contract calls for so many years of service for so many dollars. The better a player had performed in the past, and the more potential for the future a player has, the more the contract will be for in terms of length and/or money. Interestingly, on today’s scene, players who perform up to the potential that was seen in the negotiating phase, and agreed to by both parties, now they feel as if they are entitled to more.

Again, we can relate this to the “church world” today. When the chips are down, for many they just cash in. But for others who perform at what they feel is a peak level, well, they want God to “sweeten the deal”. But God offers no such incentive to “performance”. What He calls for is endurance, that is the deal we signed up for, and He doesn’t do contract negotiation. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you (1 Peter 4:12 – ESV).

We should rejoice that God doesn’t give us a performance rider, and that He doesn’t do contract negotiation. It isn’t our performance that counts, amen, it is what Christ did for us, and His performance rider was to suffer for the sins of the world on the cross; do you want that? Rejoice, even in troubling times, for God doesn’t look to our performance, and He always comes though on His end of the deal.

Without ignoring the reality of suffering, Habakkuk turned his attention away from it and fixed his gaze upon the more critical issue of salvation. So which are you more aware of, the present suffering, or the great salvation (Hebrews 2:3) that is in Jesus Christ?

To know true joy in the midst of suffering is to recognize that regardless of the severity of suffering we experience in this life, it is never as great or as serious as our sins. That's a divine perspective of suffering. As a Christian, our suffering is never as great as our sins.

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18 Comments:

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Taliesin said...

Once again, excellent points, especially for those of us who are busy up to our eyeballs, but sometimes realize that the motives are not always right - "God, I do get a bonus for this, right?"

But to realize what I deserve and what I have received, that truly is joy.

 
At 11:53 PM, Blogger Paulie said...

We might relate this to some professed believers and their attitude toward God, with regards to going to church or reading their Bible or praying regularly. What some are doing is serving the God of self. They are saying, in effect, “I’ll serve God as long as He serves me”.

Any time that would be good for you to stop by, just give me a ring to make sure I'll be home. Thanks.

 
At 3:18 AM, Blogger ann_in_grace said...

It's ALL ABOUT HIM.
Never anything else. Until we understand this, we are in the darkness of our own self-centered pride and righteousness.

 
At 6:59 AM, Blogger Garry Weaver said...

Great post, Bro. Very powerful and convicting.

I look forward to fellowshiping with you when we can get together.

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

That will be a fine time, I'm sure, thanks Garry...

 
At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Mom said...

Profound....You have blessed me with this insight...it is after all is said and done the way of the cross..humility, repentance, and faith. Mom

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

Hey mom, this guy Garry you see above me here is pastor of a church in Titusville, and he has two sons who are "somebodies" in the blogging world...oh, and he loves old cars...maybe one day when I come over I am going to go over there...trying to get my friend Justin (remember the World Series guy?) to check it out...

Thanks for the comment mom, see you the 16th...

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Craver VII said...

You have a one-track mind, and it always leads to God. I love ya, Bro, even though you're Floridian. :-)

We have a weekly departmental meeting at my job and it begins with a brief (2-minute) devotional time. Last week, I realized that I could pick just about any one of your posts and the whole team would be blessed by it! I really appreciate the good stuff I keep finding here, JD.

I remembered you while shovelling this weekend. I'll always have an extra shovel waiting here for you.

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thanks Craver, I appreciate your encouragement, very much so...

 
At 10:46 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

For the second day in a row this is a repost, this time from 12/4/06...we usually post new material 6 days a week, but we have many new readers, and with so many new posts always going up, many have not seen some of the older stuff, so I might sneak "an oldie but a goodie" back to the front page once in a while...

 
At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Paul said...

JD, Forgive me please? It was 9pm before I realized I was to call you this morning. I was doing some writing and errands and just forgot... I'll put it on the calender to help remember.
As to your Post, I got all the was through it and did not remember that I had read it once before. I kept thinking what a great Post... And only realized it when I went to leave another Post. Great post should often be revisited.
JD, thanks for being willing...

 
At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heavenly Warrior here. Just wanted to say how true that is about how some will only seek the Lord to benefit themselves. This only leads to them seeking God with some sort of false idol before them and than wondering why God's not giving them what they seek, rather God answers them according to the false idol(s) that they hold before (Him). Everything must be given over to (Him). The Lord accepts our total Obedience, Faith, an Submission to (Him). Yes we will stumble, but (He) is always there to pick you back up. So long as you know that (He) is the one in control. May God's blessings an Glory rain down over you all.

 
At 12:36 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

truth...

Everyone serves the god of self unless and until God calls them to Himself...

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

Even then, many often slip back into a performance mentality, instead of renewing their minds...

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger Craver Vii said...

Whoa... deja-vu.

I just wanted to say, I bought your book online, and I'm finding out the strangest thing... tapping my foot or drumming my fingers isn't making it come any faster. I guess I'll just have to be patient. :-)

 
At 3:19 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thanks for ordering, sorry it is taking so long...

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger Craver Vii said...

Yeah, they're probably expecting me to believe the sorry old excuses about not shipping on the weekend or holidays. I'm gonna write a letter!

"Dear shipping department: I do not want to pay extra for shipping, but I want it here yesterday (if not sooner) because I am unrealistic and unreasonable. Can you arrange this please?"

Still waiting...
;-)

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

hmmmm...ironic, in that we are talking about performance...

 

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