A self-spent life is a life lived in self-centeredness. Jesus is our perfect example of a well-spent life. He lived in order for us to live and in His death is our life. He was crucified that we might be redeemed. He bore the cross that we might wear the crown. He bore the shame that we might have fame as children of the Most High God. He was condemned that we might be justified. In His rejection is our acceptance. He chose the grave that we might have grace. The lyric of the songwriter conveys this succinctly:
“Crucified, laid behind the stone
You lived to die, rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You too fall and thought of me, above all.”
Jesus laid everything aside in order to give us eternal life. He despised the shame of the cross so that we might be reconciled to God. He was treated as we deserved in order for us to be treated as He deserved. He took our unrighteousness so we can have His righteousness. He was sin personified so we can be the righteousness of God. He was selfless, a nobody so that we might become somebody.
He was a man of peace. There was no iota of pride in him. He lived to glorify his father, God. He considered others first. The joy of others was his joy. The comfort of others was his comfort. Though the creator of all things, he became a creature like man in order for us to have a place in his kingdom. Humility was His hallmark. Though greater than the greatest, He became the least so we can be great. Though stronger than the strongest, He reckoned Himself as weak so we can be strong. We can do all things by His disposition through Christ that strengthens us. He is God but he descended to the low status of man. He made Himself of no reputation, the very thing we seek. Man seeks for reputation and recognition like oxygen. We seek honour and dignity. We seek the high places. We struggle for titles and positions. We seek as ministers to be posted to so called ‘juicy’ places. We fight for the best places at the detriment of our souls.
A sister was sent to call a pastor by another senior pastor. When she got outside the church, she saw the pastor talking with some persons. In a most modest and respectful manner, she said, ‘please, excuse me sirs, who is brother Paul, the senior pastor wants to see him?’ Pastor Paul was infuriated. He replied, ‘there is no brother Paul here but Pastor Paul. I am Pastor Paul not brother Paul’. What a shame! What’s the difference between brother and Pastor Paul? We crave for honour and titles, yet we claim to be servants of God. We are called great men of God instead of men of the great God. This was the pathetic and shameful situation Jesus met the disciples once upon a time.
They engaged themselves in hot ‘argument about who is the greatest amongst themselves. Is that not what we do when we struggle for positions, titles, better posting? Rather than live in humility and holiness, we seek for relevance and recognition like the gentiles. Like politicians, we jostle for power. Making the most of life is exactly the opposite of all these carnal dispositions.
Jesus humbled Himself to the point of death so that we might be exalted. He washed His disciples’ feet in practical demonstration of humility and service. As Master and Lord, He put aside His reputation and served. This is the example He gave to us to follow. ‘For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you’ – John 13:15. This is the pathway for those who seek to make the most of life.
A preacher was to be picked from the airport one day. When the protocol officer got there, the preacher refused to enter the car that was provided. He felt insulted by the type of car. It is obvious that he forgot that Jesus rode on donkey to Jerusalem. Another preacher refused to walk to the podium and pick the microphone when he was introduced to preach. His grouse was that he was not properly introduced. Is this not very attitude of several people who profess to be believers?
Life is not about reputation. Jesus is our perfect example. He made Himself of no reputation. What least things are you willing to do? Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Would you be humble enough to clean the toilet? Would you avail yourself to clean the chairs in the church? Would you move the lawns? Would you sweep the church compound? Would you teach in the children’s department? Would you take care of the elderly ones or the teenagers? There are several least things you can do. Are you willing?
Pastor J. F. Odesola is Assistant General Overseer (Admin/Personnel) in RCCG