This devotional I am sharing today is not one I’ve written but one that speaks deeply and precisely to a place I’ve been. For the last 5 years, I’ve been home, retired from a life in the business world. I was a marketer….the Lord seemed to be blessing the works of my hands…..but alas…..my gazed dropped at some point during my career and my focus became one of goals and accomplishments rather than of service to Him. Yes….I completely lost sight of the fact that my career was blessed so I could serve Him through it….I worked hard at it so it could serve me….in the end…..I served it……thank you Lord for delivering me from that *pool* of competition…..

Daily Devotional

January 25
 
  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.  
  Mark 10:31  
 
This statement runs cross-current to that which our culture propagates. Our society is becoming increasingly competitive in its orientation. And yet those who win society’s competition seem to be increasingly disillusioned with the prize. That is, people who get to the top often find the top isn’t what they thought it would be. This explains why top athletes, for example, often find themselves being sucked in to the drug scene. They got the prize — but the prize was too small.Jesus comes on the scene and calls us away from competition. How does this work out practically? In your mind’s eye, travel back two thousand years ago to a place called Bethesda where you see hundreds of people with all sorts of physical ailments positioned around a pool of water. Why are they there? The understanding of the day was that the first one in the water after an angel supposedly stirred it would be healed. Consequently, these blind, lame, hurting people jockeyed for position in order that they might be first in the pool.

But what does Jesus do when He arrives at Bethesda?

He finds a lame man seemingly at the back of the pack and says, ‘Do you want to be made whole?’

‘I have no man to help me into the water,’ the man answers. ‘I don’t have a network. I don’t have the skills. My college education is outdated. I don’t have connections. How can I compete in this culture? I have no one to help me.’

This man had no stock options. He wasn’t a member of the health club, not on the city softball team. He wasn’t competitive, yet it was he and he alone who captured Jesus’ attention that day.

‘Arise,’ Jesus said. ‘Take up your bed. I’m freeing you from this pool of competition.’ And the man was healed (John 5:8-9).

I believe Jesus says the same thing to us today.

Maybe you’ve been jockeying, struggling, planning, conniving, attempting to get the edge, to make it happen, to get ahead financially, relationally, or even in ministry. If so, I encourage you to take a mental trip to Bethesda and be reminded again that the paradox of the Kingdom is that the first shall be last and the last first.

 
This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book “A Days Journey” by Pastor Jon. “A Days Journey” is a collection of 365 short devotions from the New Testament.  If you would like your own copy of “A Days Journey” you may click here to go to the SearchLight Store

Humbly In His Grip~

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