Work your way down the lad­der

The Covington News - - Religion - JA­SON DEES

The idea of work­ing your way up is some­thing that per­vades all peo­ple and es­pe­cially Amer­i­cans. It is very nat­u­ral for us to de­sire power, se­cu­rity, fame and ease of life. This is true es­pe­cially among men. Even as lit­tle boys, guys start siz­ing each other up as soon as they hit the play­ground. They want to win. They want to be in con­trol. They want to be suc­cess­ful. This is some­thing that stays with men throughout life. I def­i­nitely see these de­sires very clearly in my own life, but the more I study the gospel, the more it be­comes clear to me that the value sys­tem of man and the value sys­tem of God are two en­tirely dif­fer­ent things.

Je­sus said to his dis­ci­ples in Matthew 19 that in his King­dom, “Many He goes on to say that who­ever would be great must serve, and who­ever would be first must be a slave. John the Bap­tist said of his own life in John 3, -

The gospels make it very clear that the things that man sees as great and what God sees as great are not the same. In­stead of wealth and con­trol be­ing the stan­dard of suc­cess, God de­sires hu­mil­ity and sac­ri­fice. It is as if Je­sus is ask­ing us to go the other way on the lad­der of life. In­stead of work­ing our way up, he asks us to work down. In­stead of rul­ing over peo­ple he asks us to serve, in­stead of re­ceiv­ing he asks us to give, and in­stead of be­ing safe, he asks us to step out in faith. This is a re­ver­sal of value, but this is the gospel.

Which value sys­tem do you live by? The value sys­tem of God, or the value sys­tem of man? I guess the bet­ter ques­tion is, where is your hope in life? Are you hop­ing in your­self, in what seems right to you? Or are you hop­ing in the almighty God of the uni­verse and liv­ing for his glory and as he has called us to live?

In or­der to find the hope and joy so many de­sire yet so few find, I en­cour­age you to start climb­ing down the lad­der, to start look­ing at oth­ers as more valu­able than your­self in hu­mil­ity, and fol­low the ex­am­ple of Je­sus by work­ing your­self lower rather than higher. Re­mem­ber in his king­dom, the first will be last, but the last will be first.

Ja­son Dees is a grate­ful fol­lower of Je­sus Christ, the hus­band of Paige and the fa­ther of Emery Anna. He is also the se­nior pas­tor of First Bap­tist Church in Cov­ing­ton.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Pas­tor Dees en­cour­ages those look­ing for hope and joy to start climb­ing down the lad­der and start look­ing at oth­ers as more valu­able than your­self.

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