Devotion for June 7, 2024

“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)

There are some events to which we are invited when it is quite clear as to where we shall sit and the position that we hold at the event. When we go to the theatre, we have set seats and hunt for our numbers on the back of the seat. Or, when we board a plane, it is quite clear where we sit, although the people surrounding us can be a surprise! Such positions have been determined by others. We may have set some criteria — for example, a window seat on the plane — but the allocation and position is out of our control.

At other times, we can be unsure. There was a custom previously that when attending a wedding, you were placed on either the bride or groom’s side of the church. Or, if you are invited to a conference as a guest speaker, do you sit up the front, or just wait until called?

Even in church, we can often dither as to where we should sit. This is particularly an issue when visiting another church — as people often sit in the same place each week, it can be unsettling to find that we have sat in someone’s regular place.

The guests in the above text were comparing themselves with the other guests and determined for themselves the position that they considered appropriate to them.

Our decisions are often predicated on how we perceive ourselves — as a special guest, a speaker, etc. But Jesus is saying to us that when it comes to entering His kingdom, we are not the arbiters of our position — He is.

There are many ways in which we lack humility and measure ourselves against others — the suburbs we live in, the cars we drive, academic qualifications, holidays, career positions. But do any of these identifiers make us more worthy in Jesus’ eyes than our neighbor who is different to us? In Philippians 2:4 we read, “Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Prayer

Lord, let me do the work You would have me do and not be concerned about position or honors. Let me do this work out of love for You and the forgiveness You have given me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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