(APPLAUSE) (APPLAUSE) (APPLAUSE) Larger than life blinking red lights hung from the stage studio ceiling high above the excited fans.
Exuberant clapping banged up against the sound tiles and bounced back over the audience in a deafening roar as Jeff Lebo, host of the most popular daytime talk show in the nation, bounded across Sound Stage 2 wearing a toothy grin. His willowy frame seemed to sway with the crowd’s enthusiastic movement. Waving, he took a deep bow and smiled--soaking up their praise.
Jeff Lebo was ecstatic—his one and only guest for a full hour live broadcast was the President of the United States. This type of appearance for day time television was unprecedented and groundbreaking. Jeff knew this would be the pinnacle of his already successful career.
President Robert Stewart Huntington was a self-made billionaire. He made his initial fortune in telecommunications and then moved on to harnessing renewable energy sources. That’s where the real money was. From that high pinnacle of power it was an easy leap to the presidency. His swaggering good looks, easy smile, and command of language gave him a charisma that was irresistible to voters. Still, many wondered whether he’d bought the position outright.
Wagging tongues soon silenced as President Huntington quickly established himself as the ultimate dealmaker. First, he exerted his energy into trimming the gargantuan federal budget single-handedly and succeeded. Democrats and Republicans alike succumbed to his smooth-talking negotiations. He soon had numerous innovative programs in the works that promised safety, prosperity, and success for the nation’s people. He had the highest approval rating of any president to-date—he seemed unstoppable and unshakeable.
After three successful years in office, the public was begging for a re-election bid. Potential opponents lacked the fortitude to contend with this man who appeared to have it all. President Huntington certainly didn’t need the television exposure Jeff Lebo’s show offered him. So, why was he making this special appearance? Jeff Lebo, his studio audience, the nation, and most of the free world were about to find out.
Once the deafening applause died down, Jeff Lebo launched into his well-known rhetoric—exhorting the President’s accomplishments, building up the suspense.
“Mr. President, we’re honored to have you with us this evening. I’m sure the audience will agree with me when I say that your presidency has clearly been the greatest in our nation’s history.”
The audience went wild.
“Thanks, Jeff. I’m delighted to be here this evening.”
“Mr. President, while we could spend the evening debating foreign policies in the Middle East or talking about your education reforms, I think the question on everyone’s mind is whether you’re going to run for re-election next year.”
“Actually Jeff, I am not running for re-election.”
“Wow, that’s quite a surprise, Mr. President. How did you come to that decision?”
The President turned toward the camera, flashing his famous smile. “Once my term ends, I will leave my position at the Artemis Corporation.”
“Gosh, you can’t mean that? What are you going to do?”
“I believe the most important thing I can do is to share my wealth with the people of the world. I’m making plans to buy a fleet of airplanes to shuttle medical supplies and food to the neediest areas of the world.”
“We-e-e-l-l, that’s something different.”
“Yes, this new vocation is a direct result of my discovering that there really is one true God. The leader of the free world is not President Robert Stewart Huntington. It is Christ, God’s only Son. I have decided to follow Him—to be His servant.”
Jeff shifted uncomfortably in his seat. A look of disdain crept across his face. “What, you’ve found religion, Sir?”
Looking toward the audience, President Huntington turned serious. “No, I’ve found Christ. There’s a big difference. God came down to this earth, down to our level, in the form of a man, Christ, and then sacrificed Himself on a cross. As a result, I, you, Jeff, and all of us can share a personal relationship and eternal life with Him. Isn’t that marvelous?”
Stunned silence gripped the crowd. Jeff Lebo’s toothy grin disappeared. “We’ll be right back after this short commercial break.”
And do not be called leaders, for One is your leader, that is Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:10-12 (NASB)
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