Text: James 4:7-12
The word submit does not echo well in the ears of Americans. When we hear submit, we think about bad things. We think of slaves being forced to submit to their masters in the 1860s. We think of MMA fighters tapping out and losing a bloody battle. We think of weakness and inferiority.
But in the Bible, the word submit means something much different. It means to show humble love and respect toward someone. Submitting has nothing to do with race or social class. Submitting is something that Christians gladly do toward all other people.
Why? Why would we want to do that? That won’t get us ahead in life. That won’t get us a big mansion. That won’t get us any magazine covers. This is a dog-eat-dog world! Submitting will only lead us to be devoured by the bigger dogs!
However, God himself came to this world and submitted to the laws and rules he had made. He subjected himself to the governing authorities. He submitted to all the sinful people who so regularly disobey and defy him.
So as Jesus showed humble love and respect for us, we most certainly can do the same for him. And as we submit to our King of kings and Lord of lords, that humble love will pour out and result in humble love and respect for one another.
Read the words of the devotion text from James 4 again today. When you read them thinking of what Christ has done for you, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to want to do these things for others.
Keep the cross of Jesus before your eyes. He is your motivation and your model for humble love!
Prayer: Loving Savior, as you have loved me and lived for me, please help me to love others. Give me a humble heart that puts you and others ahead of myself. Grant me joy in serving and submitting. I pray in your name. Amen.
18th Sunday after Pentecost
Teach Us, Lord, True Humility
Text: Mark 9:30-37
“No! I’m the greatest!” said Matthew. “Jesus handpicked me even though I was a sinful tax collector.” “No! I’m the greatest!” said Judas. “I’m entrusted with all of the money.” “No! We’re the greatest!” said James and John. “Jesus picked us brothers to be his disciples! And both of us were there when he raised Jairus’ daughter and to see Jesus’ glory on the Mount of Transfiguration!” “No! I’m the greatest!” said Peter. “Jesus picked me first, and my brother Andrew is a disciple too! I was also there with Jairus daughter. I was also there on the Mount of Transfiguration! And, I walked on water with Jesus! So there! I’m the greatest!”
Jesus arrived with his disciples at their destination in Capernaum after another long day of walking. They took off their sandals and tunics and began to settle down to relax. But first Jesus had something to ask them. Read the rest of this entry