April 20

APRIL 20
by Pastor Jonna

“Loving Those Here”

Read: Matthew 20:26 – 28

At the peak of her fame in the Christian music world, Jennie Lee Riddle spoke about sphere of influence. Her name may not have been well known, but one of her songs was. “Revelation Song” had topped the charts of Christian music, a song based on John’s vision in Revelation 5. (A favorite song of mine.) Riddle decided to take her newfound fame as an opportunity.

She said something like this: “We often have this sense that our influence is ‘out there,’ that we ought to influence ‘those people.’ But our influence is not ‘out there;’ it is right here. Our influence is with our family, our neighbors, the people we see all the time. What kind of influence is it?”

Her words struck to the quick. How do I treat, how do I love, how do I serve those closest to me? If people “out there” commend me for the wonderful things that I do and the outstanding character that I have, but those closest to me know something different, who am I kidding? If I give countless hours to people “out there,” but I snap at a family member who wants a measly moment of time, I have got some serious growing to do.

It is tempting to live so as to be noticed by others, but this is not the life Jesus invites us into. Jesus invites us to become small, last, and least – to become like him. This is the invitation.

When we are honest with ourselves, we know that we’ve got a lot of growing to do. This in fact, is a great consolation – we all have a lot of growing to do. And there are many who have gone before us who have shown us the way, many we can learn from. There are many who have plumbed the depths, many who have shared their lives without filter, many who have sacrificed for the love of others, and many who have recognized their humility before and gratitude to God for His steadfast and unyielding love for us.

We are all on this journey together, and I am thankful to humbly follow in the footsteps of Jesus with you.

A prayer from the hymn, Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer[1]:

 Guide us ever, great Redeemer,
Pilgrims through this barren land.
We are weak, but you are mighty;
Hold us with your pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
Feed us now and evermore:
Feed us now and evermore.

 

 

 

[1] Note: The singular was exchanged for the plural in this verse.


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