This week I was slammed with some big projects and this weekly devotional got squeezed and pushed to Saturday instead of Friday. However, as I was praying about what to share, the Lord kept taking me to a devotional I read this morning that was sent to my email. So as much as it seems a bit lazy to me, I also feel the Lord delivered it for all of us. Enjoy and take in this devotional from Daniel Brown, a Foursquare pastor in California.
But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.Philippians 2:17
Decades ago, a friend told me that he was able to open deep places in his heart and revisit painful memories from his past because another person (whose life he appreciated) had loved him unconditionally. Steady and relentless love from a man he respected convinced my friend he was ‘worth’ spending time on.
Instead of being rejected, my friend was welcomed over and over by someone who held steady in love, and refused to give up on another. Eventually, the value my friend put on that man, the esteem he felt for someone he admired, began to reflect back.
Love and acceptance motivated him to open his life for needed changes.
The world’s rank-has-privileges concept of authority suggests that higher-ups have license to tell lower-downs what to do; they can order underlings around in order to benefit themselves. Higher positions come with greater advantages, freedoms and benefits.
The Kingdom isn’t arranged that way; in fact, it’s flipped opposite.
Kingdom rank simply gives us greater and greater responsibilities to promote, profit, and advantage people who have less. As was the case with my friend’s friend, he used his respected role (as a more mature Jesus-follower) to lift a struggling soul out of the quicksand of his past.
Kingdom leaders are like the Jaws-of-Life that rescuers use in horrible traffic accidents. Truly spiritual leaders deflate themselves and insert their squeezed-small selves into the crushed or collapsed spaces in others’ lives. If they function properly, their presence decompresses damaged souls.
That’s what Paul did; he poured himself into others. That was proof of his apostleship; instead of claiming that he had already worked hard enough, Paul understood that everything stored up inside him, through the years, was a reservoir from which to continue pouring out.
It’s what my friend does years and years later.
For your journey…
I hope you found Daniel’s words and story inspiring and challenging. Here’s some questions to ask yourself about how to apply this idea.
- How can you pour into others, how can you lift up others?
- Are there specific people you can pour into, regardless of any condition?
- Are there people in your life to speak life to you, for you to just be “real” and talk about doubts, problems, and mistakes?