Vacation is officially over…..so it’s time for How to live your life kingdom first part 3.

If you didn’t get a chance to read part 2 you can read it here.

The fourth practical thing we can do to live our lives kingdom first is to humbly serve one another. This may be the thing that will stand out the most as counter to American culture. American culture is driven by chasing the dream, climbing the ladder, becoming the boss or the buck stops with me person, building bigger houses, creating personal empires, and achieving culture defined success. Furthermore, it’s done at the expense of other people, and getting creative on how you justify it. Humbly serving others goes in the opposite direction, you set aside becoming the ‘man’. Achieving the ‘highest’ rank in the kingdom if you will is to become the greatest servant. It’s not about how high you can climb the ladder or what kind of title you can get people to call you, it’s about how low you can go in order to serve others, and lift them higher. In addition to that, this is not sitting on your perch calling people higher, this is you getting down in the mud with them, and helping them out of the pit without ever asking them how they got their because the truth is it doesn’t matter. You are not their judge, you should be a servant with a heart for people. When you see those people who are struggling, and we all struggle from time to time, your heart shouldn’t be looking at how they got there, but how you can help them get out. This ties in with loving others, and accepting others. I should look at others with the love of Christ, accept them wherever they are at, and serve them wherever they are at.

Christ gives us the ultimate example in John 13:1-17. Furthermore, He commands us to do the same. Here we see the creator of all things, the king of kings, and the lord of lords come down from His position as the most high and wash some dirty stinky feet, and ultimately die for us. He said that if He washed their feet then they should wash each others feet, and He said I gave you this example and you should do as I have done to you. The truth is that you could never be higher than the one who sent you, and we are all sent by Him. To act like you are better than anyone else, or to even think it is a huge statement of pride. Furthermore, you will never be any higher than the one whose feet you are washing, we are a flawed, we are just flawed in different ways.

The word tells us in Galatians 5 to use our new covenant freedom to serve one another, not ourselves. I think Galatians 6 gives us a good picture of how we can do that, here is an excerpt: 6 “Brethren, even if [a]anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” This is a picture of humbly and gently helping someone who has fallen all the while recognizing that you too are flawed and could be tempted yourself. This is recognizing that sometimes things happen to people who cause them to have more of a load than they can carry on their own. This isn’t ‘calling’ people higher in order to sound spiritual when you really just don’t want to get dirty. This is jumping in and helping because you know that you are no better, and you may need help with your own burdens someday. We often carry way more than we could ever make it to the end of the race with, more than we could ever handle. Why do we do that? I would venture to say it is because we have been judged before, we’ve been told we won’t be blessed until we get it right, that we no longer have God’s favor simply because life happened to us.  I would venture to say we don’t want that kind of help. If He was willing to die for me when I was completely lost, then I would think He is willing to continue blessing me while I’m doing my best to live my life for Him. Human faults and stumbles don’t break eternal God promises. We should humbly submit to one another, and serve one another out of deep respect for Christ, not out of what a person has or has not done.

We should use our gifts to serve others. It is through doing this that we show ourselves to be good stewards of God’s grace. We should remain humble, and always carry a servants heart toward others.

I think Philippians 2 sums this up pretty well. Here is an excerpt: 2 “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any [a]affection and compassion, make my joy complete [b]by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing [c]from [d]selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude [e]in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be [f]grasped, but [g]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Look at others as better than you, look out for their interests first, and don’t do things out of selfish ambition. Sounds like the opposite of what we experience everyday. We’ve been conditioned to think it is ok to use others for our own gain, and profit. However, that is not who we are supposed to be. We should serve others in a way that we make sure they get a higher value from us than what we get from them.

For me, I know that I will always be able to improve in this area. With marriage, fatherhood, family, friends, ministry, strangers, and so on it is hard to always keep the right attitude and be the servant of all. However, I know that this is who I, and who we are supposed to be.

Make it a point to humbly serve others today, and everyday.

God is for you, and I am for you!

 

 

 

Position, Title, Status, Authority.

What position are you seeking in the Kingdom? What title are you after? What kind of status symbol do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered? Are you a leader now? Important questions for those of us that want to live Kingdom first.

As people we have a desire to create structure, rank, and authority. We then want to climb to the top of the structure, have the highest rank, and carry the most authority. Sometimes we put ourselves on the bottom of the structure just to hold onto the highest rank so we can have the most authority. Meaning sometimes we try to mix the culture of the Kingdom with the culture of the world.

Authority should not be what we are chasing as we walk a Kingdom first life. We should be trying to influence. Let’s define the words. Authority-the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience. The place that I want to exercise my authority is over the enemy. I do not want people to look at me as the one that forces their obedience, and orders their life. That is counter Kingdom. Influence-the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone. I do want to walk in this capacity. I want to influence people for Jesus, I want to influence in ways to connect them to their purpose as wells as help them as they walk out their purpose, and advance the Kingdom.

Let’s look at what Jesus said about it.

Luke 14:10-11

10 “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. 11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

It’s not the position at the top, or head that brings you honor in the kingdom, it is your humility in choosing the lowest position.

Luke 20:45-46

46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 47 who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

They had position, title, status and authority, but look at what they did with it. Instead of influencing people for the Kingdom, they used position, title, status, and authority to devour, and tear down.

Luke 22:24-30

24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.28 “You have stayed with me in my time of trial. 29 And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right 30 to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Who is the greatest? the one who takes the lowest rank. Who is the greatest? The one who becomes like a servant. Jesus is the greatest of all, and He was among us as the one who serves.

Your title, position, or rank may give you authority, but it will not give you influence (forcing compliance is not influence), and as a side note it is simply your identity in Christ that gives you authority over the enemy. Your title, position, rank, or authority does not make you great in the Kingdom. Who is the greatest in the kingdom? The one who becomes the greatest servant.

Live your life Kingdom first!

Levi

 

 

 


What happened to humility?

It seems to me that too many of us went to college and majored in log removal-how to remove the log from your lying, hypocritical brother or sister’s eye. How to slam your neighbor if they disagree with you. How to be hateful, and condemning in a Facebook post. How to post inappropriate pictures that show death and destruction on Facebook that you would never want your kids to see. Etc.

I see too many posts that say if you believe this, and not that you are a lying hypocrite. These keyboard warriors are really slamming these obviously ignorant people. The problem is that most of them are not offering any ideas, solutions, or putting forth any real action to solve the problems. We are demanding very difficult situations to be fixed, but acting as if we shouldn’t be the ones to do it. Let’s use the refugees for an example. Most of the people posting on this situation aren’t writing any checks to get them here, and they aren’t equipping their spare bedrooms to house them. We care enough to slam others, but we don’t care enough to inconvenience ourselves. Lets use an easier one. The county I live in has 25% of the children who live here go hungry when they are not at school. The county I live in also has way more than enough money to fix that problem. The question is who is contributing to help? Who even knows it’s a problem? Who is more worried about being right, and making their opinions known? We can war on the digital battlefield all day, all week, all year, forever, or we can humble ourselves and try to make a tangible difference while we have the chance. Hire someone, train someone, donate, open your home, do something. If you are passionate about the refugees then do something about it, not in the digital world, but the world you walk in. If it hurts your heart to see kids go hungry then do something about it.

We need to go back to school. We need to spend some more time with Jesus. The course He taught on this area was called spec removal-how to see that you are jacked up enough that you will never need to worry about the log in your brother or sister’s eye. How to walk in humility, and see the hurting people around you. How to see that it’s not all about your opinion, and realize you are empowered to raise people up. How to not waste time on senseless arguments, and to work at making a difference through loving people. Etc

We need to remember we were made perfect, and righteous by Him, but we also need to remember to renew our minds everyday. Our theology isn’t nearly as good as we think it is, we aren’t nearly as right as we think we are, and our perspective isn’t the only angle from which people can see things.

Let’s pray for each other rather than bash each other. Let’s put our heads together, and come up with solutions. Let’s put our hands together in order to implement those solutions. Let’s love and encourage one another, and spur each other on to good works.

Let’s live our lives Kingdom first!

Levi