Don’t leave it to Chance
Why pointing to Jesus is better than pointing to His people.
If you’ve never listened to hip hop before, you are missing out. And if you’ve never heard of Chance the Rapper, chances are you have this week.
On Sunday 12 February, the musicians of the entertainment world came out to play at the Grammys. James Corden’s innocent humour was on point, fashion was at its best (and possibly worst) and every conceivable rock star attitude was present.
However, as Hollywood put on its best music show, one act stood apart from the rest: Chicago independent artist, Chance the Rapper, who won awards for both ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Rap Album of the Year’.
Not only did Chance give glory for his success to the Lord, he went on to praise God for two solid minutes during his performance of ‘How Great’, complete with worship leader Kirk Franklin and a gospel choir! If you haven’t seen the clip, check it out here.
Can God use celebrities to tell people about Him?
Now, I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t excite me when I hear celebrities talk about God. Let’s be honest, it can be tough living for Jesus in a world that does not love Him. And unfortunately, when people do speak about God in public, sometimes it can come across as embarrassing or very negative and hurtful.
But I love pointing others, especially those who don’t know and love Jesus, to cool people that they might trust. My friends might not always listen to me, but they would definitely listen to a musician like Chance the Rapper. They might even listen to an athlete like Tim Tebow, or Justin Bieber, who has been known to break out into worship during his concerts.
However, even though it may be easier to tell people about Jesus by pointing to someone in the spotlight, it won’t take long until that person does something that isn’t like Jesus, and then we’re back to square one, telling people they need to live like Jesus.
Boast in Jesus, not His people
Just as we might boast in Christian celebrities from time to time, we see that people in the Bible could also struggle with putting people above Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians, the early church leader Paul writes:
‘“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”’ (1 Corinthians 1:10-12)
Jesus is enough
I love the idea of being united with everyone in mind and thought, especially in a world that does not see things God’s way. To make this happen, we need to know that our identity is not in Christian leaders, popular people who call themselves Christians, or anyone else; our identity is in Christ alone.
I love Chance the Rapper’s excitement for who God is in his life, but after listening to his album you will quickly see that not everything is about Jesus. I know Chance is growing in Christ, as we all should be. For a deeper look into this and Chance’s album check out what the Gospel Coalition had to say on this.
Regardless of person’s status, Jesus is still powerful enough to draw people to Himself. But as Paul says, he uses us by His grace. We’re not to be the main attraction, but simply to tell the good news of Jesus’ perfect love for sinners, demonstrated on the cross.
“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:17)
Keep pointing to Jesus
There are great heroes of faith in the Bible, some who survived impossible odds, just as there are passionate leaders and pastors who can speak eloquently about their love for Jesus. And there are also brave people like you, who live their lives for others, aspiring to be more like Jesus. But no one can perfectly follow Jesus’ sinless example, and no one can do what He did for us on the cross.
So, as you follow Jesus, it is good to know who is on the same team. And if you feel the need to point to anyone else, just remember that there is no one like Jesus.
God will continue to use the flawed people of this world (famous or not) to point us to the perfect Saviour we all desperately need.
Photo by rap-up.com.
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