He [Jesus] poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet. John 13:5
Geoffry Chaucer, in his “Canterbury Tales,” describes various persons who are on a pilgrimage. He says of a village priest that he taught others the teachings of Christ and the apostles, but adds: “First he followed it himself.”
Jesus, although He was God’s Son, took the lead in serving. On the eve of His death He girded Himself and washed the disciples’ feet. He said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:15). Jesus was indeed the Servant who had come to serve and to give His life as a ransom for the redemption of us all.
The prophet Isaiah volunteered and said: “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). He was a “me first” person and so was the apostle Paul, who applied the Word of Christ to himself, “so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize,” the crown of eternal life (1 Corinthians 9:27).
A “me first” person is one who expects of others only what he has first expected of himself. In the home, parents teach the children good manners and obedience to the Word of God. But they follow it themselves.
Those are good teachers who first do, then say. Otherwise they are involved in a contradiction, such as: “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Spiritual leaders in the church know that they can lead only when they practice what they preach. Jesus, in His time, faulted the religious leaders who sat in Moses’ seat as teachers but lived contrary to what they taught.
There are “me first” opportunities where you live and work – you first in showing love to Christ and to all whom He calls His brothers and sisters.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to set a good example as I serve others. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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