Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, September 16 - Great Among Us

“‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” — Matthew 25:40

Few things in sports media get covered like football training camp. Two-a-day practices, large training table meals and endless wind sprints captivate the American public every summer. The king of preseason storylines is the depth chart, the place where the public is given a glimpse of who will be the starters and who will back them up. A player’s position on the depth chart can sometimes be the difference between obscurity and stardom; the dividing line between anonymity and fame. And we all know fans love to celebrate the great, the famous, the powerful. Regardless of the activity, sport or profession, the world’s greatest receive considerable interest and acclaim.

This isn’t a novel trait in human nature. The world has always celebrated material greatness. Imagine how countercultural it was, then, for Jesus to come to the world, proclaiming how humility and meekness were desired traits in the Kingdom of God? Ponder how completely unbelievable it would be that God’s angels came both to the highest of society (kings of various lands) and the lowest of professional occupations (shepherds) to tell of the coming of the Son of Man? Jesus describes it perfectly in Matthew 5:5: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Think about it — Jesus accepted fishermen, carpenters, common laborers, farmers and others to share the Gospel. He openly celebrated folks who were lower on society’s depth chart, encouraging the worth of the humble and the poor by stating in Luke 14:11, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

In the context of a secular world, too often Satan influences Christ-followers to think they have to be of a certain status to be able to contribute to anything, let alone the Kingdom of God. Instead, Jesus provided the ultimate checkmate to this negativity and loathing when He described to His followers how they could serve Him, regardless of their status: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36).

Only a few verses later, in response to a hypothetical question about how this served the Kingdom of God, Jesus stated, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).

Regardless of where we’re at on the depth chart, or what skills we have, we can care for others and so follow the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. The next time you can love and serve and give, don’t wonder where your peers rank you on the depth chart of giving. Instead, give cheerfully of what God has given you, and in that act of giving, He will bless you in return. It may not be much, but give quietly and in humility, praising the Father for providing an opportunity to serve Him. Then, faithfully prepare to be exalted when God calls His good and faithful servant home.

— Jon Oglesby

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