I’m excited to share a devotional thought set in one of my favorite places—the beach! Many of you will remember the author from my post titled, Wasted Time and God’s Blessings: The Writing Dream I Ignored. In addition to his historical novels, Jack has a new devotional book out and was kind enough to allow me to share an excerpt here.
The following is taken from Reflections of a Southern Boy: Devotions from the Deep South, by Jack Cunningham. Published by Ashland Park Books.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16, KJV).
On the Gulf of Mexico’s beaches small creatures skitter every direction. Surf fishermen and other beach visitors generally ignore them. These busy creatures always act like they’re fleeing the human race. In reality, they’re fleeing the incoming tide. Their ten tiny legs carry them across the sand pretty fast. As quickly as they can, they scoot into burrows they’ve dug.
What are these creatures? Fiddler crabs, called this because the male fiddler’s one oversized claw reminds us of a violinist as it moves up and down as though playing the instrument. Harmless creatures, they’re sometimes sold in pet stores. Their burrows serve many purposes, not only to escape high tide, but also for laying eggs and providing a refuge from predators.
My numerous trips to the beach and observations of these creatures have often sent my thoughts drifting toward my Christian testimony. Am I hiding in a “burrow,” seeking refuge from human predators who oppose my faith? Do I have a fiddler crab kind of faith?
We Christians can’t afford this. We can’t afford to fear predators and persecution’s incoming tides. Fiddler faith Christians burrow in their “safe zones.” Secret Christians with a secret faith, they dare not speak out about Christ and His Word lest they offend someone or suffer as a consequence.
Yet the Apostle Paul says the gospel will offend people. In his letter to the Galatians, he called it the “offence of the cross.” Had the early church’s leaders been “fiddler faith” Christians, the church never would’ve been born. God’s Holy Spirit empowered them with boldness to preach His Word.
Since His Holy Spirit also lives inside us, we too can be bold. Let’s not harbor our faith in secret nor flee the worldly tide by scurrying into our burrows. Christianity shouldn’t be a clique where everyone gathers into their safe zones. Rather, it should advance toward the high tide of a needy humanity, bringing Christ to everyone.
PRAYER: Fill me with boldness, Lord, that I may not be intimidated by the world or its ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
After Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples went into hiding. After His resurrection and ascension into Heaven, the Holy Spirit filled them with boldness on the day of Pentecost. Likewise, we can’t be bold in ourselves. We need His Holy Spirit to empower us to spread His gospel. If we know Him as our Lord and Savior, He’s given us this power. Will we trust His enablement to go forth and spread His good news of salvation?
Passages for Study
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2018 by John “Jack” M. Cunningham, Jr.
John “Jack” Cunningham, Jr. grew up on the Gulf Coast. He is a native of Mobile, Alabama and lived in New Orleans, Louisiana for twenty-five years. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and American Christian Writers. He’s written professionally for over thirty years. His work has appeared in numerous Christian and secular magazines. His devotionals have appeared in such publications as The Upper Room, The Secret Place, and Light for Today. He’s also a contributing writer to two David C. Cook devotional magazines, The Quiet Hour and Devotions.
Author John “Jack” M. Cunningham, Jr.
Coming in September, 2019: Squire, Tales of a Mascot
Paperback link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/173224880X
Kindle link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D5NXC1S