DATE: August 8, 2019
TEXT: Matthew 23: 11-12 – ESV - 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Christian status. Is there such a thing?
In the minds of many people there is. One of the things which surprised me as a pastor is that people thought preachers were usually better than the rest of the church. That was shown a number of ways: guys who cursed, wouldn’t do so if the preacher was around. Guys who chased women and drank excessively would try to curb themselves when a minister was near.
Now I will admit, pastors are generally superior... in their theological education. Most know Greek, Latin, German and Hebrew better than members of their congregation. But Scripture doesn't’ say, “He that believeth and knoweth Greek, Latin, German and Hebrew shall be saved.” No, the Lord is looking for people who are saved by grace. Grace is God’s gift to His people. Their Christian actions, lives offered up in thanksgiving for the Savior is their gift to God.
Using that criterion I’ve nown some Clergy who were mighty Christian, but the very best beluievers have evr seen were a South Dakota mailman and his wife. If my mansion in heaven is in the same suburb as his I will be most honored.
We are saved by grace, and not by who we are. . That’s how the Christian life should be lead.
Charles Evans Hughes moved to Washington, D.C., to become Chief Justice of the United States. The son of a Baptist minister, it was natural for him to transfer his church membership to a Baptist congregation in his neighborhood. This church had the custom of asking all new members to come to the front of the sanctuary after worship. There the pastor introduced them to the church.
The first person to be called up that day was a Chinese laundryman by the name of Ah Sing.
Mr. Sing walked to the far side of the church so there might be room for the dozen-or-so-others who were being introduced. Sadly, when the others were called up, they all went the way to the other side of the church, leaving a great, and noticeable gap between them and the Chinaman.
Ah Sing was left standing by himself in a most embarrassing, and lonely, position.
It is to the credit of Chief Justice Hughes, that when he was called up, he placed himself beside the laundryman. That’s a ruler who had learned to serve. Justice Hughes understood what all believers should understand: at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, the ground is level.
None of us are standing on a higher, or better, spot than anyone else.
True, in the eyes of the world, some people may be more successful and some may be more special. But at the cross there is no Jew or Greek; no slave or free; no Chinese laundryman or Chief Justice. We are all sinners in desperate need of the forgiveness that is won by our suffering Savior.. By our own merits heaven is beyond our reach.
Only through the precious, and cleansing, blood of the Savior do we find that grace which gives us the peace which passes all understanding. Only through the Savior’s sacrifice are we able to arise and do the work that He has entrusted to us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I give thanks that You never stood afar off and let me fend for myself. You came down to suffer, to serve and to save. May I, having received the benefit of Your substitution, be willing to serve others. In Your Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html