NLSW Devotion Day 5: Putting Away #13 min read

In today’s culture, taking care of #1 is of utmost importance. We’ve all heard the old adage, “If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will.” This fear has been engrained in the minds of people today to the point where it has become a common belief. As Christians, we know this is completely opposite of what Jesus taught and modeled for us. In His typical “not-what-you-thought-I-was-gonna-say” fashion, Jesus tells us things like, “The first will be last” and “I came not to be served but to serve.” What?! I thought we were supposed to look out for #1? Well, we are. It’s just that #1 isn’t us; it’s everyone but us!

If we look at Jesus’ life on earth, what He spent his time doing, who He hung out with, and the things He said, we learn pretty quickly what He was all about. He spent His time looking out for everyone but Himself. In fact, we know that He put Himself dead last in the end – upon the cross to take a burden that He had no part in creating. His death was the ultimate example of selflessness; we were definitely #1 to Him.

We’ve all been called to live like Jesus, or at least strive to live like Him. If we’re going to do that, we need to embrace the fact that we simply aren’t #1. Heck, we’re not even in the top 100! As weird and contrary to today’s culture as this sounds, it’s what we’re called to do. The amazing thing is that, once we get over the fact that it’s not all about us, life gets easier! It doesn’t seem like it should, but it does. We worry less about what we have, what others think of us, and what’s going to happen tomorrow and, instead, we focus on lifting up and caring for others so they, too, can someday know the love and forgiveness that comes with knowing Jesus. That’s way better than being #1!

One of the many amazing things about Lutheran Schools is that this whole concept is part of the foundation laid for each student. Kids learn how to be selfless. They learn how to put others’ needs before theirs. They learn how to embrace the love of Jesus and live their lives so others can have the same life-changing experience they already know. They learn to be Jesus to others. Is there a better gift we can give a child? I would argue strongly that there isn’t.

This week especially, I praise God for the Lutheran schools He has placed exactly where He wants them. I thank Him for the students who have experienced His love through a Lutheran school and I pray that He helps each child to recognize, embrace, and put to Kingdom use, the unique talents and gifts He has given them.

So, let’s all go out and NOT be #1 to someone today!

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About the Author

Jeremy R. Ashley is the Minister for Families with Young Children at Trinity, Clinton Township.

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