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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

From Last to Great

The world is very sutle as it invades the church. The things which make sense to the world are often presented as common sense. The world says that those who have paid their dues are the ones that should receive greater services. Thus, those who have been in the church for years, tithed, taught and attended should haved earned some privileges for their faithfulness.

But that is not what Jesus taught. He taught that the one who has become mature in the faith should give up all of his privileges and take the lowliest position of servant to all the others. He should not seek to have special parking or special seating. He should not seek to have the music, sermons or aesthetics of the sanctuary as merely pleasing to him. He should not expect others to serve him. He should expect to serve others.

The maturity of a believer is measured by his service. It is marked by putting others before himself. He does not have to be noticed nor does he seek being noticed. He is content that he has served his Lord. He still has ambition but that ambition is to serve his Lord even more.

I am constantly amazed at those who are afraid they will not be heard or obeyed in church. They assume that they have earned the right to tell others the way church should be. Their concern for the lost is cursory at best. They are unwilling to make changes that will reach others. They believe that the lost need to comply if they are to be reached. They have become the Pharisees who wanted privileges because of their self determined faithfulness to God.

This will never amount to anything in God's kingdom. The kingdom of privileges will never see God's presnce. God's kingdom finds those who have been the servant to all and calls them great. The greatest is a slave who claims no privileges at all.

Our own flesh hates being ignored. We (I) want to be known,  obeyed, and given privileges. It is normal to think like this but we were never called to be normal. We were called to be great.

This greatness stands in the shadows among men but is seen by God as if in bright sunlight. He sees it as one who has become like His Son.

And there is no higher honor than hearing God say that we have become like His Son.

Matthew 20:25-28 (NIV) 25 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

1 comment:

Anthony Chia said...

Oh Lord, how I struggle;
Not only one foot is in this boat,
And the next, in another;
My mind is on more.
Even my hands want a piece of the action;
For my eyes still look to the boats further out.

Oh, how I think I have NOT enough.
Why do I still doubt you, Lord?
That you cannot meet all that I need?
Why do I still worry about tomorrow?
That my resource will run out on me.
Why can’t I fix on eyes on you only?

Oh, my soul, how lukewarm you are.
You said you love the Lord,
But where is it showing?
You tell others to trust the Lord,
But where is your trust showing?
Why are you NOT staying as a child?

Oh, the Kingdom of God is for these;
Little ones.
Who always trust, when it is time to eat,
There will be food on the table.
For they know Daddy is there,
For them.

Oh, my soul, why can't you be contented;
Like when you are a little one,
Who leaves the cares to the Father;
Who is contented with the arrangements of Daddy;
Who doubts NOT, the faithfulness of the Father;
And who will act to please the Father.

Oh, my soul, you cannot,
You cannot stay lukewarm.
You cannot be the little one of the Father,
And at the same time, be the same, of the world.
You have NOT loved the material things of the world,
Yet you still share the mentality of the world.

Oh, my soul, you still,
You still are anxious, if NOT outright, worrying;
You still desire acknowledgment from men, if NOT outright, honors;
You are NOT prepared to be at the bottom;
You want to be above average, if NOT outright great,
As the world sees it.

Oh, my soul, you have to return,
Leave the love for the things of the world;
Leave the desire to be the achievers of the world;
Leave the want to be noticed;
Leave the desire for privileges.
Take control over the flesh.

Oh, my soul, you have to leave,
Return to your first love;
Return to love God more, and more;
Return to love your neighbours;
Return to looking to the Lord;
Hark to the voice of the Spirit;

Oh, my soul, will you NOT,
Believe the Lord loves you enough;
Trust that He shall provide for all your needs;
Rely on His grace;
Depend on His mercy;
And let Him honor you, instead?