Friday, May 8th, 2015
Soldier's Orders (Part 30)
With everybody listening, Jesus spoke to his disciples. 'Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preen in the radiance of public flattery, bask in prominent positions, sit at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get. But they'll pay for it in the end.'
Luke 20:45-47 (The Message)
My dear friends, don't let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, 'Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!' and either ignore the street person or say, 'Better sit here in the back row,' haven't you segregated God's children and proved that you are judges who can't be trusted?
James 2:1-4 (The Message)
When my dad was a fighter pilot in WW II, he had the world's best and worst seat: a beautiful view in a dangerous job. Now, in my role with AMTC, I fly a lot, too (as a passenger). Sometimes I get upgraded, which delights me! I confess: a good seat makes me feel special.
But where did Jesus sit? On a carpenter's bench? The rear of the temple? In a fisherman's boat? At a sinner's table? Mountains, deserts and fields? The back of a donkey? When Jesus left Heaven's throne, he avoided earth's thrones.
'I do not receive honor from men' (John 5:41). 'Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone' (John 6:15).
His advice? 'Take the lowest place' (Luke 14:10), because 'Many who are first will be last; and the last, first' (Matthew 19:30). 'The one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant' (Luke 22:26).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Be good soldiers. Follow orders. Give up glory. Take the long shot. Choose the bad seat. Love the small part. Sing in the choir. Support the weak. Build up the stage. Clean up the mess. Sit down with kids. Humble yourself.
Because Jesus did. Because 'He who humbles himself will be exalted' (Matthew 23:12).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Soldier's Orders series.