Detox: Week 4 - Day 5
Father God, open my eyes and heart to your truth and your ways. Help my first reaction to this day be one that points others to you. Amen.
READ: Luke 13:30
“Indeed, there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
Jesus was preaching in small villages and towns as he made his way to Jerusalem. We don’t know exactly
what he said on the occasion recorded in Luke 13:23, but something in his words caused the people to ask, “Are only a few people going to be saved?” In his usual fashion, the answer Jesus gave was not a simple yes or no. He said, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many will seek to enter and will not be able.” The root of the word “strive” carries the picture of an athlete struggling for a prize in the public games – like a wrestler striving against his opponent.
Jesus concludes his answer to their question with the words in today’s scripture – the last will be first and the first will be last. That answer certainly went against the current thought regarding wealth, privilege and religious standing. Then and now, King of the Hill is regarded as the best place to be.
The Apostle Paul also spoke of the Christian life in terms of an athletic contest. Both Jesus and Paul wanted Christ followers to realize the ways of Jesus would often stand in opposition to the ways of the world. It would require stamina to live such a life. It is not easy to put others first, to pray for our enemies and love those who persecute us. It takes “divine striving,” that is the work of the Holy Spirit through us to live in this way.
Lord, help me make decisions today that reflect your character and your teaching. Help me stand against the way of self and make the good of others and your kingdom my first choice. Amen