Paper Tigers & Impressing God
A Write 31 Days Series
Jesus asked this, “What do you want me to do for you?”
What if Jesus came to you and asked you this question? What would be your answer? Is there a need you are desperate to have filled today? Would you plead someone’s case, asking God to move in their life? Would you ask about an unfulfilled dream that you would hope Jesus could bring to fruition
I’m seven sentences into this blog post, and all of them have been questions. I don’t know what I would ask Jesus to do for me.
I judgmentally look at James and John’s answer. Surely I wouldn’t ask Jesus to place me at His level, make me His top dog. Or would I? (BTW, sorry for calling you Shirley!)
As I think back about my “striving hard to impress God” times in ministry, wasn’t this kind of what I wanted? I wanted to be noticed, promoted, trusted with more, and praised.
James and John were asking to be second and third in command, placed in a seat of honor, and maybe even seen as holy.
When I strive to look “good” to people, isn’t being seen as holy my goal?
I don’t know about you, but I feel such conviction reading this passage.
Jesus told them, “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.”
That answer must have felt so backward or inverted from what they were expected from Jesus. Jesus isn’t giving them what they asked.
What I want in my deepest heart of hearts would not be to be a servant. I can understand their confusion.
Jesus then left that conversation to go die on the cross, paying the ransom of so many in bondage to sin.
Yesterday we discussed freedom. We considered being a DOER who is free by being someone who DOES out of love.
Serving out of love is the key to freedom and also the key to being more like Jesus, who tells us that He came to serve - not to be served.
When we come to Jesus concerned with our self-interest and self-promotion instead of coming to Jesus concerned about His Kingdom and His will, we are very likely to go away as disappointed as James and John were. What matters most is His will, the advancement of His Gospel, and His story here on Earth.
A better stance would be to approach Jesus with the humility of a servant as we do, we find our assignment to serve others in our lives from a place of love.
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I like to include a song with each blog post. Here you go. I love the guitar part at the end and the lyric, "I want to knit you a sweater, I want to write you a love letter, I want to make you feel better, I want to make you feel free." Joni is a treasure.