Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.' '
Jesus said to him, 'It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' '
Climbing the ladder of success is an American ideal. Judging by the Life of Jesus, He didn't agree with that goal: 'Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve...' (Matthew 20:26-28).
What about climbing the steeples of success within our churches? Can't we judge accomplishment by the height and scope of our buildings? Or perhaps the eloquence and education of our pastors?
Surely, TV appearances and best-selling books are good signs. They're clearly flying through the air on the wings of angels, aren't they? A righteous and favored preacher wouldn't have empty pews, would he?
' 'Many of His disciples said, 'This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?' Aware that His disciples were grumbling... Jesus said to them, 'Does this offend you?'... From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him' (John 6:60-61,66).
Could the departure of His disciples equate to empty pews? Could empty pews means a preacher will not bow to people pleasing?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Don't judge your success by man's standards. Your number of Twitter followers means less than your following Jesus. The quantity of your leading roles means less than your supporting people. Climbing the ladder to grab your share means less than sharing your salvation stories.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: What is Jacob's Ladder: http://www.gotquestions.org/Jacobs-ladder.html
* Short article: Don't Climb The Ladder: http://www.soulshepherding.org/2013/04/dont-climb-the-ladder/
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Bad Ideas series.